Log in
ADHD Parents Together
8,123 members2,570 posts

Managing work during a crisis - need advice

Does anyone have any advice about managing work responsibilities when their kid is in crisis? I’m freelance and feel like I’m holding on to my client base by a thread. Obviously, my kid’s needs come first - she’s missing school and is a total wreck. So I’m canceling what I can and focusing on doctors’ appointments and being present for her. But I’m missing a lot of work and deadlines. I have a job with my biggest client for the year right now and I’m responding to emails and emergent requests - but I’m not actually getting anything done on the project itself. Everyone at the company is great, but I’m scared I’m going to lose this job. I have a house full of laundry and dirty dishes and bills that maybe are due? I feel like everything is an emergency and I don’t know how to prioritize. It’s like I can’t even get clear to start to think about any of this. Any words of advice are appreciated ...

13 Replies
oldestnewest

MaudQ- we have all been there. Please reach out if there is anyone who you can trust to help you. Please remember that the most important thing is her and getting stable then you can work on the "other stuff". WHEN you get through this you will look back and see how strong you are and that you did it.

We are here for you and do your best w it th one step ahead, dish and a dirty house ( maybe not the bills) can wait.

Big hug.. one day at a time.

2 likes
Reply

I am right there with you. I work a corporate job with travel. It has been a hard balance. My boss has allowed me to be much more flexible with my schedule which has helped. I also brought in reinforcements via a retired grandparent. It just helped with giving me breathing room. They could take care of the non-emergency issues that rose up.

Starting this week we hired an aftercare sitter. That will allow kids time to go home to do homework and decompress before we get home from work. I have hired a house cleaner before during crisis mode just to get a clean house. Toss a lifeline out - the expense can be worth the stress reduction.

1 like
Reply

Oh, yes, a housecleaner here too! My work is not flexible at all, so I have help from my best friend to pick up my daughter from school. Her Dad is not reliable at all, so I'm grateful for that.

1 like
Reply

Honestly, the first couple of months I barely remember. There were so many appointments, setting up therapy, more appointments, appointments with the school, dealing with home. Once she was stable, things got better, but it's still super busy. I just do what needs to be done and sometimes on Saturday I sleep in for an hour. Now I schedule no more than two appointments for my daughter during the week (plus tutoring twice a week). More than that and we just both get tired and cranky.

You know what though, when I see her smile now and when we laugh together and she looks me in the eye, it's totally worth it. Everyone here is so supportive, not sure how I would be doing if I hadn't found this site!

1 like
Reply

Where is her other parent? If they are in the picture you need to divi up the work load. If not, I suggest hiring a house cleaning service, even if it’s only once a month. Set your bills to auto pay if possible so you don’t fall behind. Ask friends and family for help, even if it’s just them entertaining your daughter for an afternoon so you can work.

1 like
Reply

That’s a great question. My husband is actually really good about doing stuff around the house - he’s in a crazy work crunch right now. But I have been wondering if he has some of the same issues as my daughter - anxiety and ADHD. I’ve ended up taking over most multi-step tasks (bill paying, laundry etc). He’s motivated to get things done, but if it’s complicated, he gets stuck or forgets pieces. He can’t think long term - like setting bills to auto-pay or researching a project. And he won’t attempt anything complicated - no stereo system or backyard barbecue smoker or any of the things I see other husbands doing ;-) I’m not exactly sure what to do about it ...

Reply

Can you afford to hire a cleaning service? I did that over a year ago, and even though it’s only once a month it takes away so much of the stress of the house being dirty. Auto payment for bills is a great way to make sure they don’t get missed; it sucks having to pay extra in fees just because you payed late. Talk to your husband about what he feels he can help with, then let him do it his way. My husband doesn’t do laundry or dishes the way I do, but they still get done, and in the long run that’s what matters.

Reply

Don't know if this is feasible, but when I really need to focus I wake up before my family, at 5am (automatic coffee maker saves the day!) and can get some really good work done before the chaos of the day sweeps me away. Also, sit down for 5 minutes and write down the priorities--seeing them on paper really helps!

1 like
Reply

I was speaking to a counselor about this a while back because I was really struggling at work and having a hard time finding the balance between being a good parent and a good worker. It felt like my head was always in the other place and failing at both. She said that it helps if you take some transition time (i.e. the commute or movement from one room to your office, etc.) and picture (or physically do if it helps) taking off your parent hat and putting on your work hat. While you are working, there is nothing that can be done for dr's appointments, stressing, etc. and when you're in parent mode, that's where you are and not thinking about work. I find that this is still helpful on those bad days.

Good luck!

2 likes
Reply

Thanks so much for all of these responses - really helpful. I put an ad out for a student to help with household chores yesterday :-) It’s really good to know that I’m not alone and that others are going through the same thing ...

1 like
Reply

Oh, that reminded me, but sounds like you’re doing it... my counselor recommended finding a mother’s helper, even just another child who could come distract and play while you do chores. It also gives them socialization.

Reply

I know how hard that must be struggling with a job and household chores and having to watch your precious one at the same time it is definitely a task I tried to give my son puzzles if he Master's that one puzzle then he gets bored so I'll put three or four puzzles down and that makes it just more challenging also when my kids are asleep I try to do some chores just remember not to overwhelm yourself like I do all the time LOL take it easy do one chore time

1 like
Reply

Hi, you are not alone. I feel this way all the time. Most of my time and energy is put into organizing my child's life - doctor visits, educational needs, etc. There is little time for much else. I too have a kitchen full of dirty dishes, piles of laundry waiting, mess in each room, a yard that looks like no one lives in the house. There are stacks of unopened mail and papers piled high. Life is very chaotic.

You will have to step back and think of what is most important. You need your job in order to maintain your home and care for your child. Can you find 1 hour to sit down and organize all that is going on and then assign a time to complete it? Call your family members, friends and neighbors and ask for help with chores around the house. You cannot continue to do it all by yourself and be productive with work. Find a facility that can do drop off laundry service and gather it all up into bags and take it there. The minimal cost is worth the investment.

Right now is the time to step out of your box and ask for help. You will be surprised at those who will come by to clean, cook meals, shop or run errands for you so you can free up time to focus on the project for your client. If you fail with the client you will only disappoint yourself. Hugs to you and you will get through this!!!!

1 like
Reply

You may also like...