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How children react to WAHMs

838 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  delighted.mama
I just wanted to get a few opinions.

I am extremely busy. I have two children under age 4 and run two companies. and a non e-commerce company. I work very hard to keep things in balance.

I'm lucky because I have an outside office and an office in my house. I can be a little flexible. If I have no meeting slated for the day and I do my thing from home because I have great staff back at the office.

When I work at home, which is often, the kids don't understand why I'm 'choosing' to work and not play with them. We have a wonderful nanny who the kids love. I'm not sure how to explain it to them so they really understand and don't feel rejected - they're 2 and 4 years old. Any thoughts? Sometimes I wonder if it's better just to not work from home so it's not hard on them. But then I know they and I love the play time at lunch and that's I'm 'home' earlier.

I'd love to love to hear from other WAHMs.
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If I'm understanding your question, it's really the same problem for WOHM's. I work at home and dh works outside the home but my son asks us both "Why do you have to work?" or "Why do you have to go to work?" The first time he asked my dh said, "Because I have to make money." I would always throw in "And because we like to work" and try to explain all the things we needed the money for. I've never been 100% happy with this response but I don't know why. It's truthful, although I wouldn't be surprised if ds thinks we literally make money all day, like stamp out coins and print dollar bills.

I am really interested to see what others say. I've almost posted this question myself (if I'm understanding your question).
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I really don't think it's the same issue (WOHM vs. WAHM). It's quite different when I'm working from home versus outside the home with dd. Dd doesn't quite understand why it is that I can't play with her all the time when I'm home, or why I have to take a call or work on the computer without her being present. When I'm out of the house, she's sometimes still very upset when I leave, and is very, very happy when I return home, but only pines about my absence when she's tired.

Your four year-old might be able to understand. Your two year-old probably will not have any concept of what's going on. When working at home, I try to take some time out every couple hours to play with dd or feed her lunch or breastfeed her, and I always put her down for her nap. I also take time, whenever it's feasible, to see her when she seeks me out.
I think it is much harder for ds (13 months) if he knows I am at home. He has lots of separation anxiety for a few minutes after I leave. When he sees me off and on through the day, that problem is magnified. Frankly, he and I are both miserable. We are fortunate to have a room in the garage that I can use for home office work. I go down the same door I go through when I leave the house so all he knows is that I am "at work" and he doesn't have the constant tease of seeing me. My sitter will take him outside or to another room if I have to run upstairs for anything. I hope that as he gets older I can start to have some brief playtimes with him through the day and "go back to work" without such trauma for him. I think that it will be a very gradual transition for him to know that I am actually working at home. I didn't expect to have such rigid boundaries between "work" and "home" but at his developmental stage it seems the best solution. I do find, however, that it encourages me to be efficient about working a home so that I can leave the "office" to be with him sooner!
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I work out of home, but recently, I had the opportunity to work from home as well. It didn't work out too well. I found that not only was I distracted by everything around me, but dd had a harder time when she knew I was in the house. I'd be in the basement office and hear her running around yelling for me. When I go to work, some days she waves goodbye to me and other days she is a little more clingy, like today. But, overall, she gets over it quickly and is excited when I come home. I'd like to work home more, but I need to discipline myself better. We have a babysitter that comes to our house. Dd really enjoys being with our babysitter's daughter. I'm the one who feels distracted. As far as explaining things to her, she's only 21 months, so she doesn't really understand it. I always feel, however, that when I am home and working, she might feel rejected because she doesn't understand why mommy runs to another room for a business call. But, when I'm not home, I don't have that kind of pressure and it's a moot point. I try to get home as early as possible on the days that I work and spend as much time with her as I can. Just my 2 cents!

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