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It’s no secret that work-life balance with toddlers is a challenge. Many ACR employees strike that balance between working and parenting by becoming live-in supervisors. A live-in supervisor and their family can live in an ACR home rent-free, typically in a 2- or 3-bedroom walkout either above or below the main floor where the residents live. The advantage of this live-in model is that someone who knows the needs of residents is around A LOT, even if it’s just to say “Hi!” to residents and staff while passing through on the way to the back yard. The other great thing about this live-in supervisory arrangement is that it offers unique relationship opportunities for both ACR residents and the families who live there.

Kat Neumann shares her perspective as a live-in residential supervisor seeking work-life balance with toddlers:

A Day in the Life of a Family at an ACR Home

My three-year-old grins at me as he hears noise from upstairs. “Hi Billy!” He says enthusiastically at the ceiling, then sincerely states, “Billy is awake. He’s happy!” I hear the telltale thuds on the floorboards above me as my resident stomps energetically along, accentuating my toddler’s remarks. “Billy is happy today, isn’t he?” I ask with a return smile. “Should we go say hi?”

I didn’t have much experience with people with disabilities before I started working at ACR Homes, but my children will. My two toddler boys have lived in a group home since they were born, living in the lower level of a house with four people with developmental disabilities. They are amazing roommates, if you ask me. One of the ways ACR provides exceptional care to the people we serve is by having a live-in supervisor, a role I’ve had for almost four years. Of the many challenges and rewards of this position, one of my very favorites is that my children get to grow up with this unique experience. They are obtaining a deep understanding of people who are different and special, and a set of skills that will equip them to see the unseen and advocate for the voiceless.

It’s a Way of Life

Finding Work-Life Balance with ToddlersI carry my children upstairs to greet my people, leaning my one-year-old over to snuggle my older gentleman resident whose face lights up like Christmas morning when he sees my boys. My three-year- old begins busily assisting him to sort poker chips and put blocks away into a cloth basket, their two heads bent together in concentration. Cindy lets my son sit in her lap in her wheelchair, saying “baaaaaaby baby!!” in excitement. I smile again, thinking about our beautiful eclectic family and am grateful again for my job being more than just a job; it’s a way of life. Many people go into a job looking for experience, a way to pay the bills, to do their passion. I get to do all that and more, with the life-changing experience of sharing a home with my people, sharing their space, being intimately involved in their lives.

Find out more about the live-in residential supervisor and other positions at ACR Homes here.