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I currently do a writing job from home. I am a solo mom with two young kids, but the working hours and flexibility of the job is such that I have never needed to find day care or anything of the kind. I work for a while before the kids get up in the morning, then when they are asleep at night. I do a few hours here and there of working while my kids (one and nearly four yo) are independently engaged, with crafts, play, books, etc, and it has worked great for us.<br><br>
I am now being offered a better job that requires more commitment time wise, and has much less flexibility. There will be strict deadlines to meet, although I will still be able to determine my own hours. I am now thinking of looking for someone who can be with the kids while I work. I'll be in the house the whole time, but will be working. I envisage this person can do fun stuff with the kids, crafts and play, and perhaps even do some cleaning as well. I'd like this person for to work with us three days a week, for three hours, I think.<br><br>
Does anyone have a "babysitter" like that? How does it work for you? Do you have any other tips for this situation? Any experiences to share?<br><br>
Thanks! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">
 

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I've struggled with the childcare issue for the last three years as a WAHM. In my area, it seemed like everyone wanted $12 plus an hour, and I'm home the whole time, so that just seemed silly. I change diapers, I cook and clean up, I just needed someone to play with the kids.<br><br>
I've finally got it sorted, at least for the moment, but my solution's a bit...unique. We recently bought a house, and we bought more space than we needed. We're currently bartering room and board (one room, with whole house access) for full time childcare, and it's working out marvelously. Before this, however - total chaos trying to find someone to help out.
 

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I do, and find it very useful. If I have a meeting, or the kids are crazy that day, I can go out without needing to line someone up specifically. A young teen might be a good option during the summer if you know you'll be home and just need someone to entertain the kids.
 

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Thanks for your replies. I think I might have found someone through a friend - she's a philosophy student looking for a part time job, and sounds like a very open-minded person. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><br><br>
Are other people able to work without distraction in such a situation? I am wondering if I might not be MORE distracted than I would be with just my kids playing independently <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">. Especially because our apartment is only small. I don't think I am comfortable with asking anyone to take my kids to the park, for instance, as the smaller one goes off at the speed of lightening and I wouldn't feel safe.<br><br>
slvsquared, that sounds ideal if you have the extra space!
 

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I don't have help now but for awhile when I was full-time I had my sister coming over a few hours a week. It was nice but at the same time DS was very clingy (he was still so young) and it was almost easier to just watch him myself while I worked.<br><br>
I think once your kids are comfortable with the sitter, try working in another room with a closed door so you can focus (even if that means working from the bedroom or something). Also as you get to know the sitter, you may feel better about letting her take them to the park, maybe do a trial run where you observe from a distance to see how she handles the runner (or find a totally fenced-in park she can take them to?) Maybe there are other places she could take them that you'd be more comfortable with (maybe the children's museum or indoor play area or a stroller walk or something?)<br><br>
Also, you could let the student know that this would be on a trial basis (1 month or so) and see how it works for you... then you have an easy out if it's just not a good arrangement.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MittensKittens</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15413994"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Are other people able to work without distraction in such a situation? I am wondering if I might not be MORE distracted than I would be with just my kids playing independently <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">. Especially because our apartment is only small. I don't think I am comfortable with asking anyone to take my kids to the park, for instance, as the smaller one goes off at the speed of lightening and I wouldn't feel safe.<br><br>
slvsquared, that sounds ideal if you have the extra space!</div>
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Depends on the particular kids, but some days I can put in headphones and work without distraction. Some days I can go in the bedroom with the laptop. Some days I have to either send the sitter and kids out (If the park isn't an option, you might see if the sitter taking them to a playdate at a friend's house, or to the library is an option) OR I have to go out myself (in which case you might want to scout out park benches or coffee shops where you can go if needed).
 

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I have babysitters while I work. At the peak, I get about 6 hours a day (spread over two 3-hour sessions, one with each of two babysitters). I like to have a morning session and an afternoon session, and break for lunch and nursing. My son is 16 months old, but he still nurses, and it's important to me to keep that up.<br><br>
However, I find that working at home is NOT an option. If I can hear my son at all, I won't get anything done. So, I usually go to a coffee shop nearby and work there. I know I'll be completely uninterrupted, and I know exactly how much time I have, so I can pace myself.<br><br>
In my area, college students work as sitters for around $10/hr. My friend pays $10.50 or $11 for a bilingual sitter.
 

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My DH WAH, and we have a nanny. There is no way that he would be able to work and care for DS.
 

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I the past we have used an 11 yr old who asks $5 an hour and does a great job playing with my DD while I work. She comes over after school and stays till dh can get home and take over.
 

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I am really lucky because I found a neighbor Mom will children of similar age. I pay her really well, more than prob. most would, but I don't want to bargain with chidlcare. But the great thing is that she's so close, we walk there,I walk home and I get maximum amount of time with the kids being out of the house. I only use her 8 hours a week, but the amount it helps is tremendous!
 

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We have a great sitter, but I don't always use her for when I am working. Maybe I should! Much of the work is very, very detailed-oriented and it can be hard to focus when little one is running underfoot. Depending on my next contract and the requirements, I may think about a mother's helper -- teenager from the neighborhood to play with dc while I'm home working.
 

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I've done a mother's helper while working on my dissertation - basically I would work while DS is being entertained, and would break for feeding and pottying and help with fussing. It worked great, but today DS wanted to be held by me and only by me. Poor bub was too tired because his morning naps got messed jp. I didn't mind, but it wasn't great for my productivity.
 
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