Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Working at home with a small infant - is it possible?

I tried finding answers to this because as a new parent staying home with a baby for 3 months now, I'm feeling the need to work regularly again.  Besides, I've got to return soon since I promised :(  It will also be good for my self-esteem if I can work again soon.  I really do need to work; not for the money but to keep up work and not hurt my career.  In fact, with the part time work I expect to do, I wouldn't be making much since my earnings would need to be deducted from the maternity benefits I'm collecting.  Here, in BC, we cannot earn self-employment income while we collect maternity/parental benefits.  The system is totally unfair but that is a totally different blog post!

Anyway, It's not like I have done nothing in the past 3 months. I have managed to squeezed in 1-4 hours of work on the computer each day but it's not enough. Well, 4 hours a day is too much and I don't expect to do that, especially since it was with Jean-Louis home helping me. Also, for the first month, I couldn't do more than check my email and fill out forms and cards to send out.

Is it possible to work at home while taking care of a baby without any help? How do other work-at-home-moms do it? I googled and found some good responses from this parents network site.  What I found was that although it is possible and some super-moms can do it with a fairly easy baby, most say it's not doable unless there is help around like a nanny or babysitter.  Well, there are other factors too such as what kind of work you do from home and how old your baby is.  In fact, after 3 months, babies require more focused attention from you

With Tristan, he can't crawl yet so I don't have to keep an eye on him constantly but he does cry a lot still.  He likes to be carried and talked to.  Plus, he doesn't nap for long periods of time... well, some days he does.  I'm thinking if it's hard now, it will only get harder once he's crawling, sleeping less in the day, and especially when he is walking!  If he's an active baby, he won't want us to cage him up in a play pen all day.  For those super-moms out there who are new parents and have to work at home with a small infant, how do you get things done on the computer without any help? Would part of the answer be a swing or jumper?  What is the reasonable amount of work to expect?  This is what I would like to know.

I found a site that has questions to help you evaluate whether or not you could work at home with an infant.  I only answered "yes" to 3 of the 11 questions so according to that, I should re-evaluate my decision to work again.  If I don't, I'll be setting myself up for failure.  Not sure I like that.


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