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Working from home with a toddler

(55 Posts)
brette Mon 14-Feb-05 11:44:46

Hi,
I intend to resume work in two months when my boy is 7 m. I will work from home, glued to my PC screen.
Do you think it is possible to do so with a calm baby in the background and therefore avoid all problems of childcare or is it completely unrealistic and should I get a grip and arrange something now, childcare-wise?

suzywong Mon 14-Feb-05 11:46:09

I think you may have answered your own question there brette.

alicatsg Mon 14-Feb-05 11:47:45

Put it this way - I work from home one day a week and dh is a SAHD. I get almost nothing done that day unless I am horribly rigid about shutting myself away and only coming out for "allowed" breaks. Yes, you need childcare.

Twiglett Mon 14-Feb-05 11:49:41

you might be able to do it for a month but your baby will be getting more active and less compliant

in your own words I think you're going to have to 'get a grip and arrange something childcare-wise'

californiagirl Tue 15-Feb-05 01:04:53

I worked with my baby around until about 8 m. The last month or so were, um, way too interesting? It gets harder as they get older.

bobbybob Tue 15-Feb-05 01:56:38

I have worked from home at various times and I have only been able to do it during nap times and in the evenings. If your work is not this flexible or you need to do more hours than this then yes you need some childcare.

Branster Tue 15-Feb-05 02:01:33

unless you work during evenings. you'd have to be very, very, very disciplined and make sure ds goes to bed at 7PM exactly, get DH to make tea, washing up etc so you can work uninterrupted from 7 to 11PM or so (with a 20min break for dinner). so you would in fcat be working 4h/day. if at the week-ends DH is willing to take DS off your hands for a few hours, you can spend that time working. Trying to work with a toddler or baby in the background is not very efficient, besides you also (presumably) have to do some housework/cooking etc. My timetable also depends on how much sleep you need (realistically) and to try and keep working hours to a minimum. Looking after such a young child is tiring. Otherwise you could try and arrange childcare for a full day or two half days at a nursery but you have to work out if it's worths it financially.
Top tip: unplug the internet phone line whilst working otherwise you'll end up like me on MN at 2AM!

ghosty Tue 15-Feb-05 02:52:51

I am lucky because I can work the hours I want to when I want to as I run my own business .... If I had deadlines to meet and set hours to do and a boss to report to I just couldn't do it around DD.
Up until she was about 8 or 9 months I could do half an hour or so at a time with her sitting at my feet playing but since she began to move around I can't work with her around and to be honest it wouldn't be fair on her ... she wants to play and she needs to play.
So I work when she is asleep and when DH comes home from work.

hoxtonchick Tue 15-Feb-05 03:20:38

i worked full time but 2 days a week from home from when ds was 6.5 months. managed 2 months & then dropped down to 3 days a week, all in the office. i did very little work when i was at home as i felt guilty about 'abandonning' ds, so i played with him, or took him out, & subsequently felt guilty about not working (not as guilty, i really hated the job & had the boss from hell). so i suspect you will need childcare. what kind of work are you intending to do?

brette Thu 17-Feb-05 10:24:09

I am working as a freelance translator so I have very flexible hours. But I still have to work on average 5 hours a day. When I have some work coming in. And I'm not sure I can find someone flexible enough to take care of baby only when necessary. If I have to leave him with CM even when I don't have any work, I'm not sure this is going to be viable financially.

Tommy Thu 17-Feb-05 10:49:35

You may be lucky and find a flexible CM who might charge a bit more per hour but will take them as and when you need them - my friend has this arrangement - she and her DH work shifts so sometimes he takes care of the children when she's at work and other times the CM has them.

motherinferior Thu 17-Feb-05 10:51:38

nononononononononono!!!!!!!!!

I work from home, glued to my computer screen. I can only do this because the Inferiorettes are elsewhere. Please please please don't even consider it.

Gobbledigook Thu 17-Feb-05 11:04:29

I do it brette.

I went freelance when ds1 was 6 months old and have remained freelance, working from home since and I've now got 3 ds's aged 4, 2 and 5 months!

When ds1 was little it was easy as he was a very contented baby so I worked while he played next to me, when he napped and also in the evenings.

I've had to adjust as each babe came along so have worked more on evenings and weekends which is not ideal but means I've really had no great childcare costs and have been fortunate enough to look after all 3 of them myself (very important to me personally) and 'keep my hand in' and earn money.

Now ds1 is in pre-school 4 mornings a week, ds2 goes 2 mornings a week so those mornings I can pretty much work while ds3 sleeps.

It is certainly not easy - it's exhausting but whether you do it will all depend on your priorities I guess.

I couldn't face daycare for my kids and wanted to look after them myself - that was my number one priority and I've worked round it and made sacrifices elsewhere to be able to do it.

Don't forget, although it's a way off yet, once your kids are at school it's the most ideal position to be in - you can do drop off and pick up (again, I hate the idea of after school clubs for them), after school activities etc and work/sort out house/shop during the day!

Good luck!

Gobbledigook Thu 17-Feb-05 11:09:52

Yes, it does depend on your deadlines and how your work has to fit in too as someone else said.

I get projects that run for a few weeks so I have a deadline to meet but can usually be flexible in how I meet that doing more work on some days than others.

Also, dh often uses up his annual leave - taking a day off here and there so I can work if I have a tight deadline - again, not ideal but balancing up the pros and cons it works for us.

I know lots of people who do freelance translating who do exactly what I do so I imagine you could do it if it's what you want to do.

brette Thu 17-Feb-05 20:18:01

Well, different opinions here...
My deadlines are very tight as I translate movies so it is only a few days each time. I think I am going to give it a try with no CM to start with, since DH has quite flexible office hours so between us two we might be able to juggle efficiently (and never see each other (or depending on the day . And if everything goes wrong it will always be time to reassess the situation.
I dread to leave DS to a CM. It breaks my heart to think that somebody else will spend more time than I do with him. Mind you, I'll probably be happy to see him go to school. But for now, it is too early for me. I never thought I'd be like that. Funny how you can't predict what kind of mother you will be.

brette Thu 17-Feb-05 20:19:39

Gobbledigook, what were your DS doing while you were working and they were not sleeping?

PhDMumof1 Thu 17-Feb-05 20:19:47

brette how did you get in to that sounds really interesting

Caligula Thu 17-Feb-05 20:28:19

PHD, have you thought of having in-home childcare? So that your children are actually still at home while being looked after, rather than at someone else's home or in a nursery?

When my kids were younger I had au-pairs, and that worked really well for me, as although they are young and inexperienced and not qualified, as I was upstairs in the office, I knew I didn't have to worry about it, as they could always come and ask me if any help were needed. (Not that any ever was with the first two, they were both remarkably mature and competent.)

But I found it worked really well - when I had my break, I could play with my kids! I was also unhappy about the idea of the kids going to nursery or a childminder when they were so young, but I couldn't afford a nanny, so an au-pair was perfect.

Caligula Thu 17-Feb-05 20:28:43

Sorry, I meant Brette, not PHD!

JoolsToo Thu 17-Feb-05 20:34:10

brette - GDG will probably come back but if older ds's are around she doesn't work - she will work in the evening/weekend when dh is home.

PhDMumof1 Thu 17-Feb-05 20:35:55

Caligula - this is exactly what I ended up doing.
Brette - I didn't want to take you thru the whole ghastliness of my childcare decisions as I have done that elsewhere - at home childcare is the best: flexible and if you are around you can always keep an eye on what is going on.

Caribbeanqueen Thu 17-Feb-05 20:43:06

Hi brette, I'm also a freelance translator and fit in work around dd. I don't want to go down the childcare route and at the moment I'm not that busy so it's not too bad! I'm hoping to get busier though!

I work while dd naps, in the evening and at weekends, but it's tiring and requires discipline. Dp works from home a couple of days a week so then I can start as soon as dd is in bed, but he's abroad a lot too, and then it's quite hard.

Which languages do you translate?

Gobbledigook Thu 17-Feb-05 20:50:24

Caribbeanqueen - sounds very similar to me but I am quite busy!!

Brette, as JT said, if older 2 ds's are around there is no way I can work and it's sometimes a bit of a nightmare if I get a work call as I have to walk from room to room trying to avoid them (they always follow suddenly desperately wanting something that can't wait ). So it's literally when ds3 sleeps and others are at nursery in the morning otherwise in evenings, weekends and if desperate dh will take time off.

I'm not going to lie - it's exhausting but so is any way you choose to work and have children - this was the best option for me and it works well even if I am permanently shattered!

Actually, I've just finished a load of work and the last few weeks I've been far too overwhelmed with it really but now I've got a break for a couple of weeks before the next job comes in and I've had time with the boys (good cos they are on half term this week) and been able to catch up sorting the house out etc.

Give it a try and see how it works for you

Caribbeanqueen Thu 17-Feb-05 20:51:53

Are you a translator gobbledigook?

Gobbledigook Thu 17-Feb-05 20:54:59

No, I'm not a translator. I do analysis for pharmaceutical market research and then often pull together presentations and client reports.

The company I work for uses translators though to listen to taped interviews and provide a verbatim of it. I think other market research companies do the same if you are interested.

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