WAHMs, how much do you work at home? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 14 Old 09-26-2005, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
DAR mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 34
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am currently on maternity leave with my DS (1 month tomorrow, how time flies!). Right now the plan after maternity leave is to work part-time, two mornings a week in the office (8 hours) and 12 hours from home. My DH is flexing some so that he can care for DS while I am in the office. I am very excited but also somewhat apprehensive because I honestly don't know how much work I can get done at home and provide care for DS. I imagine it will get much harder as he gets older.

Just for a little more context, my almost 3-year old has been in full-time daycare at my SIL's and for now we are continuing to take him because he loves it so much and to make the transition with baby easier. I will be picking him up earlier and taking on more pickup/dropoff duties, so once I figure this in, and morning and nighttime routines, there aren't a lot of hours in the day.

So sorry for the long intro ... my question is, for those of you moms working at home how many hours to you work at home? What time of the day are you able to squeeze in work? How do you like your arrangement? And do you have any tips for me? Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience.

--Debbie
DAR mama is offline  
#2 of 14 Old 09-26-2005, 08:37 PM
 
henhao's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: In my Imagination
Posts: 2,418
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
:
henhao is offline  
#3 of 14 Old 09-27-2005, 01:35 AM
 
femme's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: southwest
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi Debbie!
I have been a WAHM since this summer ( previously I WOH 30 hours a week). I have a job teaching college online. I work from 20 -30 a week depending.

I work in the evenings, early mornings and sometimes when ds naps. I also try to grade papers on the weekends during specific scheduled hours. I love working from home but at the beggining it was hard to get used to.

We have no outside child care my domestic partner ( his other mama)watches ds who is 22 months when she gets home from work. Otherwise I work when he sleeps.

My schedule on a busy day is to wk 5-7 am while ds is still asleep
12- 2 pm when he naps 6-8 while dp is in charge putting dinner I made the night before in the oven in charge of bath and story time. I nurse him to sleep at 8:00pm. If I need to go back to work than I do it after he sleeps.
I also do house work and some cooking when everyone is asleep.

things that worked for me
schedule
Own office with a door
office hours/ sheduled tasks depending on your job
when I am working I am committed to staying in the office even if the laundry/ chores phone calls ect is nagging at me
Even though he is not alone I stop to comfort ds if he needs me or pick him up and nurse him if he wanders into the office.
working a little each day instead of cramming everything in a couple days
becoming very efficient in finishing tasks in short time




Things that are hard :

when dp is a little late home from work or has to work really late
when we have company in town who expect me to be available because I am at home
I make dinner for everyone but sometimes don't get to eat it until later after ds is in bed
(I used to leave dinner up to dp she is a wonderful mama but she would not know what to cook and would end up playing with ds and then order pizza by 7:30 : )
I miss lunch often too
If ds doesn't nap or sleep at night
My days are pretty long and I am tired after playgroups, errands and playing with ds all day then I go to work then there is the house work :LOL
but depending on how you divide up tasks hopefully this will not be an issue for you.


I love being with ds and do not feel like I am missing anything of his growing up like I did when I woh.

when I was in graduate school I would sleep very little and though I rather have 8 hours I can function on a lot less which has been great for motherhood


You'll firgure out what works best for you and your family. I do not work much when dh is awake as I perfer to have him have my whole attention as he is a very active toddler. He is able to play quietly for a while when I am in my office but for now I like that he is watched or sleeping while I work.

my other suggestion for you is to have a clear expectation from your employer of what is expected and when your home office hours are if that works for you.

lastly it took me about a month before I really got the hang of it for a while I felt so busy I thought I would lose it but now it is much easier and worth it.

Let us know how it develops. Rae



mommy to one sweet toddler nursling ds 22 months , dp to loving KC and Auntie to amazing little man CH,18 months
femme is offline  
#4 of 14 Old 09-27-2005, 12:07 PM
 
Qestia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Boston
Posts: 2,020
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I work from home 2 days a week, I've been doing this about a month. My son is 4 months old. It is tough. The hardest thing is switching gears instantly--when my son naps I have to get to work right then and there, can't waste time. I'm also learning that the type of work I take home matters, I find smaller projects are easier to do at home and save big ones for the office. I can answer emails and calls while snuggling him, and that is a large part of my job. I am finding it a little easier as he gets older--he's interested in playing now and will entertain himself with a toy or rolling around looking for his hands more now than a month ago.

Mom to DS 5/05 and DD 9/08
Qestia is offline  
#5 of 14 Old 09-27-2005, 12:17 PM
 
Earth Angel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The bus drove by and I got on ;)
Posts: 1,603
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi!!

I have been working at least 16 hrs at home each week for the last 6 yrs (before kids even!!). Currently I work 20 at home and 12 in the office. I actually get more done at home than I ever could at the office. I don't get many phone calls that I HAVE to answer....no chit chat with co workers...in general, less distractions. I do most of my work at home work over the weekends when Dh is home to take care of the kids. I can squeeze in an hour or 2 each day if I have to as Ds#1 is in school now and Ds#2 (17 mo) will play around me or even if he is sitting on my lap while I type.

It is the type of work that makes how I need to complete it different. I am a paper pusher. A lot of my work can be somewhat mindless....but there is other work that requires my full attention. The full attention type I either do at the office after Ds#2 leaves (he comes with me for a bit each day too) or I lock myself in my room while Dh watches the kids on the weekends. My employer understands how I work and will give me the more involved tasks on Wed or Thurs understanding she'll get them back Mon when I come back in the afternoon. The more mindless typing stuff I can do a little here and a little there while I tend to Ds. The mindless filing stuff I do again, locked in the room because both Dss will try to "help" and thats no good :LOL

It is easy to get into doing other things while at home.....but for me, the understanding that I have such a privilege to be working at home has led me to not abuse it in the least. If I have work to get done, it gets done and that takes priority over the dirty dishes, vacuuming etc. I guess I feel that since it is such a sensible but little used advantage to allow at least one parent to work from home, that I need to prove to everyone that it works and that it works well KWIM??

You'll find your groove. And femme is right, it might take a bit and you might feel overwhelmed at first, but once it gets a bit smoother, you might actually find out you are completing the same amt of work but in less hrs.

Earth Angel is offline  
#6 of 14 Old 09-27-2005, 10:07 PM
 
tangozulu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 953
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Debbie,

Assuming your hours are flexible, I think 12 hrs/week is totally doable. I was an experienced telecommuter (I telecommuted for 3 1/2 years) and had been at my job for over 4 years when my ds was born. I worked from home 40-50 hrs/wk from the time my son was 8 weeks old (end of mat leave) until he was almost 8 months with no child care (other than MIL occasionally stopping by, my older dd's entertaining him a bit, etc. - but he was a mama's boy when he was littler anyway). It was so, so hard and many days I was about to lose my mind. However, it is so awesome that I got to bf on demand, be with my boy every minute and earn my pay check. It was easiest when he was smallest. I have a Boppy and would lay it on my lap and I could easily type (I'm a computer programmer) - babe would nurse, nap and (when tiny) stare up at me (in fact he is sleeping on the Boppy now). Conference calls sometimes could be a problem if the timing wasn't good. I tried to manipulate his naps around my meeting schedule. A cordless phone with a mute button, speaker phone and headset was an enormous help. It would be quite impossible to do FT now wit him crawling and crusing all over the place.

Anyway, it was really tough on me, BUT 12 hours a week at home plus 8 in the office would be absolutely awesome. That is my dream schedule. The office days will be a nice break!! I know that might sound crazy, but I dreamed of my office some days

Had I not been laid off (site closure, nothing to do w/ performance or WAH), I would have started him in care in the mornings and kept him with me in the afternoons. That way I would know I at least had dedicated mornings to concentrate, plus afternoon nap time. As other moms pointed out, do the mindless things while babe is awake, and concentrated work when s/he naps (or at the office, in your case). Since I did not have any help with care I gave up a lot of sleep to catch up on things, especially as he got older. Also had to hand him off to dh when he got home whether he wanted to be handed off or not, work on the weekends, etc.

I'm glad it is over now. But I miss my job I wish I could have it back with your schedule



Good luck!!
Tracey

Tracey, mama of 5 beloved children here with me on Earth and one precious son I will meet again in Heaven 6/17/09 - 9/6/09.

tangozulu is offline  
#7 of 14 Old 09-28-2005, 12:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
DAR mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 34
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you for all your thoughtful replies! I think I am still wrapping my mind around the transition and just processing it on the keyboard. It really helps to hear how others do it. I don’t know anyone IRL who works part-time with kids, much less does it from home.

I think part of my apprehension is coming from making the transition to a mom of two. I feel like my arms/sling are always full with DS2 and that when DH is home he spends most of his time with DS1. I was having trouble imagining working early or late, and working on the weekends because I didn’t want to scrimp on time with DS1 and DH. As crazy as it sounds I am wondering whether having DS2 at home might be where we end up sooner rather than later. Then I can spend time with both DSs at once and pass care for both off to DH and not feel like I am missing out on too much.

Rae, I am so impressed by how organized you are. I think coming up with an equitable division of chores will be a challenge for us. It has been in the past, and with less outside of normal working hours time free at home it will be harder. I just need to be more organized and communicate more clearly what I need from DH in terms of help. But I am sure it will be worth it.

What you said about having a clear expectation from your employer of what is expected is going to be key too. My job has been quite stressful in the past, with me working way too much at night. Hey, come of think of it an extra 12 hours a week at home should be old hat. But that was before I had a baby to nurse all night too. Unfortunately I have bosses who sometimes can’t plan more than a day ahead, if that! I am going to have to be very clear that their emergencies are not my emergencies, and not feel pressured to do more than I committed to.

Qestia and Earth Angel, what you said about knowing what work you can do in what situations makes a lot of sense. Along those lines, I will probably need to have a few hours during the day (crossing my fingers for a consistent nap time) where I am easily accessible via phone and email and I can use that time to catch up on office communications. And most of the big project work where I need to be focused can be done at night, or on the weekend.

Tracey, I am in awe. You make me feel a little silly for worrying about 12 weeks. You are right, OF COURSE I can work 12 hours a week at home. : Actually it is my dream schedule too. It was a take it or leave it situation for me and luckily they decided to take it.

Thank you mamas. I feel so much better. I am getting exactly what I want, I am going to stop worrying and just enjoy.
DAR mama is offline  
#8 of 14 Old 09-28-2005, 10:00 PM
 
Arien's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: swimming
Posts: 125
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What does everyone do/who do you work for who allows you to work partly in the office and partly at home?????

I worked part-time away from home for two years, three days a week outside of the home, since my son was 10 months old. He's now 2 1/2 and I'm starting to work full time outisde of the home, I'm dreading it. I'm dreading the future.

I'm even re-thinking my career. I need ideas as to what to go in to....I heard someone teaches college onlline - how do you get into that!???? Thanks

(sorry a little OT)
Arien is offline  
#9 of 14 Old 09-29-2005, 06:18 PM
 
Earth Angel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The bus drove by and I got on ;)
Posts: 1,603
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
What does everyone do/who do you work for who allows you to work partly in the office and partly at home?????
I do medicaid billing, and lots of other odd jobs (support for therapists, intakes, take referrals, etc) for a social service agency that works with children. I am a social worker and when I became pregnant with my first son I began to switch over from direct client work to more paper work, and I'm still here! I got most of my at home hours in lieu of a raise (we are constantly on a wage freeze here???) and then worked out about 4 more a week plus the ability to bring my kids to the office with me when I need to as my kids have gotten older. It is a pretty family friendly place
Earth Angel is offline  
#10 of 14 Old 09-30-2005, 12:23 PM
 
Qestia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Boston
Posts: 2,020
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arien
What does everyone do/who do you work for who allows you to work partly in the office and partly at home?????

I worked part-time away from home for two years, three days a week outside of the home, since my son was 10 months old. He's now 2 1/2 and I'm starting to work full time outisde of the home, I'm dreading it. I'm dreading the future.

I'm even re-thinking my career. I need ideas as to what to go in to....I heard someone teaches college onlline - how do you get into that!???? Thanks

(sorry a little OT)

I do institutional research for a university, which is like internal reporting off the student database.

If you have to work full time outside the house can you stagger your hours, say work 6-1 or something so you have afternoons free? that's something I've thought about doing and I think my employer would let me.

Mom to DS 5/05 and DD 9/08
Qestia is offline  
#11 of 14 Old 09-30-2005, 02:10 PM
 
tangozulu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 953
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DAR Mama - OF COURSE you can do it! I do agree with OP's that you should probably discuss reasonable division of house labor with your dh. Please post and let us know how it goes. Many of us have been there and are glad to offer suggestions (if you haven't noticed - ha ha)!

Arien - I was a computer programmer with a flexible employer and an awesome manager. IME, it is much easier to get flex arrangements/telecommuting once you've been there at least a few months and started to "prove" yourself. However, that won't stop me from bringing it up when I take my next job at the time of the offer. Hey, it can't hurt

Tracey, mama of 5 beloved children here with me on Earth and one precious son I will meet again in Heaven 6/17/09 - 9/6/09.

tangozulu is offline  
#12 of 14 Old 09-30-2005, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
DAR mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 34
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arien
What does everyone do/who do you work for who allows you to work partly in the office and partly at home?????
I do budget work for a organization affiliated with a state university. I am pretty lucky in that it was a new job when they hired me, and I spent the last two years "proving myself." Its a pretty unique situation where all the factors just kind of aligned. I am still not completely sure it will work out because the organization is in a bit of an upheaval right now - big reorganization and my immediate supervisor is leaving. I really hate to see her go, she was a great advocate for me when I have my proposal. She wrote a cover letter to my request citing a Harvard Business Review article on the benefits of helping women employee downshift for family reasons. We will see if it works out like I have planned.

Thank you all again.

Is there any ongoing thread out there for moms who work remotely/do flex from home? If so I would like to join. It seems like a fairly rare thing where I am at and it would be nice to hear from more like me on an ongoing basis.
DAR mama is offline  
#13 of 14 Old 10-03-2005, 07:07 PM
 
jayb842's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi,

I'm also work from home. I tutor online. I aslo take calls for a virtual call center. I have a teaching degree. Answer homework questions for kids across the country online for tutor.com I also work for brainfuse.com We tutor math and reading for kids that are behind. I make more than I would have if Dswould have been in daycare. I work about 20 hours a week. i work during nap time and two hour while he is a awake.
My main challenge is keeping everything going. i always have landury and dishes. i work to supplement dh's income.

Jay
jayb842 is offline  
#14 of 14 Old 10-03-2005, 07:22 PM
 
Kaitnbugsmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,997
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am going to be working inbound call center when we get our own place. MOstly just for extra money toward the bills and minor improvements {like a car that is trustworthy} but it may eventually become a full time job. I have a few friends who do this and they make a good deal of income from it. Most of them have no kids at home during the day, or a partner who makes it possible to work at night while the kids are asleep and still sleep themselves....
Kaitnbugsmom is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off