Both parents working from home - anyone tried it?

(8 Posts)
Pistachiois50pmore Mon 03-Oct-16 13:02:14

I’m currently on maternity leave with an eight month old.

Previously my job was full time as a senior manager in the arts. I am going back three days a week from January but my boss has said that I only need to be in the office once a week.

My partner is a self-employed writer and works from home unless he has a meeting (and meetings can generally be scheduled at his convenience). And he’s very hands on, happy to split parenting down the middle etc etc - has done night wakings with me from day 1, takes DS out for an hour or two’s walk every day so I can have a shower and relax a bit. All good!

So next year, there will be one day where DP has sole responsibility (me in the office) and two days where I am in charge (as I won’t be working - DP will pitch in when he’s available but the plan is for him to schedule any meetings to hit those days). Then that leaves two days where we will effectively both be working from home, with a one year old.

Both our work is fairly chatty and creative and collaborative - I've done bits of work at home on maternity leave. We can both currently work with DS on our knee, chatting to the other one. But a toddler is a different kettle of fish I imagine.

The nursery we like takes children from two - so it’s the next year we need to get through really.

All grandparents are happy to help out but live over an hour away and we don’t want to use them as unpaid childcare regularly as it seems exploitative and could sour a lovely relationship. Another option is I work in the office one day a week then at home every morning - and take over at lunchtime each day.

Does anyone have experience of both parents working from home?

Our plan was to “see how it goes” regarding whether we need to use a childminder - but is that completely unrealistic? We’re not awash with cash but we could cobble together the money if we needed to.

mintthins Mon 03-Oct-16 13:05:20

Yes but we had lots of space, separate studies (though with a cute interconnecting door) and the DC were school age. So from a work and relationship perspective it was great, we didn't need to worry about child care.

HeyMacWey Mon 03-Oct-16 13:07:46

I think as children get older then need more stimulation and are harder to work around and you can guarantee that the moment you need to take an important call they'll be desperate for your attention grin

I'd make arrangements for one day in nursery /childminder and a discussion with grandparents about whether they'd be up for alternating weeks and agreement that they'd let you know if it ever became too much.

IAmAPaleontologist Mon 03-Oct-16 13:11:31

Only with childcare! As you say a toddler can be a totally different kettle of fish and pretty demanding. My experience of toddlers is that spending all day in the house with them results in tears all round. However, have a look around your local area. There is a soft play near us which has wifi and is very supportive of parents coming to work there while their children play, cafes with really good play areas and so on could help you a lot so you toddler can be out of the house and playing in a safe environment for the morning, home for lunch and then fingers crossed a nap gives you both some time to work in peace.

Iguessyourestuckwithme Mon 03-Oct-16 13:12:33

I am a nanny whose bosses both work at home. There is no way they could look after their child as well as work. It works well with them being able to have meals as a family but the rest of the day it wouldn't work.

Artandco Mon 03-Oct-16 13:17:42

Yes, both should and I worked between us from home with two children from newborn until school age. It works well for us

We took breaks when needed, swapped who took children outside, and made the most of nap times. Ours always slept late in evening, and then woke late (9-10am), so often we will both get up early at 6am to get 3-4hrs in straight away whilst they still slept. Plus a 2-3 hour nap later on. Means 6-7 hrs easy work time. Then inbetween children would usually play alone happily or together 1-2 hrs at a time.

NickyEds Mon 03-Oct-16 21:16:52

I have a 15 month old (and a 2.9 years old)and no, I wouldn't work whilst looking after her. Toddlers need much more entertaining than babies and it would be, perhaps a bit unfair to have them stuck in if you have to get on with something. In my experience one year olds who can play on their own happily for 1-2 hours are very few and far between- I don't know any. I could do some e mails etc but not get on with a long spell of work if it required real concentration.

Stillunexpected Tue 04-Oct-16 09:54:32

I'm a bit confused about the split of days but if you are proposing to work during some of this time (and be paid by your employer) at the same time as looking after a toddler, then possible or not, I don't think your employer would agree to that. They are paying you to work and focus completely on that, not be breaking off for nappy changes, sorting out drinks and playing with duplo. If you are proposing that one of your work while the other one completely looks after your child, that is possible but probably only if you have a completely separate work space where your child is not going to barge in or where you are not going to hear when they are having a tantrum and be tempted to intervene.

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