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Would you work from home 3 months after birth?

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#1 bungomama

Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:39 PM

I'm currently in a p/t contract role which ends in July; I'm expecting my first baby in October. My manager has said that if I'd like to take on another 12-month contract (including 14 weeks paid parental leave), I can do my job from from home for the equivelent of 2 days per week, allowing me to stay home with bubs and maintain a small income, which would be very helpful since DH's salary is not huge. The catch is that I'd have to start work again after 14 weeks.

I like my job and being able to work from home and still bring in a bit of cash is very tempting, but from everything I've heard about looking after a baby (esp. your first), I'm worried that 3 months is too soon to go back, for both me and bubs.

What do you think?

#2 MuppetGirl

Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:42 PM

2 days per week as in 16+ hours, I probably wouldn't.

However I have always done 10-12 hours per week and only took a week or two off when I had my kids. I do most of the work of the evening when DH can manage the kids or they are in bed.

It is a difficult one as he wants to sign you a contract, so if you say yes there is not really a way to get out of it if you find it too hard. Perhaps you could add a clause to the contract for a trial period?

#3 roses99

Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:44 PM

For me, it would have actually been easier at three months than at age two.

But it will depend very much on your baby, how much sleep you're getting, how well you're coping etc. And those are all pretty unknown variables!

However, if you have a partner who is in a position to help you and if you have some support networks in place, then I would definitely do it.

In my case, I did 20 hours a week (11 of them from home) starting when my DD was 6 months. It worked out very well, but she was a great little sleeper.

#4 laridae

Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:44 PM

I think at that age its not that hard to work at home and look after a bub - you can work while they sleep and they sleep a lot.

Its more difficult when they get older and become more demanding on your time, so you feel a little guilty ignoring them when you work (which is why I don't like working from home if DD is sick).

Edited by laridae, 11 April 2012 - 04:41 PM.

#5 Tikiboo16

Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:45 PM

Big decision, but if it's from home, and your boss is flexible (ie: understanding that you are also managing a kid and may not be available at the drop of a hat) I would do it. I actually found myself wanting to fill in my spare time while DD was sleeping at that age... and I would have jumped at an opportunity like that.

#6 Xiola

Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:47 PM

Yeah for sure I would do it.  I work from home and was pretty much back into it when DD was a week old....much easier then than now original.gif

#7 discomonkey

Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:48 PM

I did this with my first and it worked well for me. I did have a nanny come and look after DD at home though so I could still BF and settle her if required. It's a great option but only if you're ready, which of course you don't know yet!

It is good to know where your next contract is coming from, and the option to work from home doesn't come up all that often. If it was me I would do it, but only if I had help w the baby. I certainly wouldn't try to fit the work around naps and at night - that is a sure path to exhaustion!

Good luck w your decision.

#8 Goggie

Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:50 PM

I think I would, especially for the paid mat leave!
But honestly, it sounds you have a great boss who will be flexible, and you can choose how to work those hours (eg 4 hours a day, 4 days a week or longer days 2-3 days per week. For the job security and cash flow it would give you, I'd do it. But take this from someone expecting baby number 1 with no idea how it would actually be like with a 3 month old:)

#9 Lagom

Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:50 PM

If you have a lovely content baby who sleeps well and a supportive DH or other helper then it sounds great.
If you have a refluxy baby or one who doesn't settle well or has any issues or illness  or you get PND then it could be very difficult.
What happens if you sign the contract and pull out if things are too much?

Best of luck!

#10 White-Lily

Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:50 PM

I would have done it. DD was a great sleeper and it would have been nice to have something else to do with my time other than housework.
I wouldn't like to be pigeon holed into specific days/time slots if I was working from home though, just in case bub is unsettled on a 'work day' or doesn't sleep. I would like to be able to make up hours at night if need be or on alternate days than what was scheduled.

As baby gets old it gets harder. So flexibiltiy down the track would need to be a must and understood by all parties.

#11 EBeditor

Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:51 PM

I did, but I had flexible hours so I could work any time during the day or night including the weekend. I would have found it very hard to do 'regular' hours as my baby didn't sleep much during the day.

I do agree that it's easier when they're babies and not toddlers.

I also think it can be a smart career move to keep up some sort of part-time or work-from-home job up if you intend to go back to a permanent role at some point.

Another option is to hire a nanny or 'mother's help' to assist you on the days you are working from home.

#12 Bel Rowley

Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:54 PM

For sure I would, and I think you'll find it much easier after your first then you would after your second or third! I had a contracting job that I did at home right up to the birth of my first child, and continued for another 3 months after she was born. Yes, having a newborn involves a lot of upheaval and changes to your life, but in my experience it's probably the easiest time to get other things done. It's much harder when they start moving around and you've got more than one to contend with.

#13 niggles

Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:56 PM

Provided you have the support you might need (like someone to drop by and help out with baby on occasion if you have something urgent to get done) I'd do it. I think it's easier to work from home with a baby than a toddler.

#14 The Old Feral

Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:56 PM

I did.

I had the absolute dream job, and wanted to hang onto it.  So I worked around 15 hours a week from about 3 months - flexible hours though I did occasionally need to go out for meetings etc.

I had a nanny who came to the house for about 10 of those hours and cared for DS1 plus got some housework done while he slept, it was fantastic!

#15 Tesseract

Posted 11 April 2012 - 03:00 PM

I would do it if:

-the hours are flexible ie you can do them at any point over the week that you choose

-you have someone who can come and help you to look after the baby while you work.

Trying to fit the work in while they sleep is too hard, even if you have a baby that takes long naps (and these are fairly rare!). I had enough trouble keeping on top of the laundry and getting myself fed! Working can be done, but I think you need a lot of hands on help.

#16 MummaDiva

Posted 11 April 2012 - 03:01 PM

I went back to work 7 days after DD1 was born, as she was born relatively early and I had a lot of "loose strings" to tie up.  I have never really found it difficult to do the allotted hours, and the pay means that I am motivated and get things done!
I found working from home with one much easier than two.  Also, working when the babies weren't moving around a lot was much easier than when they had started crawling / walking.  By this stage, I needed someone to help for a few hours a day.

#17 Elizabethandfriend

Posted 11 April 2012 - 03:06 PM

Yes I would.  It sounds like a dream arrangement in the medium term (two days a week, based from home and qualifying for maternity leave).  However, the salary would need to be enough to pay for a few hours of babysitting, family day care or the like when bubs is a bit older and sleeping less.

#18 ~chiquita~

Posted 11 April 2012 - 03:07 PM

I think at that age its not that hard to work at home at look after a bub - you can work while they sleep and they sleep a lot.

This. I'd do it.

I found myself bored sh*tless during the day whilst DS was sleeping. However, I will add he was easily settled and didn't suffer reflux.

#19 lclb

Posted 11 April 2012 - 03:13 PM

As per PP, I would do it if your hours are flexible.

Can you work in the evening or weekends if you are having one of those days when baby doesn't want to settle or only sleeps for 40 mins at a time?

If there are meetings or phone calls you must take can you organize to have someone at home to help with the baby, i.e. grandparent for an hour or two?

#20 tinkster23

Posted 11 April 2012 - 03:14 PM

I went back to work a shift (night) a week when Hannah was 10 weeks old, so yeah, I would do it.

But the flexibility would be the big thing, I was casual, so could cancel the day of the shift if Hannah had a sh*t day/was sick etc.

#21 paddyboo

Posted 11 April 2012 - 03:20 PM

I returned to work 2 days a week when Patrick was 5 weeks old and was back fulltime at 6 months. This was required financially. I guess it comes down to your financial situation.

#22 Rosepickles

Posted 11 April 2012 - 03:28 PM

As some of the PPs have said, I think it depends on how flexible your work is. Do you need to take phone calls or be on conference calls at specific times? If so, it could be difficult if you have an unsettled baby at that moment. If you can work your own hours to a degree, I think it would be fine.

Sleep will be the other determining factor. I had (and still do) a quite bad sleeper, so some days it was difficult just to get through the day, let alone focus on anything that required my brain.

In saying all this, I started my PhD when my daughter was five months and have managed to get through. I found it really hard at first as my brain felt like mush and it took me a good few months to get it going again. It is still hard some days and she is 13 months, so Im glad I didnt wait until her sleep got better haha.

#23 QueenElsa

Posted 11 April 2012 - 03:40 PM

It's a fantastic offer and I would jump at it. But i'm biased, I went back to work at 3 months with DD1 and 7 weeks with DD3 (part-time).  

Things to consider - will you have someone to help you with the baby when you are working?  Settling can take ages...And young ones still require interaction, so you can't sit on the phone / computer all day and expect them to be quiet.

Is there flexibility to spread the hours across days?  If the answer is no and no, it may prove tricky if you don't have a cruisy baby.

#24 Shellby

Posted 11 April 2012 - 03:48 PM

I think at that age its not that hard to work at home at look after a bub - you can work while they sleep and they sleep a lot.

That's if you have a baby that sleeps - I tried this with my first and it didn't work out and caused even worse PND as I felt not only did I have the new pressure of being a mum, learning my new relationship with my DH but also having to keep up with work. I quickly learnt most people who said working with a newborn is easy haven't actually done it or had someone taking care of the baby in the background - like a nanny or their mother/MIL.

I would only do it if I could work around my own hours, like when DH would be home so could take care of baby if they decide to be unsettled (my first was a horror, only slept in little amounts, up about 6  times and night and spent all quiet time awake crying and wriggling around - mums at mother's group said they got tried just watching me and what I had to do to keep James happy and really felt for me, however my second was the dream baby and I could have done the work at home with him, but you don't know what your baby is like until they are about 2 weeks old), or if I had to have set hours, like only Monday and Tuesday then I would ask my MIL to come over or book my baby into daycare as all it takes is baby deciding today is its upset day and before you know it you have used 3 hours cuddling your baby trying to get them to sleep instead of finishing the reports due in an hour.

Its hard to work out when you haven't had a baby, or know what your going to get and I feel your first can be the hardest especially if you haven't had much time with babies and most of your knowledge is books and reading about other people. Only you can make the decision - if I had a baby tomorrow and was offered your contract, I would take it, but I would also pay my MIL to come over when DH wasn't here so I could do my work - which would dig into my income so it would have to be nice income. However I also understand what I'm getting into already since I have been there and done that (without outside help sadly and strict times so the money wasn't worth it in the end) and have more support now than I did then.

Good luck

#25 Isolabella

Posted 11 April 2012 - 03:58 PM

DS2 was 6wks of age when I JUMPED at the chance to work on a special project. Initially 1-2 days per week (one in office one at home) and then eventually Friday nights 6pm until whatever hour things finished in the morning (yes getting home after 6am even).

For me working helped with my PND.

DS1 had just turned 2yrs at the time.

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