How I Navigate The Dual Journey of Being a Working Mom and a Special Needs Advocate During Back-To-School Season

Sponsored by Clorox

Dris Wallace

Photo courtesy of Dris Wallace

As a working wife and mom of two young children, one of whom has special needs, the anticipation of the back-to-school season fills me with a mix of tension and worry. Less than a year ago, we received the news that my 4-year-old son is on the autism spectrum, along with other underlying health concerns. Our lives have been truly turned upside down since then. As we face another back-to-school season, the stress feels even more overwhelming.

Balancing my corporate job, taking care of my family as well as myself, and learning about autism have been daunting tasks. I’m realizing that effective time management and assistance are my greatest allies in navigating this new phase of life. I’m also making a conscious effort to separate time allotted for work and personal life. When I’m at work, I dedicate my focus to my profession and when I’m off the clock, my attention shifts to everything family-related and self-care. As parents, we tend to neglect ourselves and this doesn’t allow us to give our best to work and our families. Follow along as I show you what works best for me. The goal is to share at least one helpful tip you can apply to your motherhood journey. 

During breaks, I research my son’s diagnosis and health concerns.

Dris working on laptop

Photo courtesy of Dris Wallace

I create spreadsheets to organize the wealth of information while my husband helps our daughter adjust to our new reality.  With the unpredictable behaviors of my son’s diagnosis and the return of school, the health and wellness of my children are top priority. Every parent knows that the back-to-school season often brings germs and illnesses back home. To help keep illness-causing germs at bay I always reach for Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes and Disinfecting Mist! These products have been crucial in keeping our environment clean and are always included in my back-to-school shopping list.

My husband and I tag team on everything.

Cute couple in a city. Lady in a white dress. Pair sitting on a cafe

Photo: Freepik

We strategize on the best ways to support our son and connect with other families dealing with the similar challenges to share ideas and support one another. Working together with my husband shows the value of working with one another to obtain one goal. We model the behaviors we want our kids to learn. 

For stress, I carve out 45 minutes of exercise before bed instead of binge watching television.

Woman with yoga mat

Photo: Freepik

With the determination of having a healthy work-life balance, the support of my loved ones, and trusted products like Clorox®, I am confident that we can tackle any obstacles that come our way.​​ The way I’m able to pour into my family’s cup is by filling up my cup first. After the kids go to bed, my husband and I workout together. I lift weights, I ride my spin bike and do other cardiovascular exercises to release stress.

Motherhood can be challenging and I find immense joy in supporting fellow mothers in their own journeys. I hope the tips in this article have been helpful to you. Here’s to a new school year filled with growth, learning, and a healthy, thriving family! Keep going mama, you are doing great!

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