Being the parent of a child with special needs prepares us for many 'real (paying)' jobs, if only we could convince an employer and if only some of those parents had time for a 'real (paying)' job.
We have so many skills that would easily transfer to the working world. We:
- have a ton of medical knowledge
- know how to negotiate and get our points across
- know how to sell an idea and make others think it was their idea
- know how to make something out of nothing or very little - crafts, meals, educational tools, etc.
- can survive on very little sleep. Hospital interns have nothing on us in that regard.
- know how to find resources from the most unlikely of places
- understand legal systems and how to work within a government bureaucracy
- are persistent and never give up
- are loyal and caring and strong
- show up for work regardless of the weather or our state of wellness
- etc. I'm sure you could add many more things to this list (and please do)
But my current favorite skill which I know I could easily turn into a real (paying) job is supply clerk.
I maintain a complicated inventory of supplies - catheters, G-tubes, syringes, depends, and medicine out the ying-yang - prescription and over the counter. I always know when it is time to reorder items, and of course they all have their own reorder schedule even though I try very hard to get things synced up. I dispense items as needed (which is constantly), and share/trade items as appropriate. I have a stockpile of wipes, tissues, laundry detergent, 4 types of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, toilet tissue (we seem to use a ton of this), and all the special foods/drinks that my children need. I schedule reordering (trips to the store) each week so no one goes without, and my friends often ask to borrow something because they know I am such a good supply clerk!
I would estimate at least 45 minutes EACH DAY is spent opening delivery boxes, checking supplies, replenishing supplies, recycling and taking out trash.
What about you? How long do your supply clerk duties take every day? And if you have multiple children with special needs, did you see your workload grow exponentially with each added child? I did!