A friend of mine who is slightly older and has a family life similar to mine (in that he is a parent of someone with a disability) once said to me that – having a child with a disability made him a better person.
I was new to supporting a child in that way when he said this, but I can say that I agree. I’ve always drifted through life and the other two kids sorted themselves out but when my youngest was born I learned to care more. I learned to notice more. I learned to tolerate more. I’m pretty laid back anyway but I 100% learned to extend all of those things.
Having a child with a disability made me a better person. It made me accept people even more without judgment. My daughter is fun and funny and loving etc. She’s a child who has a few extra needs. I do sometimes worry that I spend too much time on her and not enough time on my other children which I guess is natural. Natural parental guilt!
The RSA culture of openness, honesty and being a people-shaped employer has really helped. My leader has been very supportive and understanding when I need to take short notice holidays or alter my hours, also generally by listening and talking to me about the additional responsibilities of my personal life. This flexibility has been a massive help and I take comfort knowing that the ability to ask for reasonable adjustments and other alterations to my work-life balance is an option through RSA’s more formal flexible working policy. The way in which RSA accepts that our employees are different, with different work-life needs supports me in terms of feeling confident.