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How bout a 'taking babies/toddlers to work tribe?'

post #1 of 103
Thread Starter 
(I'm not sure if this should go here or in working parents)

I'm in a position where I work full time and then some (although I do some work from out of the house, much of it is in the office). I'm lucky in that I can bring ds with me to the office, so I don't have to use daycare at all. (our only good childcare option where we live is only for kids 2 and older anyway)

I've seen from other posts that there are other people here who do the same, (Mothering even had an article, and a beautiful web presentation on babies at work) and I'd like to form a tribe to talk about some of the unique things that arise, things that help, etc.
post #2 of 103
Thread Starter 
Another thought, probably a lot of WAHM deal with the same kind of things, i.e. how to keep your dc happy when you are working, etc.
I've experimented with slings, looking for something that ds is happy with when I'm at the desk (I do a lot of work on a computer), but that only works if he's asleep, otherwise, if he's in the sling or the Ergo, he's only happy when I'm moving around.
post #3 of 103
Only have a minute (packing up to take my crew to work) but wanted to say hi.

I own a chilldren's resale shop so our work environment is kid friendly to say the least. My moms know that when push comes to shove everything stops when my kids need my attention, which is especially difficult now that my daughter is pretty much potty trained at home but needs extra guidance while at the store. Fortunately my children are pretty low maintenance as far as a 2 and 5 month old go. Their personalities also seem well suited to dealing in retail so that's another plus

Look forward to hearing about your situation and the rewards and challenges it brings

post #4 of 103

I'm planning on taking #2 to work with me at least for the first 10 months or so. I'll need to hire sitters to come to my office during teaching hours. I'm interested to hear how people do it. My current concern is how my coworkers (all men) will react.
post #5 of 103
Thread Starter 
I do most of my work in my office, so here's a few things that have worked so far:

1. I keep a file cabinet drawer (will need to expand to 2 I think) for diapers, a change of clothes (for both of us), washclothes, wipes, etc. I CD at home, but it's not really feasable at work, so I use sposies (usually 7th gen). To keep the office fresh, I got a stash of ziplock bags from a lab down the hall that ordered too many. I put the dirty dipes in there, and then either dump them in the dumpster and save the bag, or bring them home at the end of the week, and dispose of them there. That way the cleaning staff doesn't have to deal with a trash can full of dipers.

2. I organized my office so that there is a big section of unfurnished space. Part of that space I use for a changing area, and the rest is space for ds to play.

3. I have a swing chair and an exercaucer that just live in the office. I probably wouldn't have even gotten these kinds of things if I was at home, but they really are a big help here (especially the swing, it's where ds naps).

4. Most of the people at work know that ds is in the office with me. I keep my office door closed but not locked, and people just knock if they want to come in. I work in a very multi-cultural environment (a large percentage of my coworkers are men from Islamic countries or China), and not everyone who works here is ready to walk down the hall and see me sitting at my desk breastfeeding.

5. I have two coworkers that I spend most of my time working with. I've set up an IM program with them, and we use it to take care of a lot of things that I used to run down the hall to talk to them about. I've also set it up so that they can tell if I'm in the office or working from home.

6. I don't have a need for a baby monitor at home, but I got one as a gift, so I brought it to the office. I use it so that I can run down the hall (mostly to use the bathroom) when ds is asleep and keep an 'ear' on him.

7. I keep my jogger in the office and we go out for a run every day that I'm here for the full 8 or so hours. Ds really likes going in the stroller and it's a nice break. I also keep my carrier with me (either a sling or an Ergo) and if it's nice, we try to find some excuse to go for a walk. At lunch we all go outside if the weather is good, and ds sometimes goes to a little playground.

I'm lucky with dh in the same building, he can take over for me when I need to go to a meeting or something like that. He does lab work (he, however, squeezes water into rocks and then back out again )so he can't watch him all day, but he is a great backup.

One issue I'm dealing with right now is that ds is teething (has been kind of grumpy and loud all week) He doesn't cry much, but sometimes he makes this screeching sound when his teeth are bothering him. Of course, being his mom, I think it is the loudest, most troubling sound on earth, and I just imagine my coworkers running out of the building with their hands over their ears! Usually, a change in activity and some hylands tabs helps him feel better (i.e. if he's in my lap, I'll put him down on a blanket for some floor time, and vice versa) and if he gets really upset, I'll grab the sling and we'll go outside for a bit.

I probably get in about 5-6 hours of actual work during an 8 hour day, but I try to put in more time every evening after he goes to bed, and a few hours on the weekends. I also try to be a bit more efficient (and on that note, ought to get back to work )
post #6 of 103
Thanks for the list of tips!! Those are fantastic. Especially #6... I was wondering how I'd pee.... I've done it with the sling a few times, but generally only under duress.

Back to :
post #7 of 103

I'm very interested in this topic and I think it could work for me but my lab (only computers) is in a building with biochemistry labs and although there are never real emergencies or real danger outside of the labs, there are always low levels of solvents, etc. in the air, not so good for baby! Maybe in a another building on campus, but then I might as well stay home...

I was wondering, how many hours, days a week do you do this? How does it work for your pay? Do you have free time with baby too for chores, errands, walks???

Sounds great!
post #8 of 103
Will post more later but - what a great idea! I bring my daughter to work fairly regularly and did so with my son as well.

I'm a human resources director in a large non-profit and my bringing my kids to work has paved the way for others....

gotta run to a meeting!
post #9 of 103
also watching for ideas. with dd it was totally impossible. I was going to work from home, but she was just a "fussy" baby and the work that I was doing required two hands for typing, etc. I'm planning on taking #2 to work with me at least for 4 months among other reasos: so I can get my milk supply off to a good start (and because I no longer have a dishwasher, meaning we'd have to boil bottles and pump parts. ick).

Originally Posted by Geofizz
I'm interested to hear how people do it. My current concern is how my coworkers (all men) will react.
I suspect many will be skeptical that you will be able to get your work done, but you'll show them that it works just fine. I also suspect that with time it will be a good thing for the department in that they will likely stop by in a grandfatherly way to say hello.

I think you should begin scoping out good graduate students for sitters -- they are there all day anyhow and would proabbly welcome making extra bucks and extending the work day by and hour and a half or so.
post #10 of 103
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by firstwomantomars

I was wondering, how many hours, days a week do you do this? How does it work for your pay? Do you have free time with baby too for chores, errands, walks???

Sounds great!
Love the user name!

These days, my office schedule is pretty much 8:30-5 on M,W and F, and 9-12 on T-Th, although I'll stay in the afternoon if anyone needs me to. While I'm in the office, we take breaks and go for walks around campus or just play on the floor. We live pretty far from where we work, so we do errands in town before we come home, or if we have to do a lot of grocery shopping, we save it for the weekend. I try to spend most of T -Th afternoon playing with ds (he also likes to help me fold laundry and loves to go out and care for the garden so I get a lot of stuff done around the house) When he naps in the evening, I get in a couple more hours of work.

I'm salaried these days, so hours aren't a huge issue. When ds was first born, though, I was hourly, but I was able to record all hours that I worked, not just the ones at the office, so it still worked out OK. It's not uncommon around here for people who aren't in the labs to work from home, especially if they have deadlines coming up and want to hide out.

I think looking for a student to do a bit of in office sitting is a good idea! I may do that myself, when I need to attend a talk or meeting when dh isn't around.
post #11 of 103
Ok, taking a little break from a busy day and thought I'd pop on here. As I mentioned before I'm in human resources for a large non-profit and i bring my kids to work fairly regularly.

My son came with me 1 -2 days a week as a baby until he was about 8m and started crawling. He figured out how to climb up a chair and open my door to escape very early on :LOL

My daughter comes whenever dad and ds need a boys day or just whenever I think the office needs (or I need) some Bella time Kids in the office can have a way of lightening the mood and making ppl feel good in general.

Both my kids have been very content babies. They are fine whether in a sling, back carrier or hanging out on the floor playing. On occassion I've asked co-workers to watch them for very brief periods of time but I make sure not to make a habit out of it. They have typically accompanied me to meetings and I avoid bringing them on days when I have long meetings scheduled.

That's my deal...now for others in the office.

We have no formal written policy about kids in the office.
We've had several moms and dads who have either brought their kids in daily or occassionally and the same basic guidelines sit for all kids, regardless of age. You are welcome to bring your kids in as long as it does not hamper your overall productivity. In otherwords we look at the whole picture and not isolated incidents/days if there is an issue. I personally find that I get more done on days when my babies are with me - probably because I'm out to prove a point (although it's already been proven a dozen times over).

There have been two occassions when we've asked parents to find other arrangements. Beyond that, we've had great success.
For the most part, supervisors are happy with kids here as well. I did have one supervisor tell a mom she couldn't nurse in her cube and blamed HR for the directive. :LOL as if I would suggest something like that?!?!? When dd is with me she spends half her time nursing whether we are alone or in a room full of colleagues.
post #12 of 103
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!

We just had a good week at work last week, and things are looking pretty good this week as well. Ds just went through a 'teething phase' and now has 2 teeth and doesn't seem to be uncomfortable anymore. He's really getting into floor play, so i've been babyproofing the office and letting him just hand out on the floor. He can cover a lot of ground moving backwards and rolling, just not going forward.

One of my big concerns is that he is bothering the folks in the nearby offices, but last Fri., the person in the office next door to me stopped me in the hall. I was expecting him to say something about the noise (ds is working on finding his voice, and loves to make a lot of sounds, some soft and babbling, some loud and screechy!). He told me that he could hear ds, and he though he sounded lovely! That made me feel so happy, I think having ds here is brightening people's day! Right now he is sleeping in the sling as we sit at the desk.

Back to work!
post #13 of 103
I only have a sec b/c i have to go to work, but i love this idea! I am desprate to have a group of mom's who understands what this is like.
post #14 of 103
I've decided that I really can't bring Leigh to work with me for now, because there is a very slight risk of her breathing in chemicals, since I work in a building with biochemical labs .

But it's hard for me to work from home because I keep being distracted by the mess !

I am supposed to return to my lab in september but I would like to continue to work from home at least parttime. My lab director is very conventional and I need to demonstrate that I can work well from home, because I'm worried he won't want to count my hours from home.

The only way I can do this for now would be to work from home but to "pretend" I'm at work (we have a separate room for our "office" and I could theoretically do all my research from home, via the internet): set work hours, maybe change Leigh in the office room, no cleaning, organizing the apartment during those hours.

That's why I like this thread. I could use the tips I find here even if I work from home for now. The I'll see how efficient I can be while working with Leigh, in case I have an opportunity later on to bring her on campus to work with me (maybe in a different building)...

Thanks for the info on the hours and days you work with baby! That sounds impressive to me!

Have any of you worked from home too?

Have a nice week!
post #15 of 103
Originally Posted by firstwomantomars
The only way I can do this for now would be to work from home but to "pretend" I'm at work (we have a separate room for our "office" and I could theoretically do all my research from home, via the internet): set work hours, maybe change Leigh in the office room, no cleaning, organizing the apartment during those hours.

I was just thinking about this this morning. My dh works from home and I get frustrated because he's home and doesn't get anything (house related) done. This morning I finally realized it's because he doesn't do any house chores while he's working that he manages to effectively work from home. I on the other hand tend to put in a load of laundry, sweep the floor, etc.
post #16 of 103
I do a combo of working from home and working form the office. I've done it with both my boys (4 yo and 1yo). My 4 yo is attending a Waldorf inspired preschool this year full time but he is always welcome to come whenever needed (vacations, illness etc.). I brought him with me since he was 1 mo old. He has developed into such a social bug from being around everyone....and he has also gained many aunties and grandmas. My 1 yo has come since 1 mo as well. He is a bit more of a mamma's boy but has still begun to make some very sweet relationships with coworkers.

I am a social worker. I used to run a program and work with the children prior to Ds #1's birth...after him though I began working with the billing aspect of the agency so that I could work from home. I work 4 days a week for 3 hrs each day in the afternoon so that Dh can take the kid(s) after he is done with his work. We were just able to begin doing this with Ds#2 as he really wanted just to be with mamma, not even dad. But, now he has a lot of fun with his dad and his big bro. So, he is with me for about an hour each day at work. The rest of my hours (32/wk) are done at home, mostly on the weekends but some in the AM before we go to the office. I pretty much do whatever is needed....and Dh has a pretty flexable schedule so that he can help out as well. Like yesterday for example I had a meeting out of town (1 1/2 hrs away ) the whole family went along and Dh took the kids to the park while I was at my meeting.

It is stressful for me at times as I really feel pulled in many different directions. But, most of the time I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to meet our finaancial needs while also raising our children.
post #17 of 103
Hi all,
I was just wondering how you all proposed bringing your baby/toddler to work with your respective bosses?

We are ttc #2 and I'm thinking this might be a great option for us IF I can present it well...

My main hurdle is that I work for a small and very new company. My co-worker is the first to be pg - so they had to slap together a maternity policy. THere is definitely not an abundance of empty offices and my cube is about the size of a bathroom stall

post #18 of 103
Thread Starter 
You know, in my case, it was more the suggestion of the boss and my immediate supervisor. At first, I thought dh and I would do some crazy kind of flex time, where he would maybe come in really early and put in 8 hours, then I'd come in and put in 4-6 hours while dh was with ds and do the rest of my work from home. I wasn't looking forward to doing that, though, because we have quite a commute. Then the big boss (director) told me I was welcome to bring the baby or work from home as much as I wanted to, and my supervisor basically said the same thing.
post #19 of 103
So glad I found this forum!
I'm due in July and work for a large university as assistant to three professors. All three are very supportive and working with me to arrange a work from home situation for at least the first few months back (I plan to cut my three month leave short in exchange for the ability to work from home/have a flexible schedule of when I come in and still get paid for full time). Most (99%) everything I do can be done online, but I think that it would be too weird for them to give up my actual physical presence in the department completely. That is where bringing baby to work comes in. One of them even mentioned it offhand without prodding, but I'm trying to find the perfect way to begin the discussion. I'm not terribly concerned about the three faculty I work for-I think that they would do most anything to keep me around, but I am concerned about the attitude of the Department head and other admin. assists. who might view this as 'unfair'. The assumption is that I will put little peanut in daycare either full or part time because that is what they all did, but this is something I really wouldn't consider. I would honestly walk away from this cushy job with great benefits and get a job waiting tables evenings when DH is home before doing so.

DH is lucky to be the only employee of his non-profit job-he's got the entire office to himself and having a baby around would be a real treat for him. I think that as baby gets older this will be the perfect solution for us as there will be no other employees to bother and DC will have the run of the place, but I'm thinking that at least for the first 6 months I should have baby-duty. Mainly I'm thinking about nursing and really not wanting to have to be plugged into the pump all day. I do plan to breastfeed as long as babe wishes, so there will be pumping in my future, but I'd rather deal with it later than sooner. Do you think that 6 months is a good estimate for the switch?

Sorry for the long rambly post......
post #20 of 103
Hi everyone,
I am hoping to bring ds to work with me in the fall. I am in school now, and ds is due in July, but dh and I can't really afford for me to be a SAHM (we will make it work somehow if we have to, but I'd much rather find a job to which I could bring ds.) So far I've been looking only at jobs that seemed like they might cater to this need particularly (day-cares, maternity stores, stores with baby stuff, etc.) I have had a few leads, but most, when I tell them that I will only be able to accept the job if I can bring ds to work with me, turn me away. Have any of you been through the process of looking for a job, knowing that you would want to take your baby or toddler to work? I'd love some tips if you have any.
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