Author Topic: Advice on childcare when working from home?  (Read 3331 times)

Zora

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Advice on childcare when working from home?
« on: June 02, 2014, 02:36:13 PM »
Wondering if any Mustachians out there have advice/experience for my situation.  I work from home and am paid by the hour.  I don't have any minimum number of hours or anything like that, and it is quite flexible.  Most of my work is on the computer but I do need to be on the phone sometimes, or to go to meetings, but really the amount that I have to leave my house is not all that much. 

My husband currently works just a few blocks from home and has some flexibility to come home when needed and work from home.  It's possible that in the next few months he will take a different job that is somewhat further away - not a huge commute, but not as convenient as the current gig, and we don't know yet what kind of working-from-home flexibility it would have.

So, the question - I'm pregnant with our first kid, due in October.  I am wondering what would be reasonable to expect as far as childcare arrangements.  Basically I don't know what it's reasonable to expect in terms of what can get done with a kid around.  I am thinking of trying to set up daycare or a nanny-share that is mornings only, so I can make sure to get in a good block of work in the mornings?  Then try to schedule meetings/calls in the mornings as much as possible?  But I am very flexible and open to suggestions.  Any thoughts?

Christof

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Re: Advice on childcare when working from home?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2014, 02:51:31 PM »
We have a 16 month old. I have my own business and work often from home. My experience is that working while taking  are of my son was only possible in the first few months. Later I didn't do anything that required concentration or phone calls. So mainly I'm now either taking care of the house or do things like filing, sorting my inbox, and so forth.

Zora

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Re: Advice on childcare when working from home?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2014, 03:07:17 PM »
Yeah, after posting this I found a "mommy" forum that basically came to the same conclusion.  Time for a talk with the husband!  I REALLY, REALLY don't want a situation where we're stressing out over daycare issues on a regular basis.

Bookworm

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Re: Advice on childcare when working from home?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2014, 12:34:13 AM »
I would say to not even count on getting much done in the first few months, without someone there to help in the mornings. It may very well be that your baby is easygoing and sleeps all the time (my first one was like that), but babies are like...well, that proverbial box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get. If I'd had my second one first, I might not have had any more! (Just kidding...kind of.)

Christof

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Re: Advice on childcare when working from home?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2014, 03:13:11 PM »
Yes, my experience is based on a little boy that would rarely needed care more than once a night and would remain calm or just sleep many hours a day. I could keep him in a baby seat on the desk where he could watch me working and only needed to occasionally rock (swing?) him in the seat.

Carrie

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Re: Advice on childcare when working from home?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2014, 03:20:43 PM »
Maybe you can find a mother's morning out program, especially once the baby is 6 months old and older.  There's a program at a church near my house that starts taking babies at 6 months old and they're offering four mornings per week, for a reasonable price.  I did two mornings per week (with an optional stay through lunch) this past year with my 2 y.o., and was able to get some work done during those times for only $115/mo.  It seems like the other moms who used it were SAHMs who would then go exercise/shop/lunch kid-free, but I found it a nice way to have several undisturbed hours to work from home without committing to day care.

bogart

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Re: Advice on childcare when working from home?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2014, 08:28:21 PM »
If I'd had my second one first, I might not have had any more! (Just kidding...kind of.)

Haha -- this is what my mother says about my (younger) brother to which he says '[eyeroll]Well, obviously -- why keep trying after you've achieved perfection?"  But, right, I was "easy" whereas he was sick and colicky, and I don't think she's 100% kidding either.  Good news:  He grew up to be healthy and low-maintenance, even if he didn't start life that way.

Zora

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Re: Advice on childcare when working from home?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2014, 08:39:27 AM »
After thinking about it some more and talking with my husband, I'm now leaning toward quitting my job entirely.  Gotta give that some more thought before I commit to it though!  The more I think about it, my job is flexible but not THAT flexible.  I occasionally have to travel and often have deadlines that require a ton of work in a short period of time, or appointments that can't easily be moved.  I really REALLY don't want to be in the situation of constant daycare arrangement/crisis and would love to just quit the job.  I'll probably take a couple more weeks to think it over before talking with my boss.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Advice on childcare when working from home?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2014, 08:55:00 AM »
My son is 3.5 now. Daughter is 10, in school full time, and easy, so we'll just focus on my son. Not to be a horror-story mom, but he didn't sleep for over 2 years. No napping, inconsistent nights. I was getting 45 - 90 minute bursts of sleep and trying to keep my shit together. I couldn't, and combined with some surgery that went south in recovery, those years nearly killed me. If I could go back and do it again, I would be far more gentle on myself about how much I was trying to accomplish in that situation. That said, I was friendly with a mom who said things like, "Well, I better go wake my daughter up now - her nap is going on 3 hours and if I don't wake her, she won't sleep her 12 hours tonight!" and I would hear this and nearly choke with envy. So kids come in different little packages - some are just way more accommodating to the rest of the family life and some need the family life to accommodate them. I think in your situation, if your husband keeps his flexible job, and you get one of the "easy babies" you might very well be able to work from home during nap time, etc. But you probably won't know until after the baby is born. Being a work-at-home parent can be challenging. (But then, isn't every variation on parenting challenging in it's own way?) Good luck!

Edit to Add:
I occasionally have to travel and often have deadlines that require a ton of work in a short period of time, or appointments that can't easily be moved.
^^^ This kind of thing would absolutely require supplemental childcare, like a nanny or flexible daycare situation. Sounds like the rewards of the job pre-child may not be worth the demands post-child. Good luck!
« Last Edit: June 04, 2014, 08:57:58 AM by Erica/NWEdible »

JoyBlogette

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Re: Advice on childcare when working from home?
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2014, 09:21:34 AM »
I would say keep the job for now, you can always quit later.  Plan on taking some time off when the baby arrives.  You'll know for sure whether you can handle it or not once you've actually done it.  What's your maternity leave policy like?

Hannah

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Re: Advice on childcare when working from home?
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2014, 02:10:36 PM »
Hi, I work from home for a huge corporation.  Our solution has been a 3-4 full day daycare (through a friend who we pay daily) so I can stack meetings and concentrated work on those days.  The 4-5 days of work I can still get a reasonable amount done during his naps, and I tend to schedule meetings when he is awake, but happiest ( during snacks or right after).

He is 11 months old and not walking yet, I expect this to change once his mobility increases and his napping decreases.

HSLmom

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Re: Advice on childcare when working from home?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2014, 09:00:14 AM »
I wouldn't feel comfortable being paid hourly and watching my child at the same time. I work from home, but I'm self employed and I do about 2/3 of it while my kids are home (nights, naps, giving them small projects to do with me) and 1/3 of it I have an in-home nanny for. My baby is super easy, but still will wake up often during a growth spurt, or a neighbor kid will ring the bell during naptime and my plan to work during his nap will fly out the window that day.