A friend and I are going to try doing a work / childcare exchange where we each work 1/2 day and take care of both the girls for the other 1/2 of the day. (So we each get in a 1/2 day of work). She has an office in her house on a separate floor from where the kids will be. The girls are 6mos and 8mos, both are very attached to their mommies and have been pretty fussy with other nanny or daycare situations. We both want to be near our girls (I guess we're attached mommies, too) but need to get some work done, so we are thinking this might work out.
I'm most nervous about getting both girls down for naps. My daughter is pretty difficult to get to sleep, needs to be rocked and patted to sleep before lying down. I'm not sure about hers.
Any tips on how to get two somewhat high-needs girls down for naps?
Any other tips / advice on this arrangement?
I work from home 20 hours a week. I do not use any kind of childcare thing but something like you are describing sounds nice, assuming you both get along well and the kids are compatible! But I guess I was going to suggest, if you are both working from home, to each get your kids to sleep and then go work, and then one person could handle the wake-ups?? I think you could each get 4 hours in with a total 6-7 hour day if you both work during naps and only share childcare duties before & after naps. I think I need more details on your plan before I can offer much advice, because obviously if one or both of you are working out of the home, some things won't be possible...
Hi! Thanks for responding. So, we will both be working at my friend's house in her attic office. We are going to set up an extra desk for me, a crib for my LO and possibly get a double stroller. Our idea was that I show up around 9am with my LO and first my friend takes the girls so I can work in the morning, then I take over childcare at around 1 or 2pm so she can work for the second half of the day. We each just need about 4 hrs of work/day and have somewhat flexible schedules.
That's interesting what you suggest about each getting our babies to sleep and then working during naps - I feel more comfortable with that idea, just because I know that my little girl won't go down with someone else. at least at first, maybe she could learn to. It's all an experiment, but we both are coming out of failed childcare experiences. We know we want to make the transition very slow. Next week my LO and I are going to spend a few mornings there just playing and hanging out, getting everyone used to each other. Maybe next I'll try working for an hour while she watches the girl and v.v.
Thanks for the tip! Any other thoughts? Not quite sure how breastfeeding will work either. My LO is starting to take a bottle, but still pretty hooked on the boob. Not sure about my friend's baby. But i guess the point of being in the same house is that we can breastfeed if they throw a fuss with the bottle. Hmmm...are we actually going to get any work done?? Are we being too accommodating to our babes? Should we instead be teaching them to sleep/eat without us??? So many thoughts....sorry for the rambling. :)
I will say that MOST people I know who work from home found it almost impossible to get work done with their babies around, especially as they hit the 1 yr mark. But, I (and one or two others I've talked to) managed to make it work and am pretty happy with it, so it's worth a try if it's something really important to you.
I always just nursed DS while I worked. If you want to try that, you can either take breaks to nurse (depending on nursing frequency) or wear your baby in a wrap/carrier and just work while nursing her. It will probably take some time for you to figure out how to do it ergonomically -- which is pretty important if you're going to do this on a daily basis. And your baby is at an age where it might be too hard to work while nursing, hands everywhere reaching for your keyboard or whatever, or may vie for your attention if you're distracted.
So what I would do (adjusting for whatever schedule your kids nap on!) is go over at 9am, work for 2 hours, then your friend works for 2 hours. Then you both take a break at 1pm to get the kids to sleep & resuming working throughout nap. If your kids take 2 or 3 hour naps, you'll be done by 3:30 or 4 the latest. I would also stay flexible from day to day, and if you can work 5 hours one day because baby took a long nap, DO IT. Get ahead on hours whenever you can, because some days things just won't go according to plan and you will only get a couple hours in.
The downside of you both being right there, is that if your baby is having a horrible day (teething, for ex.), it will be very hard to just leave her with your friend while you are just steps away, can hear her crying, etc. So you either need to be kind of ruthless, let your friend comfort while you pretend you're not in the house at all, or plan for the times when you might just drop everything to comfort your baby. You'll want to talk about this so you're on the same page and can both enforce whatever arrangement you agree upon.
Do you both have partners at home? Another thought, at least while you're getting used to this, is planning just to work 2 hours while you're together, and then fitting in your other 2 hours at home while your daddy spends time with baby, or after the baby is asleep for the night.
I'm guessing they are both still taking (at least) 2 naps a day? So it's probably not a single consolidated middle of the day nap for a couple hours. My kid didn't do that until he was over a year old.
You might be able to get them both to sleep by walking around in the stroller, though.