Working and taking care of baby--how feasible? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-06-2011, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wasn't sure where to put this, so feel free to move it if it is not in the right place.

 

This isn't about WAH, per se, but I thought you ladies would have the best idea.

 

I am pregnant with my first and would love to SAH, but we can't afford it. What we can do is have me SAH for the first six-eight months or so, and then I would go back to work. DH may have the opportunity to bring our son to work with him during the day, but how feasible is it to bring a baby between 6-12 months to work with you in an enclosed office? He would do this 4 days a week until our son is about a year, and after that, we would probably put him in daycare.

 

How do you manage WAH while taking care of an older baby? Could you see this working, or would our son be too old by this point? Also, if it could work, what kinds of things would DH need in his office? Pack n play and toys, but any other obvious things?

 

Thanks for any help!


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#2 of 10 Old 01-07-2011, 06:20 PM
 
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Honestly, I think it would be really challenging.  I WAH with ds (10 months) and dd (4 in April) and it is hard even when he can crawl around the house with all his toys, I'm not worried about him making noise, I can take a break whenever I need to (not working on a schedule), the room is reasonably childproof, etc.  I cannot even imagine trying to contain a baby that age in an enclosed office space for any period of time while attempting to get anything done.  Maybe for an hour or two a day, but defintely not for a full day on a set schedule.  How would he handle naps/feedings?  Could he take breaks to do those things plus play, etc.?

 

I hate to sound negative but I am shuddering at the thought of trying this, lol!  Not to say it couldn't work with some kids, but both my kids have been pretty active/needy.  Ds was  crawling at 6 months and his favorite thing to play with while I work is the mouse,  keyboard, comptuer, paper, etc....!  

 

If your dh's boss is open to him bringing baby with him, could you approach them about working from home instead?  While still difficult to put in a regular 8 hour day, maybe he could get by hiring a "Father's helper" for part of the day instead of doing daycare. 

 

Okay, I feel like a downer now-maybe somebody else will have a positive story to share to prove me wrong :) Good luck with your new baby!


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#3 of 10 Old 01-07-2011, 06:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post

Honestly, I think it would be really challenging.  I WAH with ds (10 months) and dd (4 in April) and it is hard even when he can crawl around the house with all his toys, I'm not worried about him making noise, I can take a break whenever I need to (not working on a schedule), the room is reasonably childproof, etc.  I cannot even imagine trying to contain a baby that age in an enclosed office space for any period of time while attempting to get anything done.  Maybe for an hour or two a day, but defintely not for a full day on a set schedule.  How would he handle naps/feedings?  Could he take breaks to do those things plus play, etc.?

 

I hate to sound negative but I am shuddering at the thought of trying this, lol!  Not to say it couldn't work with some kids, but both my kids have been pretty active/needy.  Ds was  crawling at 6 months and his favorite thing to play with while I work is the mouse,  keyboard, comptuer, paper, etc....!  

 

If your dh's boss is open to him bringing baby with him, could you approach them about working from home instead?  While still difficult to put in a regular 8 hour day, maybe he could get by hiring a "Father's helper" for part of the day instead of doing daycare. 

 

Okay, I feel like a downer now-maybe somebody else will have a positive story to share to prove me wrong :) Good luck with your new baby!

Unfortunately, I have to agree with all of this.  I WAH and have since my firstborn was born.  By the time he was 6 months old we had a series of gates used to keep him in the office and bedroosm but away from the steps and bathroom, so he had a little indoor area to play around in.  After DD came along and she was a few months old, we had a different house and the entire attic was a finished space for them to play in while I worked in one corner.  I can't imagine trying to contain the energy and noise of even one 6-12 mo baby in one room for a full work day, when there were other people in the same area trying to work, too. 

 

I'd follow the above advice to see if you could get a work at home kind of situation going for your DH. 

 

Sorry I can't be more encouraging either!  Good to think about it now and try to get some ideas running around!!

 


Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#4 of 10 Old 01-09-2011, 09:31 PM
 
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I think it'll depend greatly on your baby's personality, but mostly I agree with the PP's.  My DH was self-employed WAH and SAHD with our DD, and that worked ok.  She was a high-needs sleeper so she napped a lot, and she enjoyed quiet, sedentary activities, like looking at board books., and she had no interest in messing with DH's laptop.  DS, on the other hand, hates to sleep, loves to scream and squeal, is nearly always on the go, sticks everytihng in his mouth so you can't hardly take your eyes off him, and if he sees a glowly box (computer, cell phone, TV, etc), he is like a fly to a light.  He doesn't do much by himself, and at 14mo, he's only just recently consented to napping alone in his bed.  So it's nearly impossible to get anything at all done. I know there are people who can somehow nurse while typing, but DS would never let me do that. Sometimes I can hold my phone down beside the rocker where he can't see it and read my email.

 

That's all aside from the basic problems of containing and entertaining a baby in an office environment, keeping baby from disturbing others.

 

Honestly, it's great to be home with your baby. But daycare isn't evil and won't ruin your child. My suggestion would be to try working a part-time at home job starting shortly after your child is born, and save that money so that you can extend the amount of time you can afford to be at home.


Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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#5 of 10 Old 01-10-2011, 02:18 PM
 
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I can't imagine it working. I WAH for my old job. I occasionally try to get some work done while DD plays. It takes me two or three times as long to complete a task. I can't even bill my employer for the time because my productivity is so low. So work while she is awake is limited to checking and answering emails. Actual work has to happen while she sleeps.

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#6 of 10 Old 01-12-2011, 12:33 AM
 
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I have to agree with the ladies.  It's NOT easy to work when you have baby around.  It's tough to get actual solid hours of straight work in with baby around.

 

I WAH and have also taken a baby to work before (but the babies were not newborn so I could keep them busy with coloring and such). 

 

I would suggest that you and your DH try saving as much money as you can during your pregnancy.  Maybe even work some extra shifts, get an extra job, just to save up as much as you possibly can.  That way you have more time/room/money to make your transition/decision after baby is born. 

 

Have you really taken a good hard look at all your income and expenses?  Are there things you could cut temporarily to

1) save money until baby comes

2) keep costs down until you go back to work?

 

I have never done a budget before and I was super surprised at how much farther the money went when we did sit and right an actual budget down (not a theoretical one a real one).  Then also think about how much you really want to be able to stay home for a while after baby is born.  Is it worth giving up a few things that may be costing you extra?

 

I know it may be tough to think about while expecting (I like to be spoiled!).  lol

 

My SIL is actually planning to stop working altogether the next time she gets pregnant (she's had a few losses).  So her and her husband are currently saving like crazy for that.  They also sat down together and took a really good hard look at their income and expenses.  Right now they say they need about $500/month from her income to make it, but they did estimate on the higher end.

 

Over the course of the next few months they will see if they can drop down in some areas and try to live on her husband's income alone.  This is a great idea for a couple reasons...1) it give them a realistic idea of what it will be like and if it's possible (or if it can be possible) and 2) it allows them to put anything she makes now, over and above what they really need to pay for expenses, into the savings account

 

Plus she knows that IF they really do "need" the $500/month from her check and they can't cut that back any more, then she knows that if she wants to stay home for a full year, then she has to save up $6k.  In the mean time, she is trying to work as much as she can, while using as little of her income as possible, so they can save faster than normal.

 

Just some ideas.


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#7 of 10 Old 01-12-2011, 09:25 AM
 
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i have been working at home since my DS was 12 weeks old.  i can only do it because a babysitter helps me for a few hours a day.  it is challenging even with the help -- my DS's schedule varies and i try to get as much done while he is sleeping as possible.  i have a pack 'n play and toys for him, but he still needs human interaction.  so, i agree, it is very difficult (although rewarding to have your child next to you!)

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#8 of 10 Old 01-12-2011, 09:40 AM
 
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It's difficult, but it really depends on both the baby and the work. 

 

I worked at home during dd2's first year doing daycare...ie taking care of kids all day.  I had 2 other babies besides mine and really it wasn't HARD, other than the fact that I was dealing with ppd as well.  I haven't been dealing with the ppd so far after having #3, and I feel like I could mentally handle it better now.  But since the work was just what I was doing anyway-changing diapers, rocking baby etc, it wasn't like I was constantly having to stop working to take care of baby...taking care of baby WAS the work.  In the end, the ppd and issues with aquiring steady kids (in my area, you can have up to 5 unrelated kids without a license, so everyone out of work picks up some kids to babysit and competition is high,) forced me to stop and get a WOH job. 

 

My sister started her now outside her home business while her little one was just a baby.  She is a cake baker and most of the actual work (baking and decorating) was easy to do with the baby around-it only takes a few moments to mix the stuff, then it's in the oven while she would rock or feed him.)  But, she had to meet with clients also, and that was difficult with him around.  She usually had to schedule the meetings in the evenings when her DH was home and could take the little one out for that hour or so. 

 

Other jobs, like things that require conentrating on a computer or papers for any length of time, lots of time on the phone, stuff that requires long periords of time creating stuff, that would be tough to do with baby around.  The type of situation you describe with a baby cooped up in an office while the parent does work at a desk, I am not sure that would work out so well.

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#9 of 10 Old 01-12-2011, 10:16 AM
 
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I WAH and WOH and take my DD with me. Personally, I find WAH harder than WOH and taking her with me.

 

I cook and clean for an elderly couple. I am typically away from the house with DD for 4 hours a day. There was no way I could have done this before she was 6 months old. Now that she is a little older, she can entertain herself in her pack n play. We also use these times to eat solid food, since that usually entertains her for at least an hour (twice a day , so 2 of my 4 hours are spent in the highchair). I wear her on my back a lot, because Im moving around. I dont know what your DH does, but if it is sitting behind a computer and having to think, I would think that would be really really hard. I can clean someone's whole house with her on my back, but I cant figure out how much my bills are if she is awake and not quiet. I have no ability to focus on buisnessy stuff when she is active ( I also WAH running my husbands landscaping business and a retail store...needless to say, we are way behind on paperwork.)

 

I would say that if your husband has an enclosed office, where no one else can hear your babe, and his job is not super high demand, he could do it for part of the day. I dont think any babe is going to be ok with it all day everyday.

 

I hope you can find a solution, but it wont be the end of the world if your baby has to go to daycare or have a sitter :). Congrats on your pregnancy!


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#10 of 10 Old 01-12-2011, 03:17 PM
 
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I just started working from home at 20 hours per week. My son is 20 months old.

 

I have the advantage of working whenever I want, as long as I do 20 hours/week. However, I really can only work when he naps (1-3 hours/day, depending on how he's feeling), sleeps at night, or is at preschool (2 mornings per week). My son is far too active and demanding of attention for me to work while he's awake. I think if you take a flexible from-home job like mine, it may work (but be warned, I'm often working on the weekend or very late at night to accumulate enough work hours.). But it depends so much on the child's disposition. My son requires a lot of attention, but he's a great sleeper. Long stretches without waking. smile.gif

 

I don't think it would work to put a baby at the office with daddy. Baby wouldn't be happy due to limited freedom/attention. Daddy would not be happy due to reduced productivity. Taking a job watching other children along with your own might work, though I'd spend a few months with your child before you decide whether you think you can handle many of them every day.


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