Anyone work from a home office? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 03-19-2004, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi!
I'm new to this forum, I don't know why I have not visited before!

I work from a home office. While that must sound nice, it really has it challenges! The company I work for is out of NYC, and I am the only employee working from home. I mostly do admin. support, follow up calls. I work M-F about 10-2.

However, I have a 17 month old at home with me. When I began the job, he was 6 months old, and it was a breeze! Now, it is getting really difficult. I have to keep him busy and amused while I work. I make all the phone calls during his nap, but sometimes that time is not enough! I have to work 10-2, that's my time...

Some days I have huge guilt ... because either I don't do what I consider 'quality work' for my employer because of the temperament of my baby that day. Or....my baby spends a lot of time watching PBS Kids while I work, and I feel bad about that I know in the big picture, I work 4 hours a day, he naps 1-2 hours of that, plays and maybe watches 1 hour of TV a day. Really, that is not to bad if it lets me be a SAHM for both my kids and still bring home an income. Ah, but the guilt!!!

Daycare is out of the question, not worth the $$ right now, and besides, it defeats the purpose of why I work from home :LOL

So, are there more women like me out there? What do you do to keep baby busy??

Kristina; wife to Max, Mom to Tristan (17) and Zackariah (7) and Lillian (5)
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#2 of 12 Old 03-19-2004, 01:06 PM
 
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I used to telecommute until my tot decided the computer was the greatest and wouldn't let me sit at the computer unless he was on my lap. But I still work from home to make up sick days and snow days.

Since it sounds like you have a specific schedule you probably can't do what I do - split my day up. I usually do 2 hour chunks around ds' sleep and quiet play. I tend to get more done in the evening when dh is up and about.

Our office is spposed to be the formal dining room of our house - so we have lots of room. Ds just drags in his toys and plays on the floor. I am there to fill his cup and take my ten minute strech per hour and wrestle.

Does he play with crayons yet? Do blocks, bowls and spoons fascinate him? We also watch Noggin, PBS and DVD's if need be.

Don't feel guilty, you are there for him.

My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.

 
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#3 of 12 Old 03-19-2004, 03:43 PM
 
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I work from home 2 days a week, all day on those days. It can be tough! I'm with you!

I have my "office" set up in my bedroom (which is big) with a big play area for dd (22 months) and a gate at the top of the stairs so she can wander down to her room safely if she wants to. I keep her favorite music playing through the computer speakers (currently the Wiggles). I switch the toys we keep upstairs every so often, and I recently bought a laptop with wireless internet access so we can play and work downstairs as well. When it gets warmer, I can work outside while she plays.

The other nice set up I have is a neighbor literally across our courtyard who has a son 3 months younger than my dd. She also works from home, and when one of us is really slammed, the other can take both kids for an hour or so. When it gets nice, we hope to be able to bring them both to my backyard and work on our laptops while they play. If you can find another mom who could do something similar, you'll love it.

Toys that my dd loves to play with alone are:

crayons/coloring books

duplo blocks

dolls and blankets, bottles, etc. (to my dismay!)

picture books

an old cordless phone we don't use anymore

a little plastic ride-on car that she pushes, rides on, pushes her dolls on, etc.

tupperware

And yes, we do our fair share of tv watching, mostly during meals -- while she's eating and watching, I can get a lot done.

You can do this! It takes patience and flexibility, and sometimes means you do your job standing up with your child on your hip, but it can be done. Good luck!
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#4 of 12 Old 03-19-2004, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you for the replies!

fiddledebi, your setup sounds exactly like mine!:LOL Our upstairs is 3 rooms all connected, bedroom, office, baby's room, and a gate at the top of the stairs. DS mostly plays in our large bedroom.
We will also be getting a wireless setup for my laptop so I can work else where. DS gets bored being up here, and working outside will be heaven!

I have begun this week to go through DS toys and clean out the 'baby' stuff. I got a huge bag of Duplos from a consignment shop yesterday. I have figured out DS loves the changes in his toys, he gets bored with the same thing in the same place. Today, I was tempted to bring his new Cozy Coupe car in my room, to keep him busy!!! : That is how desperate I feel sometimes to keep him busy!

Kristina; wife to Max, Mom to Tristan (17) and Zackariah (7) and Lillian (5)
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#5 of 12 Old 03-19-2004, 10:24 PM
 
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Count me in. I work from home and have an 8 month old. I have to do my work during the hours when our system is up (7a to 5p), but I don't work but a couple hours a day. I can see how it would be a real challenge to have to work between 10 and 2.

My office is in the basement at one end of our family room so ds is able to roam that large area and play while I work. He's pretty good at entertaining himself. He just goes around and gets into things and I just keep an eye on him. We got an old keyboard and he enjoys pounding on it just like mommy. Right now the big excitement is pulling himself up and looking at things. I'm sure this is only the beginning, though.

Each stage seems to have its challenges. I think back when he was wanting to be mobile but couldn't was the worst because he would get so frustrated and it just about drove me crazy listening to him. Now he plays happily with his toys or other approved items. When he needs my attention he stands up next to me and bumps his head on my leg or trys to climb my leg like a pole.

It is a challenge to discipline myself to go downstairs and work every day. There always seems to be so many things I want to do. But I'm grateful to have a job I can work like this and still make decent money. I don't make what I used to since my hours are reduced, but I make enough to make a difference in our budget.

Tana, wife to Steve (5/02), mom to Ben (7/03), Joey (10/06) and Caroline (9/09)
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#6 of 12 Old 03-21-2004, 12:45 AM
 
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I do, but I don't have kiddos at home during the day. Oldest is in 1st grade and youngest in preschool. I WOH until end of January when they sent me home to work (I'm a medical transcriptionist).

I did also WAH PT when DS2 was born till he was 18 mos but I had to have my mom come and "nanny" the days I worked as there was just no way I could get into any kind of rhythm and make any money when trying to do it and care for him at the same time.

I think the hardest thing for me is balancing out my time, and not getting sucked into working all the time (because there's *always* work to do!) and setting boundaries between work and home. I took a Friday off the other week and actually covered the computer with a sheet so I wouldn't be tempted! : MTs are such sad, sad people.....
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#7 of 12 Old 03-22-2004, 11:47 PM
 
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I do this too. My time is more flexible, so I often find myself talking on the phone with a reporter while feeding my daughter lunch or holding her. I always explain the situation and people are generally really nice about it (and envious). I try really hard to get stuff done during her nap but she seems to need less sleep than I do now (she's almost 14 mos old.) I don't see being able to do this much longer, so I'm getting more child care and being firmer with my boundaries.

In terms of keeping them occupied, my daughter loves to look at books (pretends to read upside down books), cruise around with her lawnmower type pusher and play in her brother's Scooby Doo tent. She can't be counted on for more than about 10 minutes, though.

Beth, Mom to Benji and Maggie
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#8 of 12 Old 03-23-2004, 10:37 PM
 
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I'll be WAHM starting in the fall. My plan is to ask some neighborhood girls that homeschool to come in and watch DS for a couple hrs/day so I can focus. If it doesn't work w/ them, I'll put an ad in the paper for a nanny.

I have a friend tha works PT from home w/ a nanny & it's the only way she can get any work done at home.

I really admire those of you that can do both w/o help! I'm not going to even try.

Alaskan Mom to 2 boys
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#9 of 12 Old 03-24-2004, 11:42 AM
 
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Yep, I have a home office. I also have an office office, 22 miles away from home and family, where I go three days a week. My deal is that I am a full time employee, and I have those three set days a week that I'm in the office, but I can fit the other hours in wherever I can from my home office. It's pretty easy now that my youngest is 4, but when the girls were younger . . . I don't know that I could have done it without help if I had SET hours. The thing that made it workable with little kids was that my deal was, I'd do the hours, but I'd work when I could, even if it was at 3 a.m. (and sometimes it was!). My co-workers knew that if they called and I didn't answer, it was because I wasn't able to be working at the moment. I always called back, e-mailed back, always met my deadlines. I got into a pretty good groove, working early in the morning before the girls woke up and working during naps and working during times when DH could be home and in charge.

Kerlowyn, can you ask for a more flexible work schedule? I supervise five people and I believe most managers would MUCH rather make arrangements to keep current staff than go to the trouble to hire and train someone new.

Beyond that, I'd say: get a bunch of great cool toys and keep cycling them in and out, so something always seems new! TV or videos could be temporary fix, but I found that I always paid for that later because too much Barney (or whatever) made my kids grouchy.
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#10 of 12 Old 03-24-2004, 12:32 PM
 
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I work from home about half my time. My employer got me a laptop, but I am suck to the Internet most of the time to work on the network.

I do most of my client calling from my office. Dd comes in with me most of the time.

Working at home is really hard for me during the week, because I have a 2.5 yo ds and 3 mo dd. It seems like I am either entertaining ds or bfing dd. Weekends are easier, because dh works/plays with ds. I am also really fighting the pull to cook/do housework. My job needs to be taken more seriously, but dh makes 2x per hour what I do, so...it's really hard.

I now have 2 desks at home, one for computer and one for everything else. I am personally looking forward to better weather so ds can get outside and get the stimulation he needs.
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#11 of 12 Old 03-24-2004, 12:46 PM
 
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Hi there!

I work from a home office with two little ones and one bigger one

Phone calls are the most challenging. I have somehow mastered typing while nursing...

My rule of thumb is -- It's break time when someone is cranky. They are just trying to get my attention and ignoring it escalates the situation. At first it seemed crazy to break every time one of them got cranky... but in the long run, it works.

The thing is -- I'm not really working when they are in a bad space anyway. Just simply standing up and moving across the room can be enough to change a mood swing. Doing a chore, sitting down with them for a few minutes... I swear by Baby Einstein! -- so throwing in a video and watching the beginning with them can change everything.

A bath -- even in the middle of the day...

The thing is, it's just another phase. It will get easy again. My three year old is wonderful during phone calls now. Jack, my one year old is at a more difficult stage.

But you ARE there for them. They are with you all day long. That is wonderful! Congratulations!

Do the best work that you can for your employer. I've been known to underbill to make up for bad days.

I'm considering getting one of the girls in the neigborhood to come over for an hour afterschool each day to bring the kids out in the yard to play. It's much cheaper then childcare, and is a short duration and good for everyone.

Best wishes!

Lori
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#12 of 12 Old 03-24-2004, 01:05 PM
 
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For those of you thinking about pulling in a neighborhood "kid" go for it. I did this as a high schooler. The bus would drop me off ih their neighborhood and I kept 5 kidlets occupied for 2 hours while mom (a writer) finished her daily quota. Dad would come home give me a ride home often with a few of the kids along for the ride. I helped with the older kids' homework and played outside on nicer days. I had a blast and $20 bucks to suppliment my newpaper route $$.

My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.

 
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