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Working from home and looking after a baby

(47 Posts)
Rubes88 Sat 27-Nov-10 22:08:10

Hi

I am due to return to work next week and my baby will be nearly 11 months old. I am fortunate to be able to work half my time in the office and half from home. So I will be working 2 days from home.

Has anyone got any tips on how best to ensure I work my 7.5 hours each day whilst still looking after my baby?

My thoughts so far are that I need to:
- work when he sleeps in the day
- in the evening
- use my friend where I can

Any other suggestions? I dont want my baby to feel like im neglecting him but I do need to get my work done!

Gangle Sat 27-Nov-10 22:11:28

Er, you need to get a nanny or some other form of childcare. From experience, it's not possible to look after even one child and work, at all and not fair to your employer.

MaudOHara Sat 27-Nov-10 22:12:48

Agree with Gangle - even though you are working from home you need childcare as it is impossible to work and look after a child at the same time - it is the worst of both worlds - neither gets your full or proper attention

indiechick Sat 27-Nov-10 22:15:48

I used to put baby in child care for the morning, bring her home after they'd fed her lunch and she could have a really good sleep in the afternoon, then play with her for a bit, do the evening routine, the log on after she'd gone to bed. Would a routine like that work for you?

llareggub Sat 27-Nov-10 22:15:49

Depends on whether work care when you actually do your hours, or if people need to contact you during office hours.

If they do, then you need childcare. Without childcare, you will not be able to work.

I'm self-employed so have no boss to report to, but I can tell you that working around children is a nightmare and not easy, particularly as they get older.

cat64 Sat 27-Nov-10 22:16:28

Message withdrawn

annh Sat 27-Nov-10 22:22:15

Is your employer aware that you are planning on looking after your child at the same time as working? I doubt it. If you are being paid to work at home, that is what you need to be doing. Apart from anything else, it is impossible to work with a baby (soon to be toddler) around. He may sleep a reasonable amount now but what will you do when he drops to one nap a day or stops napping altogether?

Hardandsleazy Sat 27-Nov-10 22:26:48

Agree with gangle and cat- this has happened at work as someone was doing this and got found out. What you are suggesting is unrealitistic - how will youdeal with calls for example with baby/toddler in tow?

Gangle Sat 27-Nov-10 22:30:43

You will also find it horrendously stressful to even attempt it! Just pay for a nanny/childminder! Working from home it just that, "working"!

lisalisa Sat 27-Nov-10 22:37:16

I dont' think this is bad necessarily. i am self employed and thius is what I am planning to do. I currently work about 5 - 6 hours per day and baby is due by section on monday. AFter about 2 weeks I plan to work from home but about an hour a day gradually increasing. My work is the type that I can do the "brain " work at any time of day and just reposnd to emails a few times per day if that.

When work builds up again and baby is about 5-6 months I plan to employ part time nanny so I can do work solidly all morning then be with baby and catch up again when he/she sleeps in the evening. I think it can be done

FetchezLaVache Sat 27-Nov-10 22:38:17

Agree with everyone else, it's not really realistic. You'd be surprised how little tolerance babies have for amusing themselves while Mummy works on her computer, or whatever! Working while he sleeps is fine, but as for the evenings, do you really want your working day to eat into your evening, when you're tired and probably want to catch up with your OH or wind down anyway? Please also reconsider "using" your friend- he or she is unlikely to appreciate this on a regular basis, rather than in an emergency situation.

WilfShelf Sat 27-Nov-10 22:48:28

Nooooo... Don't do it. You will fall out with your friend. You will be too tired. You will be too torn between work and baby on those occasions where it all goes pearshaped. Your baby will stop sleeping so much in the day VERY soon.

And most importantly, you will end up both neglecting your baby AND your work and feel like shit all the time.

Could you work longer days with fewer breaks to fit your workload into a shorter time?

annh Sat 27-Nov-10 22:50:41

LisaLisa, the OP has given no indication that she is self-employed, in fact she has said that she needs to work 7.5 hours per day. I thick she is an employee who will still be paid whether she is being properly productive or not when working from home rather than a self-employed person who will get paid on results.

nameymcnamechange Sat 27-Nov-10 22:53:34

What do you mean "use my friend"?

lowrib Sat 27-Nov-10 23:15:09

I tried to work from home on a freelance project while looking after DS when he was about 5mo. I soon discovered it's impossible. I got really stressed out trying to make it work, but had to accept in the end that it was simply a bad idea!

You will only be able to work when he is asleep. But then what about the other stuff (eating food, washing clothes, washing yourself, spending time with your partner). You need to be very realistic about how much time you really do have.

I would start thinking now about a back up plan in case it isn't doable.

Can you spread the 2 days over several perhaps?

Can you drop a day?

Would you consider a new job?

chandra Sat 27-Nov-10 23:24:15

It is a total nightmare. I was doing a master when DS was that age, his routine was crucial to do any work. My day was like this:

H to take care of DS from 6 am to 9 am. At 9 am I took over. Take care of him as if I was not studying from 9 - 7 (no point getting stressed out trying to study while baby was awake, it was IMPOSSIBLE), do house shores when he was asleep. H would be back from work at 5:30 and cook dinner for us (no special help, he always did, even before children). Then we would have dinner, play with baby for about one hour, and then I would start working while dad took care of the night time routine. And I would be working from 7 pm to 4-5 am.

I can tell you that it was an enormous sacrifice, I was always tired and I certainly didn't enjoy neither my baby or my studies as much as I could have. So... I would say that you should get childcare while you work at home, otherwise is madness and heavy on your baby, yourself and your partner.

bruffin Sat 27-Nov-10 23:31:44

I worked from home for 20 hours a week from when DS was 2 and DD was 6 weeks. DS was in nursery 3 days a week and DD was a brilliant easy baby, but I did a lot of work late at night and when she napped during the day.

Grumpla Sat 27-Nov-10 23:35:25

7.5 hours a day of work means you will need 7.5 hours a day when the baby is either asleep or being cared for by someone else.

I'm sure you know already how much time and attention your baby needs during the day - so your post is slightly confusing - do you currently have 7.5 hours a day of twiddling your thumbs / eating biscuits on the sofa at the moment, time that could easily be filled with work? As other posters have pointed out, you are not going to be able to do work and look after your baby at the same time.

One possibility could be swapping with a friend e.g. you have their DC and your baby for a morning, they have yours and theirs for an afternoon. But if you do this regularly I think you now have to be registered and all that gubbins.

A week away from returning to work is quite late to be thinking about the practicalities, childcare etc. Do you really want to return to work? Or have you been putting off thinking about it?

Have your employers asked you about how you are going to manage? Be wary - if they haven't bothered to find out, my first suspicion would be that they are setting you up for a fall e.g. they know you haven't got childcare in place, will be calling up in office hours to check up on you, first time they hear a baby crying in the background / you don't pick up phone, it will be a disciplinary matter, they will be collecting evidence that you are not doing your job properly to avoid a redundancy payment etc.

Obviously if you are self employed / paid per job or whatever then the situation may be different.

Orissiah Sun 28-Nov-10 17:43:27

Oooo, your baby will not always nap so long in the day. Mine reduced her naps radically and seemingly overnight when she turned 12 months and again at 18 months; by 2 years old her naps had disappeared altogether. I work from home but use daycare.

GrendelsMum Sun 28-Nov-10 18:18:41

FWIW, a friend who works from home with a nanny told me that her son found it quite difficult / upsetting that she was in the house but not 'available', and so did she (self-employed, but needing to work pretty much 9-6 on weekdays). They had to work out ways to sort that out, but I'm afraid I can't remember what they were.

BadPoet Sun 28-Nov-10 18:22:42

Totally agree with everyone else I'm afraid, I've worked and studied from home since my first child was 1 (now nearly 8) and at no point have I ever managed to do it without childcare.

DilysPrice Sun 28-Nov-10 18:33:33

I actually found having someone in the house looking after DS while I worked really good - I didn't fret, and it really motivated me to keep my nose to the grindstone.
Expensive though, even if you find a nanny with her own child.
I agree with everyone else that working properly with a baby in the house is not possible in the long term. Temporarily you might muddle through by spreading two days work over 5 days worth of naps and evenings (as long as you don't need to be contactable) but DS will cut down on naps and then you'll need a proper Plan.

wingandprayer Sun 28-Nov-10 18:48:50

Sorry to add to all the negative responses but I am self employed and tried to work at home with a baby and it is very hard work indeed for all the reasons stated. Yes, it can be done, but not for any extended period of time unless you like being exhausted

I hope you can find a more workable suggestion - I used a nursery for first child then a childminder for second. CM has been particularly brilliant as they more flexible. Your family services department at local
Council should have a list of all the registered ones in your area.

violethill Sun 28-Nov-10 18:52:54

If your child is 11 months old, and you are returning to work in one week's time, working half at the office and half at home, then presumably you have organised proper childcare for the days you're in the office?

How on earth did it pass you by that you would also need childcare for the other days you work?

Something about your post doesn't add up. Surely you can't have got yourself organised enough to book a nursery/cm for your office days but totally failed to organise your home working days? confused

choufleur Sun 28-Nov-10 18:55:29

You need to sort childcare out. It's just not possible to work 7.5 hours a day and look after a child. Unless you are going to work for long periods in the evening when your DP (if you have one and they are they to look after DC) can free you up. And as your DC gets older they will sleep less.

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