Post # 1
i am considering asking my employer if they would be okay with me working from home one day a week after my baby is born, but i am wondering if this is even a realistic possibility with an infant. i am an attorney and a typical day is spent doing legal research, drafting documents, or on conference calls. since its just one day a week, i should be able to shift tasks around to a certain extent to do things that are “easier” to do remotely and don’t really require interaction with other people or being available at specific times. from moms who have worked from home or who are currently working from home, is it realistic to think that i could get anything done while working from home one day a week? or will an infant need constant care such that i wouldn’t get much of anything done?
Post # 2
Not without a nanny. And for what it’s worth, many employers require people who work from home to have childcare and those that don’t technically require it will often revoke WFH privileges when they find out you don’t have childcare.
I find it hard enough to WFH with our nanny here – it would be impossible to be productive without one. (I’m also an attorney.)
Post # 3
Honestly, I would NOT have been able to do it. My daughter was so needy, particularly needy for me. She would not nap independently from me for the first 9 months, but she would at daycare.
I don’t mean to generalize with this next part, but I have seen a couple moms who stay at home once or twice a week with their baby make it work, but their babies were formula fed. My daughter was breastfed, and she was obsessed with nursing, which made it very difficult.
ETA – I do, however, recommend you negotiate to work from home one day a week, if even just to give yourself one work from home day… not necessarily to keep your child home. It may help your mental health.
Post # 4
diana148 : Are you planning on working from home while being the only caretaker? That’d be extremely difficult. I’m an attorney too and work from home at least 1 day/week, but LO’s at daycare. I couldn’t do it if I had to watch him as well — he’ll be 2 next month and he’s constantly running around wanting us to read to him or play with him/getting into things. And I can’t rely on naptime because he sometimes only naps for half an hour.
And when he was an infant, also no way — he only napped 15 min at a time at random times. Maybe if you have a unicorn baby who reliably naps really well, it’d be more doable, but overall, I’d advise against it. You can certainly try it out, but be prepared to adjust.
Even if you have a nanny or your partner around, it’d still be hard IMO. When one of us is around, LO wants us, and will cry and pound on doors to get to us.
Post # 5
diana148 : not possible. As others have said a lot of companies will expect you to have childcare on any day you work from home.
Babies change a lot and quickly. While a newborn might sleep a lot, an older baby won’t be content to just sit in a playpen all day watching you work.
Post # 6
not possible. not even a little bit.
I run my own business and for the first six months I got absolutely nothing done unless someone was here to help me watch our D.D., and she was practically an angel baby. If I did get things done while she was sleeping it was at the cost of me getting that extra sleep while she was sleeping. Not worth it IMO.
Post # 7
diana148 : Are you asking if it’s possible to work from home AND watch your baby at the same time? Yeah don’t do that. Could you maybe possibly manage it once in a while when your baby is very tiny? Possibly… But you really never know when your baby is going to cooperate with your work schedule. What if you need to make an important call and your baby decides now is the perfect time to throw a massive screaming, crying fit?
I work from home pretty regularly BUT on those days I still have adequate childcare for my son. I love my work from home days because I still get to see my son way more than I would when I actually come in to the office. Like after I finish up a bunch of emails I can pop downstairs and get in some good snuggles and then head on back up to my office and do some more work. So working from home still has definite benefits but saving money on childcare isn’t one of them.
Post # 8
diana148 : I’m a paralegal and I could never get any work done at home with my kid. You might be able to do some without additional childcare if you get a really great napper (my kid sucked at naps) but even then not a full day’s worth of work.
It’s funny because our CEO recently floated the idea of WFH days and I was so excited about it. He made a comment that it would help save on childcare and I told him pointblank “oh the kids would still go to daycare, but saving my commute and being able to toss in a load of laundry between calls would still be a huge win for me”.
Post # 9
IMO, no. Once an infant is past that sleepy newborn stage they need a /lot/ of attention and it doesn’t get any better with a toddler.
Post # 10
I think there’s a sliiiiight possibility you could make one day a week work if you had no conference calls on that specific day, and you knew you would have to pick up and put down work several times to tend to the baby’s needs. You might end up having to spread 8 hours of research or document drafts over more like 12-14 hours when all is said and done. And your employer would have to be on board with the scenario too.
I’m actually working from home right now with an almost 7 month old, but my husband is a stay-at-home dad so it’s a completely different situation. I actually had to move my home office to another floor of the house because we have an open plan living area and even with her full time caregiver right there, she’d start acting up because she could see me. I know for me, it would be far more stressful to be the only caregiver at home while trying to work because I’d feel like I’d either be neglecting my work or the baby.
Post # 11
thanks everyone! i had a feeling that this was not a realistic plan at all but its helpful to hear from those who have actually been through it.
Post # 12
Back in the day when I was working for someone my employer had a rule that you can’t work from home if there is someone else home with you because it is distracting. His words, not mine
Post # 13
I work from home part time while also being a Stay-At-Home Mom to my toddler. I’ve been doing this since she was 2 months old (pro tip: it was way easier then than it is now lol). I probably work about 15-20 hours a week, all of which is done during her naps/before she wakes up in the morning. I am not able to do any work while she’s awake unless my husband is home, which is rare. I’m lucky that she’s always been a pretty good sleeper, otherwise not sure how I’d manage. Also, my work is deadline based as opposed to set hours that I have to be available every day, which also helps a lot. It’s copywriting/editing, so it’s just me and my computer…minimal interaction with coworkers or clients.
I will say that I have a lot of mom friends who have part time gigs and are also SAHMs. I had no idea how common this was until I had a baby and met other moms in similar situations. I think if you had a max of maybe 4-5 hrs of work time you needed to put in on the one day a week you WFH, and it didnt involve set meetings/appoitnments at specific times, it might be doable without childcare?
Post # 14
i telework 2 days a week. it is against policy to use telework for childcare. that being said, i’ve done it, everyone does it occassionally.
i’m a software developer. i can’t work at home with my kids there without another person.
when they were newborns and just slept, i could do it. but as they got older and mobile, they needed and wanted my attention, always needing something and i didn’t want to stick them in front of the tv.
Post # 15
As many have said, some companies do not even allow this. My company requires childcare if you work from home. Even if they allowed it, with my son there is no way it would have happened. For the first 2 months he wanted to be held constantly, I could barely set him down to pee or get something to eat yet alone log in to meetings. And even now that hes older, when he isn’t napping he needs constant attention and play time. So yeah, I say no to working from home with a baby without childcare.