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Old 08-10-2008, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have some specific questions for you.
What do you do?
How do you make time to do it?

Background, if you want to know:
I just switched from being a working mom to a stay at home mom but of course, we need money. I need to find something that doesn't require me to be anywhere at any specific time, or that I can take two kids (don't we all) so I've thought about journalism, freelancing, painting, but nothing seems to be panning out and unless I get it together by, like, tomorrow--we won't be able to make tuition for dd1 to go to school this year (a whole other topic, I know, but I have my heart set on it and I can't give up the idea). I need a pick me up from some WAHMamas who've got a flow. Thanks.

Proud mommy to DDs (12/04) and (11/07)
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:55 PM
 
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Plain and simple its hard to be a WAHM especially without daycare. I am a freelance grant-writer/consultant and my dd is 3, I use daycare 3x a week and its still hard. We are thinking of pulling her out but unless I can come up with a plan for dd it will be hard to work with her home. Most Mamas I know who don't use childcare work at times when their kids are occupied or sleeping.

What type of work did you do when you were a WOHM and is there any way to do that at home?

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Old 08-10-2008, 07:09 PM
 
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I mostly WAH, but I did put my son into morning preschool last year .. it was just too hard to get any work done when he is home.

I do research for a local company, mostly internet research and putting that data into spreadsheets. I usually work about 20 hours a week, but I can take on more work if I want to. I do it mostly from home, sometimes I will go work a few mornings a week in the office. The best part is that it's very flexible, some days I spend the whole day playing with my son and will do a few hours work after he goes to bed.

This summer I kept him home with me since he's starting K soon. I'll fully admit, some days it was really hard to balance getting my work done and not feeling guilty about making him entertain himself. I tried to balance our days so that I might work in the morning, and then we would go to the waterpark in the afternoon. But I must say when he starts K, it's going to be nice to have all those hours to work!!

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Old 08-10-2008, 07:17 PM
 
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From home, this last calendar year I taught online and did astronomy research (off someone else's grant). It took a couple of years to line it all up, and I got a lucky break with the grant, but it has worked out well.

I find time to do it when dd is either asleep, or doing something else like reading, or at a daycamp in the summer. Last year I was on sabbatical, so I did the research at home while dd was in school. Perfect. This fall, my sabbatical will be over, so I'll do my regular job (professor) while she's in school, use some afterschool hours to finish all the regular work, and then online teaching will be relegated to nighttime hours when dd's sleeping. I also squeeze in work here and there - for example, I can sometimes get work done while waiting for dd to finish lessons (dance, swim, etc.). I basically have no social life now, in other words.
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:53 PM
 
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I went back to my old job (but mainly worked at home) when DD was 11 months.

It was VERY hard to work from home. DH worked from home 2 afternoons a week (when I went into the office) and she was happy to play with toys and basically leave him alone. I've tried sitting at his computer and doing the same things he does - and she'll have none of it.

I have her in daycare 3 days a week, my inlaws take her 1 days (and I work from home) because it was too hard to get anything done while she was awake. And when she'd nap (30 to 60 minutes) I needed to take a few minutes to myself to eat lunch - and then there was little time to work.
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:09 AM
 
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I'm a journalist, working for a major newspaper. I was able to work at home a lot when DD was a little baby (3-6 months). Now that she's 20 months, I find it virtually impossible to work productively from home without childcare. It's very hard to make phone calls or concentrate on dense reading with her around.
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Old 08-11-2008, 06:54 PM
 
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I'm a journalist, working for a major newspaper. I was able to work at home a lot when DD was a little baby (3-6 months). Now that she's 20 months, I find it virtually impossible to work productively from home without childcare. It's very hard to make phone calls or concentrate on dense reading with her around.
So what was your solution??? If you don't mind me asking...

"There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting." - Buddha.
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Old 08-11-2008, 06:57 PM
 
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I'm a writer and freelance editor.

I squeezed the writing in as best I could during naptimes and evenings when the kids were little, but only started the editing (my money-maker) when my youngest went to preschool and I suddenly had four mornings a week to myself. I coudn't have done it while they were still at home with me full-time. Not without childcare.
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:00 PM
 
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So what was your solution??? If you don't mind me asking...
I either don't work at home at all, or when I do, I have another caregiver watch her. On the rare days in which I have had to work and care for her at the same time, I've resorted to Dora and Blue's Clues videos, which isn't great for her.

We have an au pair now. I still plan to go to the office most of the time.

I'm just not a good mama or productive worker when I am pulled in too many directions at once. Some people can juggle both at the same time, but not me.
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:06 PM
 
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So what was your solution??? If you don't mind me asking...
I'm butting in here but I have a lot of phone calls to take and I swear I sit in my truck to make them. LOL My kids are way older than 20 months and we are still working on the idea that this a business call and they need to either be quiet or scram. I'm really interested in what you all have come up with to address this.

Oh I also hide in the bathroom.

It's not very dignified but it's quiet. As you can see I could benefit from any other suggestions.
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:20 PM
 
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I've worked at home now for over four years. Childcare is a must. In fact, we have a company policy - employees must have childcare for every hour worked (asleep in bed "counts" but only if the kid sleeps for decent stretches).

I have tried to work without childcare and the nature of my job is such that it doesn't work well. I need to be able to focus, have control over my schedule, attend meetings, get on conference calls, etc. Periodically, we have to work without childcare and while it is getting easier now that the kids are older and more into independent play, it is still not ideal - they tend to attack each other in order to get my attention...; {

What I do is web application development. For a year or so after quiting the day job, I freelanced - doing HTML editing, writing, etc. It grew to the business I have today. all my first clients were former bosses or colleagues who needed help and knew I was dependable, skilled, and would get the job done.

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:57 PM
 
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Unfortunately, OP, I think there's vanishingly few jobs you can do at home that you can find "like yesterday" or even "like tomorrow" and like these other ladies have mentioned, it involves sacrifices, childcare, and phone-a-phobia.

(OT: for tangent, I was an astronomer back in the day. You made me all nostalgic.)

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Old 08-12-2008, 06:37 AM
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for chiming in mamas. I wonder now, how do you decide how to balance whether or not to work. Do you only take jobs that will make you a certain amount, after you pay for childcare? I feel as though I am not making staying at home work if I have to make money. Then I'm not a SAHM, right? Does it just come down to how much I am committed to being a full time SAHM? Or is it because you want to work?
I think I am feeling like I am failing being a SAHM if I then go out and get a job. YKIM?

Proud mommy to DDs (12/04) and (11/07)
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:56 AM
 
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One thing I used to do (and may do again in the future when my kids are both at one school again) is childcare in my home. I listed my home with the state, and drew up contracts stating all my policies. I watched anywhere from 1-2 kids at a time in addition to my own. One nice thing if you can find a child close to your younger one's age is that they should be able to play together well (especially with your older one at school) and have similar interests, schedules, etc.

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Old 08-12-2008, 11:18 AM
 
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This is one of the major reasons why we are not ttc right away. My son just started K (today!) and that frees me up to work 7:45-2:45 everyday without paying for childcare.

If we have another baby right now, I have to look at not working, or seriously cutting back my hours to when dh is home or baby is asleep. I would love to be a full time SAHM, but finances wont allow it. So I work because we need my income to make ends meet.

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Old 08-12-2008, 11:19 AM
 
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Thanks for chiming in mamas. I wonder now, how do you decide how to balance whether or not to work. Do you only take jobs that will make you a certain amount, after you pay for childcare? I feel as though I am not making staying at home work if I have to make money. Then I'm not a SAHM, right? Does it just come down to how much I am committed to being a full time SAHM? Or is it because you want to work?
I think I am feeling like I am failing being a SAHM if I then go out and get a job. YKIM?
I think you should feel free to do what you need to do to care for yourself and your family. Sometimes that might mean staying home, sometimes it might mean working. Neither makes you a failure.

I have a career I love that I have been building since before I had DD. I suppose it's an easy decision for me to work, financially, since I make enough to pay for top quality care.

However, I really wish we would do away with this assumption that the cost of childcare should be weighed against the mother's earning power. In my house, childcare is a share expense, just like the mortgage.
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:27 AM
 
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Thanks for chiming in mamas. I wonder now, how do you decide how to balance whether or not to work. Do you only take jobs that will make you a certain amount, after you pay for childcare? I feel as though I am not making staying at home work if I have to make money. Then I'm not a SAHM, right? Does it just come down to how much I am committed to being a full time SAHM? Or is it because you want to work?
I think I am feeling like I am failing being a SAHM if I then go out and get a job. YKIM?
I can't answer for anyone else but for me I earn enough money that even with the costs of daycare/travel, work pays more than enough. I work from home now but that is more because when I stopped teaching at one school, the only offers I got involved way more travel than I wanted or teaching classes I hated. I also have kept my foot in the freelance world for years now so it was easy to transition back.

I am not committed to being a SAHM, I am committed to being the best mother I can be and deep down I know for me that involves working. Our family requires 2 incomes, my dh is not in a lucrative line of work (editor/writer) and there is no way I would have him work 2 jobs, so aside from the 1st year after dd was born and I was a SAHM, its not my gig to be a SAHM.

I agree with the other poster who mentioned there is a shortage of true work at home gigs that pay well, Most women I know who work at home either are folks like myself where they still do the work they used to do but simply do it at home. Or they earn a few bucks from odd and end gigs. I guess another thing is how much money do you need? If you only need a few hundred, it may be possible to earn that at home but if you need the equivalent of a full time salary barring childcare in the home, I think its harder to earn that without again seeing if the work you used to do could be done at home.

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Old 08-12-2008, 01:33 PM
 
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I have some specific questions for you.
What do you do?
How do you make time to do it?
I work from home full-time doing the exact same job I did when I worked in my office. I work for a corporate travel agency. My DH is a police officer and he works nights so our schedules are kind of opposite but it works because he watches DD while I am working during the day. It's not a perfect situation but right now is saving lots of $$$$ in daycare, travel, clothing, etc. expenses. I don't particularly enjoy being at home all day but I know it's best for our family at this time. I think next year some time I will go back to working in my office full time.

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Old 08-21-2008, 04:09 AM
 
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I'm a WAHM - I run a small publishing business as well as handling the PR for a local company. I'm also a writer. With two young children, it's really tough but I do get *most* of what I need to get done accomplished.

My 5 year old is at school until 1:30 so that gives us a chunk of time in the morning. I do the school run and then come home and follow the baby's lead. If she's fussy and wants attention, then we play or read books or take a walk. If she's happy to play with some toys on the floor, I do a chunk of work there. I've trained myself to be able to work in 5-10 min stretches. We usually have some sort of activity in the afternoon, but come home for lunch. Again I take whatever time I can get there.

When DH gets home, he takes over from me and does the bath and PJs. I get a good hour then. We spend some family time until the children go to bed. I may squeeze in a little more work before bed, but more often than not, I just relax. It's worked really well for us for the past 2 years
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:40 AM
 
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However, I really wish we would do away with this assumption that the cost of childcare should be weighed against the mother's earning power. In my house, childcare is a share expense, just like the mortgage.
Yes to that.
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:46 AM
 
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I do bookkeeping. My mom runs a QuickBooks consulting business, and I get smaller client projects through her. It's hard to find the time, but dh and I are trying to figure out a regular schedule that gives me 10 hours a week. We really need the money.

My committment is to having as much time with my kids and dh as possible. I don't define it in terms of SAHM/WAHM/WOHM. So we try to figure out how I can make the most money while giving up the least amount of family time. For me it is purely financial - I have no intrinsic desire to be working.

I only work when dh can watch the kids. Once I factor in child care, I wouldn't be making enough for it to work for us.
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Old 08-21-2008, 05:19 AM
 
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However, I really wish we would do away with this assumption that the cost of childcare should be weighed against the mother's earning power. In my house, childcare is a share expense, just like the mortgage.
thank you thank you thank you for saying that.
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