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Has anyone successfully worked from home with a toddler?


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#1 InOmniaParatus

Posted 20 May 2019 - 11:26 AM

thanks all, deleted for privacy

Edited by InOmniaParatus, 20 May 2019 - 04:34 PM.


#2 AllyK81

Posted 20 May 2019 - 11:31 AM

What about your husband or partner? Can he do a half day?

Depends on the child. I did with my DS easily. He was great at independent play.

My daughter? No way!!

I think it will be difficult. I know you say your DD is not ready for childcare but have you toured some local centres? At her age the socialisation can be really invaluable. I'd be looking at some centres to see if any of them make you feel comfortable.

#3 Caribou

Posted 20 May 2019 - 11:31 AM

Yes, sorry I find it so hard. I’ve done it with both kids. Frankly I get more done with them asleep. I tried the whole set up a playspace around my office and that failed miserably. I tried setting up a table next to me to get them to draw etc and I’d occasionally jump in and play, but like a seagull, feed them once they come back for more

Speaking of food the best success I’ve had was basically feed the kids for some peace.

It’s hard. It’s really not fun, and I wouldn’t recommend it. honestly, if i had my time again, I would never ever do it. Can you do a babysitter at home for 5 hours?

Edited by Caribou, 20 May 2019 - 11:34 AM.


#4 Popper

Posted 20 May 2019 - 11:32 AM

I have worked from home successfully for many years. Never ever managed a single day with a toddler/child in my care. Sorry OP my advice is that it won't work.

Edited by Popper, 20 May 2019 - 11:33 AM.


#5 seayork2002

Posted 20 May 2019 - 11:35 AM

I could not even have considered it, DS kept himself amused a little but with me in the same room but for him a play room (or 2) would not have been used unless one of us was with him.

if I went to the other room for something I did not need to turn around to know he was right behind me.

At I could not talk on the phone without him wanting to talk too

#6 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 20 May 2019 - 11:43 AM

Check with your employer that you are actually allowed to have her at home with you - many workplaces specify that the child has to be cared for separately as its an OHS issue.

I know a couple of people who have managed to do it successfully with a fair bit of tv time. Personally Id rather they be at childcare than in front of a tv but I guess if its only half a day a week that's not a huge amount and you can fit in lots of outdoor play at other times.

My kids theres no way on this green earth I could have worked from home as they would want to sit on my lap and 'help' me  but I think it depends on the child's personality a lot.

#7 tomson

Posted 20 May 2019 - 11:44 AM

Yes, I did it, with one, and then two kids, both from birth.

The biggest help I think was that they both were good sleepers - they slept consistently both in the morning and afternoon until they were quite old.

They dropped the afternoon sleep first, and once the morning sleep was on its way out, I changed it to "rest time" and they spent some quiet time in their rooms playing/reading etc. These sleep/rest times gave me a good block of time to get some work done.

I would also take work related phone calls at home, so the kids were taught not to interrupt/ be too loud when I was on a call ( I think this is good manners for everyone anyway, but it was important for work related calls).

I do think it can be done, but it depends on your kid's personality (mine are both relatively quiet/well-behaved kids), and how organised you are.

#8 ali-song

Posted 20 May 2019 - 11:45 AM

I did, but my DDs were superstar nappers - they’d regularly clock 4 hours. I could get very little done while they were awake, however.

#9 Elizabethandfriend

Posted 20 May 2019 - 11:47 AM

I would try and get a student to come and babysit for a couple of hours to give you some uninterrupted time.  Cheaper than a full day of childcare.

#10 Future-self

Posted 20 May 2019 - 11:56 AM

No.
For two reasons - a) Working at home had some complex OHS issues round my workspace and having a child and toys in that workspace wasn’t going to fly.

b) To get good work done meant ignoring my child. For me, being in her quality childcare room for a short day was far better than me ignoring her or using TV

#11 JBH

Posted 20 May 2019 - 11:56 AM

I think it can be done if your employer doesn’t have an expectation about you being available during particular hours, just that the work gets done and you spend the equivalent of 2.5 days per week. That way, you can work late at night, or a couple of hours each day during nap time, or catch up on the weekend if your partner takes your daughter to the park.  If you need to be available, it can be very stressful, as it can feel like underperforming as an employee and a parent during those hours.

#12 molinero

Posted 20 May 2019 - 12:04 PM

IME this works when you have a settled baby. But once they start walking, all bets are off.

I've tried this with a toddler, and apart from naptimes, it didn't work.

There is also no guarantee your toddler will continue the daytime naps for much longer.

When I tried this with one of my kids, we ended up getting so frustrated with each other that I decided this 'work time' we were spending together was actually bad for our mother-child relationship.

An extra day of daycare was better for my child. It meant the time we were spending together was better quality and not full of "mummy, come do XXX," "no darling, mummy's working," cue tantrum. It also meant I was spending less time after hours and on weekends catching up on work I missed during those hours at home with a toddler.

#13 rileys-mum

Posted 20 May 2019 - 12:08 PM

For under 1 year it is much easier than an almost 2 year old.

The only way I found it to work is when they are sleeping.
I would often start at 4:30am and go through to 6:30, then during their sleep time.

However you need to disciplined that during sleep time you JUST work. What then happens is when they are awake you are busy trying to sort out the house or you end up with such a chaotic house at the end of the day because you have not been able to tidy as you go.

In reality it is stressful and unlikely to give you any extra time with your child. When children won't go down for a sleep or entertain themselves and you have a deadline pending, it is stressful for all. I have also been known to lock myself in a walk in robe to take a call whilst a toddler is having a tantrum. So stressful as you feel like you are not doing your job as a parent nor as an employee.

Honestly Child Care with an early pick up would be better.
My 2 were in childcare by 14 months as it was just impossible to get through the work.

#14 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 20 May 2019 - 12:09 PM

Just re-read and realised you said the 5 hours falls within naptime. If your child has a reliable nap schedule in that case it sounds perfect!

Another option could be FDC so you only have to pay for the hours she is there and its a smaller more homelike group.

#15 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 20 May 2019 - 12:10 PM

I couldn’t do it, my kids don’t nap long enough, require too much supervision, and my work required all my concentration. It was difficult enough when DH was looking after a toddler in another room in the house.

Good quality daycare can be brilliant, and works for most kids. DD loved it at that age, she was able to spend all day playing with her friends, painting, singing and they had way better toys than at home.

Otherwise organise babysitter for a few hours.

#16 bikingbubs

Posted 20 May 2019 - 12:11 PM

Lol. No! that is the simple answer.

If you could work after hours from home, then yep. But if it has to be a set time - no.

#17 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 20 May 2019 - 12:12 PM

View Posttomson, on 20 May 2019 - 11:44 AM, said:


I would also take work related phone calls at home, so the kids were taught not to interrupt/ be too loud when I was on a call ( I think this is good manners for everyone anyway, but it was important for work related calls).

Do you have any tips? My 8yo still does this if she knows who is on the line :no2:

#18 Wango

Posted 20 May 2019 - 12:14 PM

Struggling with a 2.5 year old and trying to work from home myself today!   As long as your half day could be done over the full day and you don’t have to be “switched on” from 9-1pm it could work.    If you can self pace your work you have a shot.

#19 cvbn

Posted 20 May 2019 - 12:16 PM

Four of mine, yes, two of mine a hard no!

I do work from home (primary producer) and have my children with me in safe jobs, even then it has limited what I can do.

You could always try.

#20 nasty snaugh

Posted 20 May 2019 - 12:21 PM

I find it hard to fully engage in my work when I'm home with an 8 year old, so with a toddler would've been a definite no for me

It's too easy to get distracted by them,or to feel like an absent parent, even though you're face to face - for me, anyway

#21 InOmniaParatus

Posted 20 May 2019 - 12:25 PM

Thanks everyone....lots to consider.

View PostWannabeMasterchef, on 20 May 2019 - 12:09 PM, said:

Just re-read and realised you said the 5 hours falls within naptime. If your child has a reliable nap schedule in that case it sounds perfect!

Another option could be FDC so you only have to pay for the hours she is there and its a smaller more homelike group.

DD does a 2 hour nap so that leaves 3 hours out of the 5 I have to work.. and I think ill look into a sitter as well.

I think ill give it a go..and if it doesn't work I can always look for other arrangements e.g. childcare. I have been strict with her with independent play from a very young age and I think this will help because she will do a solid amount of time without interrupting me (She is currently playing and has been for the last hour).

View Posttomson, on 20 May 2019 - 11:44 AM, said:


Yes, I did it, with one, and then two kids, both from birth.

The biggest help I think was that they both were good sleepers - they slept consistently both in the morning and afternoon until they were quite old.

They dropped the afternoon sleep first, and once the morning sleep was on its way out, I changed it to "rest time" and they spent some quiet time in their rooms playing/reading etc. These sleep/rest times gave me a good block of time to get some work done.

I would also take work related phone calls at home, so the kids were taught not to interrupt/ be too loud when I was on a call ( I think this is good manners for everyone anyway, but it was important for work related calls).

I do think it can be done, but it depends on your kid's personality (mine are both relatively quiet/well-behaved kids), and how organised you are.

Great advice, DD has been doing naps AND quiet time for some time now. I know that there will be a time when she will drop her nap so I implemented quiet time and she easily does half an hour to 45mins of this in addition to her nap.

#22 mylittlemen

Posted 20 May 2019 - 12:27 PM

Definite no from me. Toddlers need supervision and input and don’t sleep forever.

If there was no choice, I’d expect to have to put in 10 hours of work to give my employer 5 hours of value.  I work for a very flexible employer and often work from home. We are expected not to also have children with us (unless they are under the full supervision of a nanny)

#23 Magnolia2

Posted 20 May 2019 - 12:29 PM

The answer from me is "probably nah" if the hours of work are fixed at a certain point in the day.

But it obviously depends on the sort of work you do, how flexible the hours are, and the sort of kid you have...

I also nominally work from home 2 days a week at the moment with a toddler. Like you, I have back up/supports, and DS is a pretty good napper. Even then, it doesn't really work. DS is pretty good at playing by himself but it's the supervision that's the problem - he is always getting into things, falling over, pressing buttons on anything he finds etc etc. I can't concentrate on the computer when he's toddling around.

My work time is flexible, so I end up catching up on work once he's gone to bed for the day. (I'm usually so tired during his daytime nap that I end up just flaking out and trying to recharge the batteries for when he next wakes up)

#24 niban

Posted 20 May 2019 - 12:33 PM

I did but I was doing work that could be done in chunks as long as it got done (IT).  Usually I would do a couple of hours the night before (being a night owl) and get well ahead of the game.  Then aim for more time first thing in the morning ie. before 9 or 10, get emails off, that sort of thing.  Take kidlet out and do stuff in the morning, check for anything urgent when we came back.  Work during naptime/s, then finish anything off that needed doing after my partner got home/in the evening.  Wouldn't suit everyone but it worked for us and I don't remember being stressed too much

#25 Wahwah

Posted 20 May 2019 - 12:38 PM

I did do half a day with a 4 and 2 year old at home for a while, and but they could keep each other company and I saved up admin tasks that didn't require much of my brain for that day.

But long term it wouldn't have worked for me. I need to be able to take uninterrupted calls and struggle when my train of thought is interrupted. I only started working from home once my youngest was in kinder so I could get chunks of time without disruption.




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