Post # 1
I apologize in advance for the novel, but I just wanted to get some perspective from moms who worked FT until they had their first and how the approached returning to work. Thanks!
Darling Husband and I are expecting our first child at the end of October. I get 12 weeks of paid maternity leave and am taking all of it and am scheduled to leave a week before her due date (unless something comes up). My company is incredibly flexible and I’ve already been set up to work from home with full remote access on days I’m not feeling 100% so I can access almost everything the way I would if I were sitting in my office. I don’t use it often, but on days that I’m unable to leave the house, it has been a great way to ensure I don’t come back to pile of deadline the week after.
My estimated date back at work would be mid-Jan, after MLK weekend. Grandparents live nearby and have already offered to be the primary caregivers full-time once I return to work, so childcare is not an issue. It’s more about not wanting to give up bonding time with her.
I’m wondering if I were to return to work for a full week in the office to take care of any outstanding projects then start a schedule where I’m working from home 3 days a week and in the office twice a week, if I’ll have enough time to bond with our daughter, or if I’m getting ahead of myself and would not be able to multitask on the days I’m home sicne I would technically be working a full day. She’ll be about 3-4 months at this point. Darling Husband also has the option to work from home and gets paid paternity leave so he will be able to switch with me if we decide to have her at her grandparents 3 days a week, once a week with me and once a week with him, etc.
I could also extend my time off with unpaid leave but I can’t help but feel that it would be a waste since I do have the option of working from home and while the extra income is not needed, it would be huge as far as saving for her college fund and any major future expenses. I also love my job and work in an office that has a fair number of women in middle and higher management position with young children, hence the flexible policies and intend to stay here as a long-term career.
Post # 2
…I dunno, I think at 3-4 months you might be underestimating the time you would actually spend with her, and how much work you would really be able to get done. My husband works from home fulltime, and there are days when the dog is sick and he barely has time to deal with THAT!
Post # 3
I’m not sure what your job is and how demanding the workload is…does it take you the full 8 hours to get everything in or is there more downtime/flexibility?
All I will say is that working a fullday (or fulltime) in most normal jobs from home while watching a child means that you really WILL NOT be able to put in the full 8 hours of work. And it will only get worse (meaning you’ll get even less work done) as the kid gets older. I have seen plenty of WAHM who also put in working hours after the kid goes to bed simply because they are too distracted during the day to get all their work done
I worked from home one day a week ago (forced to due to power outages) and didn’t get anything done hardly except during a 3 hours nap window. That is how demanding toddlers can be. Now, if this is only a temporary thing until the baby is maybe 6mo old it is more doable. They can’t move around much before 6 mo so it will be easier on you to get more work done. I’d probably do 3 days in the office and 2 at home though to swing the balance more to being at work. You will spend more time with the baby than you think.
My husband works from home full time and we even have a sitter part time and when he’s alone with our toddler he gets almost ZERO done.
Overall I think it would be doable for the first 6mo but after that probably not so much unless you had a sitter or help. Of course, a lot of this depends on what type of job: how much concentration is needed? if it’s work you can get done piece by piece (like in a minute or two- like data entry) or takes you 10 min to figure out where you left off from last time? Do you have lots of phone calls or conference calls to make (cause crying baby in the background doesn’t work there), is it more independent work or email/customer service focused? etc.
I am not in customer service exactly but the “customers” I work with need emails and updates every day so it’s a lot to stay focused on many different ongoing projects. I could have worked at home I think the first 6 mo. I would say NO WAY after that age though. In other fields, like maybe web design or graphic design or something where you have a project to work on that you can pickup/put down easily and not have people relying on you for constant updates/help/feedback eveyr hour might be a little easier to be a WAHM.
Post # 4
I’m a Stay-At-Home Mom now, but I went back to work PT after DD#1 was born. I can’t imagine how work at home moms can get anything done without having someone else in the house to be there to take care of the baby. They’re just so needy and time consuming!
Post # 5
Cory_loves_this_girl: That’s a good point! Maybe taking her to grandma’s for a few hours on my WFM days or having grandma at home with us while I get a bulk of my work done might be the way to go since it is an option. I am also considering just going back PT until she’s older if the FT with the WFM option isn’t feasible.
I can step away from what I’m doing and pick back up at a later time, but there are stretches where I do need to focus 100% for an hour or two to get a certain task done. I do have people I have to be in contact with for updates but not in a “customer” sense (if project clients needs something urgently, it goes to our admin and office assistants who typically handle those types of requests) so I could get away with doing a bulk of the work at a time when she’s still asleep and picking back up when she’s on her next nap or something like that.
Post # 6
rittenhousenewbee: I think a lot of it depends on the baby too. Mine wouldn’t sleep alone or let me put her down almost at all during the day. She took 30 minute naps for a very long time. Banking on being able to get work done while the baby sleeps isn’t something I would do until you get to know your baby’s needs/personality.
I think taking baby to grandma’s house/having grandma over to watch the baby could work, but I think it will be much more difficult once baby turns into a running/jumping/needy/noisy toddler with opinions!
Post # 7
You will not be able to multi task. Their schedule changes way too often to schedule meetings, teleconferences around them.
I telework twice a week and both days, my daughter goes to glorious wonderful daycare. I can get a lot done for the house – and not just for her. And I get more time to bond with her because I don’t have a long commute cutting hours out of my day. So I drop her off a little later and pick her up on time and sometimes we go for walks right after, or we run errands together. I love it.
I also feel like I’m taking care of home a lot better without feeling exhausted all the time.
I went back to work at 11 weeks. I tried to keep my daughter at home for 2 weeks after I started back and it was terrible.
Here’s a photo of me holding my daughter’s pacifier in her mouth (because if I didn’t, she would cry and wail and then it will fall out, and then she would cry louder) while I’m on the other side of the camera, trying to listen in to a conference call and write with my left hand. I’m right-handed 🙁
Trust me. 12 weeks at home with your baby is enough. Arrange for childcare and keep your teleworking days to yourself. You will need the time.
Post # 8
rittenhousenewbee: I work from home full time and could not be the primary caregiver for an infant during my shift.
Even though I am in a management position and do not always have to be tied to my computer, oftentimes with meetings and scheduled activities, I am. Some days I can’t even get away to grab something to eat.
I don’t know how flexible your work schedule is, but it could be unrealistic to expect to get any real work done while caring for an infant, so the company would likely be getting the short end of the stick.
Maybe you could have the grandparents keep the baby in your house so that you’re at home with him/her, but not the primary care giver and you are actually able to get work done while still sneaking in some bonding time. That’s my plan when we conceive.
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
You can work from home, but you still need someone there who can provide childcare while you are working. Otherwise you’ll end up half-doing both tasks 9working and childcare).
I’ll be working from home 3 days a week after LO arrives, but we will still have a full-time nanny. Nanny will be there on the days that I work from home as well as the days that I head into the office. I will be available to nurse LO when he’s hungry, and will consider those my break + lunch times. But otherwise, Nanny will be responsible for diaper changes, playtime, cuddles, etc. because I will be working and I owe my employer my attention. Afterall, that’s what they pay me for!
Post # 10
Thanks all! Based on what many of you have said, I think having someone at home fully focused on caring for her while I work might be the way to go.
Maybe I’ll start with that and if it doesn’t work, I might go back to work PT until I’m ready to leave her at home 5 days a week.
It’s all so hard to tell since she’s not here yet and like Cory_loves_this_girl: said, we won’t know what her personality and need levels are until we have her for at least a few weeks!
I feel like this is a recurring theme with anything baby related – I’ve seen this with questions on sleeping, swaddling, baby equipment/toys, etc – that we won’t know what she likes/dislikes until she gets here and every single baby seems to be different!
Post # 11
rittenhousenewbee: I know where I work you can not have a child at home with you unless you have another adult to watch said child. I telecommute and honestly you are not going to get any work done if your child is there. I know there are days when we do not have daycare so at times we have my mom stay with us and watch our child. Even with them upstairs it is hard for me to get work done, especially if hear my little boy crying out his eyes for something.
Post # 12
I think your plan is a good one! I’m sitting here with my three month old right now – it’s 4:30pm and the only work I did all day was to swap two loads of laundry and feed myself. 😛 But he does actually sleep a lot, just not in nice convenient two hour chunks in a crib. So if you had grandma look after him while you worked, and then you spent your breaks and lunch bonding with baby, that could work out really well! Plus you could continue breastfeeding on demand if you were into that.
Post # 13
I think your last idea is great and I woud also play it by ear. My daughter happens to be an easier baby who rarely cries and slept a LOT the first 6 months of her life. Friend’s babies were only taking short 30 to 45 minute naps at a time but my daughter took two 2 hous naps. So I was able to get a lot done and probably could have made phone calls etc if I needed to. (I am sure the next baby will not be like this, cant be that lucky).
So you might have a better idea after your first month with her.
Post # 14
I also wanted to add that it is so great that your schedule is so flexible. That is wonderful!
Post # 15
TaurianDoll: that’s a big statement to make, that 12 weeks at home is enough. I think it’d be very personal. Most of our friends have taken 9-12 months off (in Aus they have to hold our jobs for a year), and all have barely been ready to go back then.
is it an arrangement you have to work out with work before you have bubba? I think it’s something that you’ll get a better sense off after bubs comes so if you could keep them posted them and make decisions then, you are more likely to make one that is right for you.