Many assume that if you are a mum working from home, then childcare isn’t really an issue. You are there, aren’t you? How can watching over the kids be a problem?
Well, because if you are engaged in childcare, you can’t focus on your work. It is a very difficult balancing act to perform and one which frustrates increasing numbers of home working mums. Good organisation, planning and patience are all required in order to make working at home with kids a success – along with a pretty tough skin and a good amount of self-discipline.
There are three main routes that work at home mums tend to follow. Here’s the low down on each approach and the pros and cons that apply…
Do it yourself
Pretty self explanatory – option one is the most common choice at first for work at home mums. In many cases the situation evolves gradually and no hard and fast decisions are ever made about childcare provision. The main motivation behind this option is mums who want to start earning, but can’t afford to pay out hefty childcare fees on top. This scenario is a tough option and often doomed to fail. Mums feel as if they are being pulled in different directions all the time – they really can’t win. Their relationship with their child and their work suffers equally – it’s a lose/lose situation.
Some miracle mums can and do make this option work for them, but they often have to really adapt their working day to squeeze the best out of the situation. Additionally, it can depend on the temperament of your kids – if they are easy going and self-reliant they will be easier to manage than children who demand more attention. Some mums manage to set up a child play area in the corner of the room they work in, they put in a few toys that are only available when mum is working – this can help buy time against boredom kicking in for the little one and keep them contented for longer.
Some mums take their children to places to play and manage to work at the same time. Cafés with play areas or parks with covered areas can be ideal for getting through work on your laptop whilst children amuse themselves. When there are other mums in the same situation behaving identically with their kids, encourage them to play together -it will help everybody!
If you do your sums, you may actually find that paying for childcare is worth the investment because you will be far more productive in your work. Childcare that fits around your work, instead of the other way around, could make a huge difference to your work turnover and efficiency. The problem for many working mums is that they don’t need full time child care, they require a tailor-made childcare programme that suits their unique situation. Sometimes they may only need an hour in the morning – other days it might be three or four. To satisfy this type of niche childcare it’s necessary to go to experienced and reliable sources such as RockMyBaby. They can supply nanny, babysitting and other support services for parents on a very flexible basis. For hiring vetted childcare professionals that are available quickly,locally and reliably, RockMyBaby is the dream answer to the problems of many a work at home mum.
Look close to home
Asking for favours from family or friends when it comes to childcare is sometimes a little awkward. It is often more satisfactory to make arrangements with friends who have children because then you can have a reciprocal agreement whereby you look after each other’s kids. Grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles often enjoy spending time with their young relatives, you may be surprised at their enthusiasm if you ask them for help. If you have a partner, work out a schedule with them that involves them taking the kids for a day a week, for example. When it comes to getting childcare favours from friends and family, your diplomatic and negotiating skills will be in great demand – but if you manage a positive result it’s good for your kids and good for you, too.
Working from home whilst juggling childcare and all the other responsibilities of motherhood can be a real challenge – but with some lateral thinking, ninja organisational skills and back-up, it can be done.