Author Topic: Anyone work from home with two small kids?  (Read 1224 times)

CJY

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Anyone work from home with two small kids?
« on: January 19, 2017, 06:41:34 PM »
My husband's job in IT is full time work from home.  I currently work and our 16 month old son goes to daycare.  For the first year I was home with my son and my husband worked so we were all in the house together.  We are planning on having a second child soon and I will stay home for a few years.  Wondering if it will work out with two kids at home plus me?  It's great that he has no commuting time but will he be able to get any work done?  Should he commute to an office instead?

If anyone has an experience to share I would appreciate it!

Papa bear

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Re: Anyone work from home with two small kids?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2017, 07:02:23 PM »
I have a 16 month old and try to work from home with him once a week. I get nothing done.

My wife works from home with him once a week and she gets some work done, but is incredibly stressed. 

I can't imagine doing any work with 2 kids that young.


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Plugging Along

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Re: Anyone work from home with two small kids?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2017, 07:21:12 PM »
My husband has usually worked from home with kids.  However there is a nanny at home to take care of the kids.

If your question is if your husband can work from home while taking care of the kids, answer is probably not.   If the question is, can he work from home, while you are at home taking care of the kids for sure.

The challenge is making sure that the kids and you know he is working, and not to disturb him.   Things like play dates at your house are out of the question, and louder things like vacuuming need to be arranged. 

There is almost always someone working from home at my house, but there is always a different person taking care of them.

pbkmaine

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Anyone work from home with two small kids?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2017, 07:41:34 PM »
Is there a quiet space in your house where he can work undisturbed and take phone calls without background house, kid, wife, pet noise? I worked from home in Maine with a retired husband and 4 noisy cats, but our basement was dead quiet so I took calls there. Sound separation was so good he could use the vacuum upstairs while I was on a client call. Do you have a space like that or can you create it?

little_brown_dog

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Re: Anyone work from home with two small kids?
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2017, 03:32:55 PM »
Only one kiddo here, and only a part time worker at that, but I work from home while baby naps. Honestly, I do not think working from home would be possible with 2 kids in tow if you have to clock full time hours. It's even tough for me because I never get a break many days - I'm with baby until naptime, then spend her 2 hour nap working, then boom- she's up and it's baby care until 7pm.

Working while doing baby care is essentially doing 2 jobs at once, and of course child care will come first (you can't just leave a baby in a dirty diaper, or not feed them, or not make sure they are safe/supervised). I don't know how you could do that and still do a decent job at your paid employment.

CJY

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Re: Anyone work from home with two small kids?
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2017, 06:14:01 PM »
Thanks for your replies everyone.  I would be at home doing full time child care for our kids (no work).  For sure it is crazy to think you can do a full time job and child care too.  No way any employer would go for that!  I was just concerned about noise and blurred boundaries for him between work life and home life and how to manage that.

Plugging Along

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Re: Anyone work from home with two small kids?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2017, 06:58:48 PM »
I think it will be totally fine if you are at home to take the kids.   Your husband also has to be disciplined not to get distracted because he would rather play.  Having clear boundaries of when he is working, he is working, and like I said, the phone portion, make sure you have a place that he can go for conference calls.  My husband has sat in the car in the garage on occasion, but most of the time is fine.

The other thing he can do is make sure he knows all the places near by that have a good wifi.   My spouse has gone to the library or coffee shop to get some quiet time.   He knows which places have the best wifi, and where is quiet at certain times.

liberteEgalite

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Re: Anyone work from home with two small kids?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2017, 07:40:16 AM »
It depends on his tolerance for noise, whether he has to vocally interact or quietly plug away, and the soundproofness of his office.

I work part time from home, and so does my husband. We have two school-aged kids who are homeschooling, so our small apartment becomes a co-working space during the day. (We don't have offices.) We do have coffee shops and libraries within walking/biking distance, and we can work more efficiently while away from home. With our lifestyle, it's not hard to coordinate and schedule blocks of time in which one or the other of us can get away.

We're always right on the edge of joining an actual co-working space. In our area one can get access to "float" at an available desk for $175 per month, or a private office starting at $275/month. These co-working spaces include gym access, free coffee, fast wifi, access to conference rooms, and networking opportunities / getting to be around fellow entrepreneurial types. Tempting!

Other things that we've found helpful:

- Babywearing can be a great way to keep your baby quieter and happier while you do housework and keep your older child engaged. (With many additional benefits for you and your baby.) Don't give up if your first attempts with your baby carrier don't go well. Be willing to try a different carrier. Many cities have babywearing groups or even free baby carrier lending libraries so you can get help from experienced people and try out different carriers that might work for you. I would recommend against Baby Bjorn. Try a ring sling and a structured carrier like Ergo. (I apologize for the unsolicited advice! YMMV)

- Do you have a nice neighborhood 10-year-old girl who wants a little extra cash or some kind of lessons you could provide? Hiring a mother's helper for a few hours here and there to play with your older child could be a real sanity saver. (And an enriching experience for your child.)

- Find out-of-the-house things to do that aren't expensive and are newborn-friendly. Do you have friends or family you could drop in on? It's nice to have a few ideas in your back pocket for times when you and the kids get restless or your husband will need assured quiet. A good baby carrier can really help with this - you can take your older child to the playground or on nature walks while the baby stays happy, and you're not stuck pushing a huge, ridiculous stroller (which to me, feels like a barrier to interacting with your older child.)

- You might want to plan an hour or two in the evenings where your husband takes over so you get a moment to yourself and don't feel like you're constantly "on duty." Keeping kids quiet during the day does take some additional effort.

- Be mindful about the kind of culture you want in your home. Read to your kids so they can learn the quiet pleasures of reading. Don't let them watch shows where the characters are loud and obnoxious and disrespectful.

- Incorporating some Montessori ideas into your home might help things run more quietly. When kids' stuff is well organized on open shelves, it's easier for them to find something constructive to do. (It also becomes possible for them to put away their stuff afterward! Not likely, but possible!) Kids love to do things that feel like real work. Don't expect perfection and give them the right tools. A child can get really interested in sweeping or dusting along with you, folding laundry, cutting cucumbers with a butter knife... get creative about ways they can help!

Also, remind yourselves what a blessing it is to eliminate commute time from your lives and have more time to spend together! Staying positive and thankful will give you the motivation to find solutions to the difficulties.

I'm cringing at myself for giving so much unsolicited parenting advice... but I do think it matters. When it comes to working from home, your parenting style will have a bigger impact on how well it goes than the size of your house.

LouLou

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Re: Anyone work from home with two small kids?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2017, 11:16:06 AM »
Depends on your house.  If there is sound insulation, it should be fine.

I work from home from time to time while my mom takes care of the baby.  My office and the living room where the baby is are far apart, with many walls between them.  I can't really hear what they are doing, so my productivity does not decreased at all.  They don't bother me either.

Finding a removed work space in your home, buying a white noise machine, etc are probably much cheaper than commuting.

liberteEgalite

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Re: Anyone work from home with two small kids?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2017, 07:25:14 AM »
My brother-in-law built a "shedquarters" and works there.
Similar to MMM's project: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2017/01/24/diy-studio-building/

Poundwise

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Re: Anyone work from home with two small kids?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2017, 08:39:51 AM »
I worked from home in an apartment for a few years with a preschooler & baby, with part time childcare.  Very difficult but can be done with an understanding employer. I hired some students to be mother's helpers to keep the kids out of my hair while I holed up in my office. Their inexperience was not a problem because I knew that I was there as backup if there was an emergency.  However, because I was paying for the time, I exercised iron concentration and basically assumed I was not home when working.  It was hard at first because of toddlers trying to rattle my doorknob, but the kids soon learned it was much more fun to play with the helpers, who were energetic and young, rather than crabby old mom.

I would schedule conference calls for times when the helpers took my kids to the playground, or when my husband was home, but once in a while a client would call during my mom hours and I would have to hiss at the kids to be quiet. At least at that age, my oldest son knew that fire would shoot out of my eyes if he made a peep, so he usually could keep it under control. Not my finest hours as a parent, but you do what you have to do.

I think it will be fine for your husband to keep working at home, if you have a good space, and you are home. Hopefully your husband is good at compartmentalizing.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2017, 08:43:00 AM by Poundwise »

salmp01

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Re: Anyone work from home with two small kids?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2017, 01:22:27 PM »
I work from home full time and my wife takes care of our 3 and 4 year old and it works well for me.  My kids know that when my office door is closed that they cannot open it.  I commuted to work for many years and have started working from home in the last few years and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

LoganRivera

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Re: Anyone work from home with two small kids?
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2017, 02:04:11 AM »
If you have a nanny to care for your kids, then work from home option is a good choice. Otherwise, I don't think it will be an easy task to work from home with two kids. We were facing that difficulty, at last, we had to keep a maid to look after the kids.

lazy-saver

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Re: Anyone work from home with two small kids?
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2017, 04:22:02 PM »
If this worked for you with one kid, I don't see why it shouldn't work with two.  I would guess that the biggest issue is whether can you keep the older one from running in and disturbing the working parent.

I work from home and my husband is currently looking after our 6 month old until he runs out of parental leave.  I have an office room with a door but it's not soundproof.  It's not ideal - my productivity does drop some when the baby is crying - but I prefer it to having a commute.  And luckily we have a usually-content baby.  I have a coworker who started working from a coworking space when he was in a similar situation.  You might just have to try it and see.

LadyStache in Baja

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Re: Anyone work from home with two small kids?
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2017, 03:25:08 PM »
Thanks for your replies everyone.  I would be at home doing full time child care for our kids (no work).  For sure it is crazy to think you can do a full time job and child care too.  No way any employer would go for that!  I was just concerned about noise and blurred boundaries for him between work life and home life and how to manage that.

Does he have an office with a door?  Also he might need to keep a clear schedule...if he wants to share meals with you guys they should always be at the same time!
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lisa_mustache

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Re: Anyone work from home with two small kids?
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2017, 05:08:35 PM »
We have three kids (2, 5, and 8), and I work from home.  My husband is a SAHD, and we manage really well.  I have an office upstairs with a locking door, but being at home means I can take coffee breaks to come hang out with all of them, eat lunch together, team up with my husband to cook lunch and dinner, go running, help with laundry, etc.  I originally was really worried about finding the right balance, but I find I can get so much more done at work AND home than when I was commuting, because I'm more efficient at all of it.  I still think I'll go back into the office again someday, but I don't know when that may be, and I can't imagine it being 5 days a week. 

Hopefully, you will find many of the same benefits of having all of you in the same place during the day.  Good luck!

Mezzie

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Re: Anyone work from home with two small kids?
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2017, 06:38:59 PM »
My mom did it (and eventually there were four of us!). I don't think it was easy on her, honestly, but we really benefitted from her being home.
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