One thing that lots of special needs families struggle with is finding care for their children and balancing work and family life. We have been struggling with this for a long time, and still do. But we have been through a lot and have finally come to find a solution that works for us.
We went through a few PCAs before finding one we trusted. She worked out for a couple of wonderful years. But we never really had a back up plan, since finding someone to fill in part time is even harder. When she recently decided to reduce hours, we understood, but were sad to see her less. Isaiah loves her and they have a really good bond. We tried finding a replacement and decided that just wasn't working out. We knew we were the best able to care for Isaiah and Isabelle. But in order to do this, one of us would have to leave our job. For practicality reasons, that was me.
When I approached my employer to break the news, I also proposed another solution. I could work a reduced schedule, while still coming in for meetings one full day a week. I didn't know if it would work for them, but figured it was worth a try. Thanks to my hard work and determination, they accepted this and let me keep working. So now I work from 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm four days a week and one full day. John gets home to take over at 2:30, and on the full day Isaiah's PCA stays with him.
I am thrilled with this schedule. I like to call myself a part-time stay at home mom. I get to spend more time with my cuties while remaining in the workforce. I have been working (slowly) toward my MHA, so this will continue to keep me up-to-date in the healthcare industry and valuable in the job market for the future.
I think things like this work out for a reason. Right when we thought we would need to take a major drop in our family income and struggle to get by, this just happened to work itself out. Although I am taking a reduction in my income, we are able to use some of the funds that would have gone to his PCA care as a consumer support grant, which makes us almost whole again by providing parent pay and helping with equipment needs.
Praise God for helping us work everything out and for giving us more precious time with our children.