I am newly self-employed. DH and I run a small web development business out of our home. Right now we have a 3 year old who goes to daycare during the day, and I'm expecting a baby in late January. I used to be a teacher, which is why DD started at daycare when she was about a year old. She likes going there and it's right in the neighborhood and not too expensive, so we've kept sending her while we launch our business. However, it would be tight in our budget to find full time daycare for an infant (would be double what DD's tuition is), and I don't really want to do that anyway, at least not for the first year. Once the baby is 12 months old, he can join DD at the daycare if we choose.
My tasks with the business are doing a lot of internet research, some phone calls, lots of emails. It's almost all done from our home. I seem to be able to get a lot done in small segments of time. I would say I'm working about 25-30 hours per week.
My question for those of you who work at home and have small children.
Should I keep sending the 3 year old to daycare?
Is it wildly unrealistic to expect that I can keep working the same amount after the new baby comes with a little babysitting from my mom (a few hours, maybe twice a week)?
Should I ditch the whole thing and just stay home with the two kiddos?
How much time should I plan to take totally off after the birth? I was thinking a couple of weeks.
Tell me how you do it. I have this fantasy where the cradle is next to my desk and I can just breastfeed on demand while I'm typing emails. I was thinking this would be totally cool for about the first 4 months. Not really sure what to do once the baby gets more active except pray for nice long naps.
Depends on the baby. I was totally able to get work done on maternity leave with my second who was very relaxed and a good napper (older DD was in full-day day care). I would never have been able to do that with a nutty non-sleeping baby like my first one was. Also absolutely not possible with an older child around - in your shoes I would definitely keep the older kid in daycare if you need to WAH.
I do a combination of WAH and WOH but eventually I had to hire a nanny for all my WAH time as well because baby became too awake/active for me to get much done.
Me, DH, DD1 (5/2009) and DD2 (10/2011).
I'm not crunchy. I'm evidence-based.
Vaccines save lives.
My first was a horrible sleeper and I had to have a nanny watch him while I worked at home from 3 months on. I'm still working from home and my newest baby is a champion sleeper, he falls asleep to the sound of me typing and I've gotten really good at typing one handed. That being said I do have a nanny full time now that the youngest is 8 months and very mobile. There is no way I'd get anything done otherwise. Good luck! I personally feel like it's the best of both worlds being able to maintain the job that I love and be home with my babies.
I am also trying to work out a schedule with DH, so that maybe we can just stagger our work schedules. I sort of don't like to sacrifice the whole family together time, but when we both worked outside the home, that was rare anyway, or we were both so exhausted, it wasn't like we were doing anything amazingly fun.
We have a fairly small house though, and we're both worried about being able to get stuff done with the noise level of kids playing or crying or whatever.
DH did just find a co-working space, where we can lease a desk for $125 a month. It includes coffee, wi-fi, printing and a conference room you can use. Pretty cool idea!
I'd plan on at least 6-8 weeks of no work whatsover to give your body time to heal and to get breastfeeding established. Then I'd set up a schedule with DH about what your work hours are to be, especially if you have different skills and strengths. I think it is totally unrealistic to expect to maintain the same workload and care for an infant full time. I would probably plan for 10 hours at most unless you have regular childcare and regular childcare does not include nursing the baby because it is fast or putting the baby to sleep or something. Because usually it isn't, unless you have a magic baby that nurses for ten minutes exactly and puts themselves to sleep and also cleans the house.
I agree. Depends on the baby. I was able to help my exhusband in his business 3 years ago when youngest was born (til we divorced) and she was there and was easy. But 10 years ago my other daughter was tough, had to go to daycare by 6 months old. I will say that typing and phone calls were the hardest with both babies though.
46-year-old single (divorced), self-employed working, home schooling, part-time college student mommy to:
19 yr old
12 yr old
5 yr old
I WAH at a computer based job as well...I took 4 weeks off because that was all I could afford. It was fine, but I usually work at night so it was tough getting interrupted by a newborn and getting very little sleep!
I nursed while I typed using the boppy-not the most comfortable thing in the world, but it worked. I also worked with the babe in the sling a lot too. My second was a slightly better sleeper than the first, though that is not saying a lot ;)
I think working 25-30 hours a week is doable eventually, but no, I wouldn't at all plan on doing that without a lot of childcare in the first couple of months. I did have my 3-yearold home with me though and mostly used the baby's naps to spend 1-on-1 time with her instead of working. If your dd is happy at daycare, I think you have a much better chance of getting your work in during baby's naps!
I just noticed this was an older thread and you are due pretty soon-what did you decide? Good luck whatever it was!
It's been a crazy few months! DH ended up getting a job and we shut down our business. I got a contract job writing curriculum and am hoping to get most of my current project done before baby arrives (due date January 28). It's looming though. Luckily the 3 year old is still in daycare and I have a big chunk of time every day to work on it for now.
Still trying to figure out what the next phase will look like. We can stay afloat on my husband's salary if we stop daycare and I sah. But just barely afloat and the roof needs repaired and the plumbing could go at any time, and blah, blah, blah. You know how it is.
I WAH after 6 weeks with both kids. Two very different kids. Firstborn as a baby was a dreamboat, basically hung out happy on the floor or bouncy or whatever while I worked a bit, then would nurse on my lap supported by two boppys so I could still work and would nap on my lap a bit, rinse, repeat.
Second born was very intense and needed me a LOT. So I wore her, or she was on the boppy on my lap almost constantly while I worked. Not the most fun.
As they got older, I worked my schedule around to do a split shift so I did a couple hours while they were asleep/just getting up in the early morning, a couple hours while awake, and then the last 4 hours after bedtime. Again, not the easiest thing to do, but we made it work. I do a split shift now still, so I can do afternoon activities with them, and then work the last 4 at bedtime/night, but the morning split start time is much later so I'm getting loads more sleep than I used to.
It's not easy, but it's doable - you just have to go with the flow of who your kids are, and get creative!