Working parents are handling two jobs - their work and their children, a full plate for almost every parent. Add an 8-year-old with autism, an 11-year-old with a learning disability, or a 17-year-old with depression and the work/life needs are often insurmountable.
There's all the "typical" parenting responsibilities, which are often anything but typical, plus another layer of needs ranging from facilitating their child’s services and supports to managing ongoing school issues; it's a life of complexities that few understand and are often managed without help.
The Gift of Time
Respite care, or having an hour to themselves, is one of the most important ways parent caregivers can continue doing what they do. That saying about putting on your own oxygen mask before you can help another definitely holds true here. Yet there's often no one to help these working parents even reach for their mask no less give them a few minutes to breathe.
The Caregiver Action Network has information that provides resources to help working caregivers which applies to exceptional caregiving for children as well as aging parents. And many are handling both - caring for a child with special needs and for an aging parent as well.
If someone in your life is dealing with these issues, the best way you can show them you're aware and care is with the gift of time. It can be an hour to shower or time to take a walk. Or simply to have some quiet time to try to regroup and refresh. Don't wait for them to ask or for a crisis to arise. Having a little "me" time can make all the difference.