The WAH-life of a PWD Parent

Freelancing

Alexandre, good morning my little man, Did you sleep well? Do you want your milk now? Then he runs back to his bed. He buries himself under all his pillows. This is our typical morning routine. 

Opting to have a home-based job in the Philippines is, if not the best, a great decision that I made. The career change was not that easy and it was life-changing. This is an extra challenge to a PWD parent like me.

It’s been 1 year and 7 months. I think I was already aware of what’s going on, but I had to make it official from a Developmental Pediatrician. When we were called back to the doctor’s office and she delivered the news, I went numb. The feeling when you get dumped with ice-cold water, that’s what I felt. Learning that you have a Special child is scary and humbling.

There was no time to think what went wrong, whose genes it came from, our goal at that moment was to start intervention ASAP. Other than the financial matter, my husband and I got worried about our time management. I was still working a night shift Team Lead in my previous company. I realized the more I talk about my special child, the easier the load it is for me.

I started tinkering with the idea to search for a home-based job in the Philippines. Resigning from the corporate world was a breeze for me. I felt a gush of fear because I was entering a world of the unknown to me. Shuffling between job-hunting on-line, and therapy sessions I was overwhelmed. Not knowing where to start and consider the fact that the interventions we have are uninterrupted.

After a month of applying and interviews, I was hired. Fist-bump! I am now a Virtual Assistant for a US company. Luckily, my client himself had personal challenges. He has ADD. He understands what I am going through as a PWD parent. There were a few instances when my son would suddenly burst into the room with non-stop babbling. His meltdowns have trimmed down to at least twice a month, and it rarely clashes with work.

I know what some of you might be thinking, it’s just the same as your little one. I wish it were that simple. My child has no social skills. Even his siblings had difficulty interacting with him because he did not respond to his name. To avoid emotional disconnect, there is a constant reminder to my 2 girls that their brother is a special child. Happy that they do not see him as a competition.

All the adjustments that we made are paying off. We celebrate every milestone that he meets. When I say, “Mommy has to work, you be a good boy”, he stares and I don’t know if he understood all. He will get a toy he fancies that day, and jump non-stop on the bed. I guess that what he thinks being a good boy is.

PWD parents like me are lucky that there are home-based jobs in the Philippines that can work with our daily routine. I know that it will not be a breeze in the park. I know that we still have a long way to make him “normal”. Never lose hope. The roller coaster ride that is worth every minute. I’ve learned to sit back and enjoy the ride.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Venus Sambajon is a Pharmacist by Profession and was an entrepreneur at a young age. She left her 11-year career in the BPO industry when her son was diagnosed with Autism, it was not a hard decision to make. She joined Filipina Homebased Moms in mid-2018 and is now the Encourager for Makati City-Taguig-Pateros. She is laser-focused on what she wants to achieve as a freelancer and Autism-awareness advocate. As the Genuine Domestic Goddess, she wants to pay it forward to other moms and show them that work-life balance is achievable.

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