WAHMs--- how do you work with a baby? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 16 Old 04-14-2012, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd is 10 months old now. She still breastfeeds around the clock and wants me around constantly. My dh and I have our own business, and my role involves doing stuff on the computer. It means I have flexible hours for work, but it seems like I can never get time to work productively! DD has to be watched constantly because she's pretty mobile, crawing everywhere, getting her hands in everything, putting stuff in her mouth, etc. When I do get a couple hours when dd is napping, I'm usually too tired to concentrate. What to do?


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#2 of 16 Old 04-15-2012, 11:08 AM
 
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Can you get a mother's helper in a couple of times/week? It could even be a responsible high school student since you'll be at home anyway. Otherwise I would say naps and after bedtime is your best bet. It's impossible when they're mobile and into everything.
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#3 of 16 Old 04-15-2012, 12:03 PM
 
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Naps, staying up late, waking up early, or paying zomeone to watch the baby. It just doesn't work for me otherwise.

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#4 of 16 Old 04-15-2012, 12:53 PM
 
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I work after the kids go to bed or when dp can watch them.  dd never napped consistently enough for me to count on working then, and now when ds naps I spend time with dd, so that is still not an option.  If my kids didn't wake up the second I did, I would try to work in the early a.m.!  For me hiring a babysitter/mother's helper would almost cancel out the $ I would be making during that time, so I just have to squeeze it in while I can.  I find that trying to work while watching the kiddos just leads to lots of frustration and tears for all of us!


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#5 of 16 Old 04-17-2012, 01:25 PM
 
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I've learned how to type one-handed fairly well, with either hand, so I can do some things while nursing at the keyboard.  But it is not ideal; sometimes I seem to need my whole body free to be able to think straight.  Also, I divide up my work into very small tasks, and make a task list, so I can quickly pick up where I left off when I get a chance, and get at least a little bit done before the next interruption.

 

It sounds like you should spend the first twenty minutes or so of nap time taking care of yourself, instead of trying to work. 

 

We've also gone pretty far with the babyproofing here: nearly everything at floor level is ok for the baby to play with.  (The problem is that he'll be able to climb up on chairs in a couple of months.)

So I don't have to watch him like a hawk most of the time.

 

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#6 of 16 Old 04-18-2012, 10:18 AM
 
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when I just had DS, a playyard was fantastic for inside. I have to work during set hours (need to do 8ish between 6:30 a.m and 8 p.m) I do a good bit of work before anyone wakes up, and DH has to take the first shift before noon, because often he is working in the afternoon.

 

I hate to say it, but the TV is my friend. My 2 year old can also be outside playing on the fenced in patio, as I can see it clearly from my desk. The baby (6 months) is always rolling around and putting stuff in her mouth. Childproofing is also a good thing.


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#7 of 16 Old 04-18-2012, 09:08 PM
 
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I have an 8 month old son who wants to be with me most of the time. Working from home, low-income, single mom with not enough money to pay for childcare. I have to be pretty creative, flexible, patient, and accept being exhausted all of the time. I use his naps to get the hard stuff done, sit on an exercise ball while at my computer and that works well because he likes to hit it and play around it so it helps him feel like he's near me / playing with me. I am often nursing and typing and/or talking on the phone (headset). Many of my work calls involve me saying something like "if you hear baby sounds in the background it is because I work from home while caring for my 8 month old baby". 

Some of my work is during set hours that have been agreed upon by my place of work, times when I am expected to take calls no matter what, and those are the most difficult times. I just suck it up that things are going to be hard during those hours, and try to surround him with things to play with or hope that he goes down for a nap. 

I'm still working on babyproofing everything, which I think will go a long way because this little guy crawls fast and gets into everything. 

Mostly what I am learning is to let go of trying to get everything in my job perfect because I am doing two jobs at once and it's impossible. It's hard to let myself do this, but necessary for my sanity.

Good luck!

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#8 of 16 Old 04-19-2012, 08:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaleila View Post

I have an 8 month old son who wants to be with me most of the time. Working from home, low-income, single mom with not enough money to pay for childcare. I have to be pretty creative, flexible, patient, and accept being exhausted all of the time. I use his naps to get the hard stuff done, sit on an exercise ball while at my computer and that works well because he likes to hit it and play around it so it helps him feel like he's near me / playing with me. I am often nursing and typing and/or talking on the phone (headset). Many of my work calls involve me saying something like "if you hear baby sounds in the background it is because I work from home while caring for my 8 month old baby". 

Some of my work is during set hours that have been agreed upon by my place of work, times when I am expected to take calls no matter what, and those are the most difficult times. I just suck it up that things are going to be hard during those hours, and try to surround him with things to play with or hope that he goes down for a nap. 

I'm still working on babyproofing everything, which I think will go a long way because this little guy crawls fast and gets into everything. 

Mostly what I am learning is to let go of trying to get everything in my job perfect because I am doing two jobs at once and it's impossible. It's hard to let myself do this, but necessary for my sanity.

Good luck!

 

 

yeahthat.gif I have a seven-month old who is teething and very clingy at the moment, between part-time work from home, full-time course work (Six 5-10 page papers for this quarter plus weekly statistics lab work) and an unpaid internship (also mostly from home), it's a very difficult task to accomplish, especially without a partner (and no money for extra help). I agree that letting go of expectations of perfection is key, and even though I'm exhausted, I work when he sleeps anyway. I've gotten very good at typing with one hand too! Also, moving the laptop to the bed helps A LOT. I can nurse him to sleep and then he's sleeping against me comfortably, but not right on my lap, so I have freedom to move and type. I've also figured out that he wakes at 6am, nurses and then sleeps until 9am, so I get a lot accomplished in the morning. I was never a morning person until I became a mom! 

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#9 of 16 Old 04-20-2012, 06:04 AM
 
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I am not a WAHP, but my spouse is.  He is self-employed, and we've redone our budget to accept that he can only work part-time right now, and only on certain types of jobs (for example, he doesn't try to make any phone calls when he's alone with the baby - he communicates only through email).  He's very prolific and able to get a lot done in the couple hours between the baby's bedtime and ours, but I know it's still exhausting for him.

 

Are there expenses you can cut back on so that you, your husband, or both can work fewer hours?  I'm not going to make any tired suggestions about cutting out daily Starbucks trips (who can afford that in the first place!), but for us, it's helped to order a lot of our nonperishable groceries in bulk online rather than going to the pricey local supermarkets - we live in an extremely HCOL area. We also buy just about everything secondhand (with the obvious exceptions of a brand new car seat and a brand new breast pump.)  And needless to say, the days of $160 Saturday nights in the nearby city are LONG gone...

 

I'm looking forward to seeing others' suggestions as well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#10 of 16 Old 04-23-2012, 02:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Totally agree! Arranging someone to help out for a couple hours so I can concentrate fully works much better. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post

  I find that trying to work while watching the kiddos just leads to lots of frustration and tears for all of us!

 

 


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#11 of 16 Old 04-23-2012, 02:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I wish I could work after her bedtime, but I find myself so pooped, I go to bed as well! Sometimes I'm able to get work done in the mornings, but dd wakes up frequently in the mornings and needs to be nursed back to sleep. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyMae08 View Post

Otherwise I would say naps and after bedtime is your best bet. It's impossible when they're mobile and into everything.

 

 


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#12 of 16 Old 04-23-2012, 02:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow... that's amazing.

 

Good luck to you too :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaleila View Post

I have an 8 month old son who wants to be with me most of the time. Working from home, low-income, single mom with not enough money to pay for childcare. I have to be pretty creative, flexible, patient, and accept being exhausted all of the time. I use his naps to get the hard stuff done, sit on an exercise ball while at my computer and that works well because he likes to hit it and play around it so it helps him feel like he's near me / playing with me. I am often nursing and typing and/or talking on the phone (headset). Many of my work calls involve me saying something like "if you hear baby sounds in the background it is because I work from home while caring for my 8 month old baby". 

Some of my work is during set hours that have been agreed upon by my place of work, times when I am expected to take calls no matter what, and those are the most difficult times. I just suck it up that things are going to be hard during those hours, and try to surround him with things to play with or hope that he goes down for a nap. 

I'm still working on babyproofing everything, which I think will go a long way because this little guy crawls fast and gets into everything. 

Mostly what I am learning is to let go of trying to get everything in my job perfect because I am doing two jobs at once and it's impossible. It's hard to let myself do this, but necessary for my sanity.

Good luck!

 

 


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#13 of 16 Old 04-23-2012, 02:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm... we generally are pretty flexible with adjusting to our income (it varies every year). But in order to just get the business going, a minimum amount of work has to be done. We've tried to hire, but so far it's just caused more frustration than anything. We're counting on dd being okay while in the care of family members or friends during the busy times. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by glassesgirlnj View Post

Are there expenses you can cut back on so that you, your husband, or both can work fewer hours?  I'm not going to make any tired suggestions about cutting out daily Starbucks trips (who can afford that in the first place!), but for us, it's helped to order a lot of our nonperishable groceries in bulk online rather than going to the pricey local supermarkets - we live in an extremely HCOL area. We also buy just about everything secondhand (with the obvious exceptions of a brand new car seat and a brand new breast pump.)  And needless to say, the days of $160 Saturday nights in the nearby city are LONG gone...

 

I'm looking forward to seeing others' suggestions as well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#14 of 16 Old 04-25-2012, 10:35 AM
 
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Thanks. I have days (like today) when I feel like I'm on the verge of breaking down from it all. Breathe. Breathe. It's hard work! I send you lots of strength, mama.

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#15 of 16 Old 04-26-2012, 05:05 PM
 
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A combo of a baby gate and a baby proofed room along with getting the little ones on a schedule is what does it for me. I might be lucky, but it seems like once they have a schedule down I can get it working alright. Everything has to be done in small 2hr chunks, but it seems to work.

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#16 of 16 Old 05-01-2012, 07:22 PM
 
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You all are scaring me lol, I keep thinking it'll get easier...son is 9wks now. It's really not going to is it? Maybe I'll get less tired at least and can work after he goes to bed....

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