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Working at home/6 month baby

(20 Posts)
Greatgoing Mon 14-Sep-09 20:26:54

I am going to start working from home very soon, when my baby will be sixth months old. I will be doing a scaled down version of my previous job, which I have been away from for over a year.

It will involve a lot of time on the phone, and on the computer, but no traelling or meetings, so really will be at home.

I am really trying not to worry too much about it but I can't help thinking it won't work out; will I just feel guilty and horrible if I am not playing with my baby and end up doing neither role, work or mothering, properly?

On the plus side, she sleeps a lot, well and happily during the day. If anyone has any tips or similar experience (especially also combining the shed loads of housework I seem to have...) I would be grateful.

GirlsAreLOud Mon 14-Sep-09 20:29:24

Are you saying you want to look after your baby while you work?

No chance I'm afraid.

I work from home and DD is with c/m or DH for the full hours.

PartOfTheHumphreysGroup Mon 14-Sep-09 20:32:47

I really don't think you can work from home while looking after a baby. I wfh 2 days a week but dd is in nursery those days - it is useful as I lose the commute time so she doesn't have a long day.
Couldn't imagine being on phone supposedly working with her here - what would you do if they are crying? Hang up or ignore? Sounds too stressful to me..

allaboutme Mon 14-Sep-09 20:32:49

Will you be working for yourself or for an employer?
If an employer, do they know you will have no childcare?
It will be VERY hard to work, even on a scaled down level, with no childcare and thats before you even start thinking about housework etc. In fact I dont think it can be possible to do it successfully.
You will not be able to make or accept phone calls unless you put baby in a playpen in another room alone or you will sound unprofessional.
You will have at most 4 months of working like this before your baby starts being more demanding of attention, crawling, sleeping less in the day.
At best you will get a couple of hours work doen in the day while baby sleeps, then more in the evening (if able to work outside office hours) but you will have to stint on housework and any time spent with your partner.

You really need a childminder for a couple of days a week and get all your work done in those days, then catch up with playing with your DD and the housework on the other days I'm afraid.

FiveGoMadInDorset Mon 14-Sep-09 20:34:20

I work from home, both DC's are in nursery 8-1. DD went when she was 1 and DS when he was 6 months.

fiercebadrabbit Mon 14-Sep-09 20:50:39

I've worked from home since dd1 was three months old, she's four now and dd2 is 2.3. I could get a little bit done around dd1 when she was six months to one, a tiny amount from one to two and NONE when dd2 cane along. This remains the same now dd1 is at school as older children are sadly, more, demanding than babies and simply will not play angelically at your feet while you type an important document/talk to a client/whatever it is you do.

For that reason I've always employed a nanny first three and now four day a week.

You are right to feel guilty that neither will get full attention. You'll resent your dd if she doesn't sleep for whatever reason and you will not enjoy her crawling round your feet, wrecking your work space, crying during calls, pouring juice on your keyboard.

I miss the adult interaction I'd get if I worked in an office and sometimes feel I have the worst of both worlds - not a proper mum and not a proper member of the workforce. OTOH I do see a lot of my dds as they pop in and out throughout the day, have no commute and now dd1 is at school I am readily available to pick her up, attend school events etc which means a lot to both of us.

I would look for a childminder/nursery/nanny and try to scale your job down to two or three days a week, so you can have some full days of work and some with your dd. Good luck smile

falteringfallback Mon 14-Sep-09 21:04:15

My daughter always cries whenever I pick up the phone. As soon as she sees me do it! I can only work in the evening when I have put her down. And so our flat is a total mess.

Bear in mind your daughter is going to sleep less not more in the day.

Sorry, we aren't really encouraging you here, are we?

Greatgoing Tue 15-Sep-09 09:56:47

No, that is all really useful and what I suspected. I forgot to add that it would be part time, though I don't know if it will make much difference day to day. I have got help in two grandmothers, but we live in a very small flat (they come here to visit a day a week). My husband thinks that this is the answer- have the grannies round on work days, but to be honest, the baby, and a granny and me trying to work all in pretty much one room sounds even worse than just me and the him.

Note I said him? To add to my madness and confusion I actually said 'she' rather than 'he' in my first post.

Hummpphh. It is not going to work, is it. I am supposed to start back in October. Beginning to feel a bit sick.

lynniep Tue 15-Sep-09 10:02:30

I just wanted to add (sorry) it wouldnt work for me either. At 6 months (actually at any age) DS was far to demanding to be able to work with him in the house. There was just no way. I went back to work when he was just over a year (from home) and he went into nursery. I do part time and its nice to be able to spend half the 'working' week with him.

Is it worth it? Well yes. His nursery fees eat up about half of what I earn, but I appreciate the peace when I'm working, and the money I do get goes towards our bills and is absolutely necessary.

Greatgoing Tue 15-Sep-09 10:27:21

I really don't know what to do now. I am meeting up with my employers in the next couple of weeks to discuss hours etc. Maybe I should just say no and apologise for being clueless. I was so flattered to be asked back (long story), and I think I ran away with myself. I don't know why I thought it would be ok....

Oh no.

wingandprayer Tue 15-Sep-09 10:39:44

Can you not take your baby to your mums/MILs for the day instead of them coming to you?

preggersplayspop Tue 15-Sep-09 10:42:55

Don't panic! Have you looked into other childcare arrangements? Can you drop baby off with the grandparents or look at a childminder?

I agree with other posters it won't be possible to work and have baby at home during the day. Perhaps if you lived in a large house where you could put the grandparents and baby in another 'wing'! In a small flat, its just not going to be practical though. I have done calls at home on my day off with DS watching telly quietly for a bit thencoming and hanging off me screaming. Not good. You need time to focus on work, then separate time to focus on your child. You can't do both at the same time properly IMO.

MissisBoot Tue 15-Sep-09 10:43:15

You definitely need to find childcare - don't dismiss it though - you can do it if you want too. Don't say no if you really want to do it - which it sounds like you really do.

annh Tue 15-Sep-09 17:19:03

If you are an employee, I don't think your employers will even agree to you working and being paid while simultaneously trying to look after a baby. What about childcare? I'm not sure if I missed a bit where you said you didn't want to do that but have you considered a childminder or nursery?

Greatgoing Tue 15-Sep-09 19:10:11

Unfortunately, neither granny lives massively close by, so though it works for them to come to me in the morning, have the day then travel back at the end of it, it would eat too far into my day to do a drop-off.

It seems daft to me now after seeing all these replies, but yes, my emloyers will happily try the arrangement without childcare! None of them have children so in truth really don't have any idea.

I will clearly have to reconsider. Thetruth is, I am not ready for him to go 'out' to a childminder or nursery, so it looks like the plan in untenable.

I feel pretty foolish really, and feel it is the latest in a long line of stupid decisions.

Ineedabreak Tue 15-Sep-09 19:28:40

I don't think it is necessarily a stupid decision - I do some work at home with the kids around. I think you maybe need to think about how you structure you time. Can you do some work in the evening / weekends while you baby is in bed or you DP is home? Phone calls are difficult if you are likely to be interupted. Can Grannies take your DS out for walk / park / library etc to give you sometime for calls? What sort of work do you do? How much would it matter if your DS did interupt calls? Can some of contacts be done by e mail? Do you need to be available to take calls all day or can you choose when you call people? Why don't you try a trial run - give yourself some 'work' to do and see how it goes - you may find it ok or you may decide to leave it until your DS is older.
good luck.

fiercebadrabbit Tue 15-Sep-09 20:50:26

Aha, if none of your employers have children they will indeed be blissfully ignorant. To make this work, whoever is in charge would have to take your ds out a lot, esp if you are in a flat. Is a nanny a possibility. It might be easier than with a granny as you can tell them 'off to playgroup' even if it's pissing with rain. But cost may well be an issue.

otoh a lot of women swallow the cost of a nanny for a couple of years as a sort of retainer for keeping their hand in workwise.

It really depends if you want to work again now or in the nearish future, your tone implies you'd rather be with your ds but I may be wrong.

gio71 Wed 16-Sep-09 07:22:30

Greatgoing don't write it off. I have been working at home with ds since he was 6 months old. He is now nearly 3 and just starting pre-school this week. My job is like yours, a scaled down part time version of my old one. It involves a lot of time on the phone. When he was very young I made all my calls during nap time. When he was 1 and a half I started having a childminder take him out for a walk for a few hours in the morning 2 or 3 times a week to give me some time to use the phone along with the time I got when he napped in the afternoon. I then did the more administrative part of the job around those hours and in the evenings. There were times when I had to apologise to clients for the background noise, times when I had to ignore the phone and let it go to answer machine. I usually just say to clients I have childcare issues that day and so was working from home. I work in a very competitive, sales industry and although it isn't the ideal front to present I have never encountered any issues from clients with my arrangements. So it can be done. On the plus side I have absolutely loved having this time at home with ds. I used to work very long hours in a city environment and was very ready to have this complete change. It has been great having flexibility with him, to already be at home if he is poorly etc. On the negative side every hour is a potential work hour, I have had to cram in my work whenever I could which has often meant working late in the evening. I have also kept him to napping in the afternoon as it gave me essential work time which has meant he has a late bedtime and so time to myself or with dp has been limited. He has started pre-school this week in the mornings so I will now have 5 mornings a week to dedicate purely to work which should mean an end to evening work most of the time. Sorry for the long post, I just want you to see that it is possible to do this if it's what you really want to do. All the best.

Greatgoing Wed 16-Sep-09 10:23:08

Thanks very much indeed for all the advice, from both sides. Ineedabreak and gio stepped in just as I was losing heart!

DH came home to find me red faced and blustering as soon as he walked through the door. The poor man didn't get a word in before I started chuntering on about having to (again) change the plans. I segued into tears. Dear God.

After a long chat I have a plan. I am going to work three full mornings a week. This is when DS sleeps (although I know this will change). I will have to do as Gio suggests-calls while he is asleep. The grandmothers can also help bytaking him for a stroll. I will have to be flexible and work in the evenings if I get behind.

It sounds like I am trying to shoehorn a bad decision into a good one, but I am going to treat it as a one month trial. If it isn't working for all parties, I will have to rethink.

Thanks again for all your advice. I really needed to hear both sides. I don't think it will necessarily work, but I will let you know!

gio71 Wed 16-Sep-09 10:50:21

Good luck with it, am glad you are going to give it a go. In some ways I have never been more disciplined in my life than I have since working at home. No time for faffing- sleep time and I am on the phone immediately, cramming every call in. My decision to work this way was helped by circumstances- I live abroad, my work options in other field were limited, no family around to help out but I can honestly say no regrets at all. Will be interested to hear how it goes anyway.

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