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How do I get stuff done at work w/ a 3yo?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Help me!  My 3 yo is a handful (that is putting it nicely).  She comes with me to work, and lately she has been just a nightmare.  I spend the entire time taking her to the bathroom and getting her snacks that I don't get anything done.  I leave frustrated and angry.  I would like to work from 8:30 til 12, or so.  I don't expect her to stay at my office for 9 hours, or anything like that.

 

She usually watches a movie in the morning (but she won't sit through it anymore), then we have art stuff or books and snacks.  We have tried to bring toys from home, but she doesn't touch them.  She doesn't really ever play with toys.  She only wants to do what I am doing.  At home, she cooks with me, washes dishes, gardens, etc.  But at work, I need two hands to type emails and my whole darn brain to think.  I can't have her do it with me.

 

Most of the snacks she can get herself, but won't.  My dh is there too, but she freaks out when he tries to help her.  He is super involved, so it's not that they need more time together.  She is just having a hard time becoming her own little person, I think.

 

Ideas? 

post #2 of 11

I wish I could be helpful, but I can only offer sympathy. I work at home, and I absolutely cannot get anything done if I'm on my own with my 3rd year old. He will sometimes be somewhat independent if I'm doing other stuff around the house, but the second I am in front of the computer or on the phone, he needs me. I'm also finding that he needs an incredible amount of interaction, stimulus and structure at this age. I didn't think preschool would be a big deal one way or the other, but he did a couple of months of it this spring and LOVED it. Is something like that a possibility for you? Good luck.

post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by june'smom View Post

 

Ideas? 


Is preschool or daycare an option?

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

She will be going to daycare three days a week this summer, starting next week.  It is just so hard to not work when I have so much to do.  And when the summer is over, we will be right back here, needing help, since our daycare person teaches.  We can't afford regular, full time daycare center prices. 

 

I keep hearing about people who work at home or take their kids, but I don't understand how!

post #5 of 11

Hmm, that's rough. I never found a way to work really well with DS around, but I finished my dissertation when he was 3, and although we did have daycare, that still occasionally involved me needing to think and work while he was around. A few things that he would do for 10 minutes or longer on his own at that age:

 

- giving him his own keyboard (that way, when I was typing, so was he -- good for about 10 minutes)

- Duplo or Lego (again, at that age, maybe 10 minutes)

- cutting paper (best 3 year old activity we had -- a pair of child-safe scissors and some scrap paper, and we were good to go for at least 15 minutes, usually longer)

- painting on a buddha board

- watching videos of himself (other videos were hit or miss, but videos of himself were always fascinating -- still the case, actually)

 

Good luck! That's a tough situation.

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by june'smom View Post

She will be going to daycare three days a week this summer, starting next week.  It is just so hard to not work when I have so much to do.  And when the summer is over, we will be right back here, needing help, since our daycare person teaches.  We can't afford regular, full time daycare center prices. 

 

I keep hearing about people who work at home or take their kids, but I don't understand how!


I really think it's an age thing. With younger kids you can (theoretically) work while they nap. Older kids can entertain themselves for a little longer. 3 seems like a hard age for this situation. Any chance you could find a mother's helper to come play with her at your work? Could be fun for her and cheaper than daycare, since you are still present to assume overall responsibility. I know the logistics of finding someone can be hard, but it could be great if it worked out.

 

Or another thought--any chance you and your husband could flex your schedules? This is what my husband and I do, and while it makes for long days when one of you is always at work, it works well otherwise.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

We used to do flex schedules, but it just got to be too much.  I ended up not working that much, so I was constantly stressed about all the stuff I HAD to get done, but couldn't.  Dh felt badly that I wasn't getting my stuff done, but his end of the business is the manufacturing of the products, so he just has to work to make money.  I really don't want to go back to us splitting shifts 16 hour a day.  Sometimes we split an 8 hour day, but then neither of us gets enough done. 

 

I know it is an age thing.  I remember going through this with my older two, but I was in school and much more flexible.  We have tried the paper cutting, a wide variety of movies, painting, playdoh.  She really likes to play the drums while we are there, but I have to supervise that one. lol.

 

 

post #8 of 11

So...you're about to hire a care provider for your 3 year old, and at the last minute she says "by the way, I also have a job I'll be doing at the same time."

 

You wouldn't pay right? It's different with our own kids, of course but I'm really concerned that your expectation for both you and her is that she'll be able to give you the space - mental, physical, emotional - that you need to work. It kind of sounds like burnout territory. I know choice is a luxury but I second the idea of a mother's helper, or pooling resources with another family - maybe one where the parents work weekends or a nanny share or something?

post #9 of 11

I agree with the PPs - having been around this forum, we really don't see too many (like none) mamas working an office job with a three year old in tow. I know it seems like everyone knows someone or they hear about it, but where the rubber meets the road - it's just not there. Honestly, I don't know how you made it this long. I CANNOT get on the computer at home at all with my 15 month old!

 

What are some other options for you?

 

Pre-school

mother's helper

child-care pooling

flexible scheduling

more weekend work?

 

post #10 of 11

 I don't want to be a downer, but I have to agree with the PPs who said that what you're trying to do is just not gonna' work. Three is a terrible age for entertaining themselves and it sounds like you're not getting any work done and just getting stressed. I wonder how long your employer would want to let this situation continue. I think you're more or less gonna' have to find a way to afford some sort of care for the hours you need to work -- babysitting exchange, going back to splitting shits *temporarily* , etc.

 

Good luck.

post #11 of 11

Do you have any mom friends you could barter with for childcare? Or who you could pay for a day or two a week?

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