Is child care for stay-at-home moms a yea or nay? Is it really that hard to manage both? Can you work from home and care for your child simultaneously?
This topic has been brought up, pondered, debated and maybe even argued over many times in my household. My husband and I are both self-employed, so we work from home a lot. If I'm not shooting, auditioning or in meetings, you will most likely find me at home trying to carve out time for work between caring for our youngest. My oldest is in pre-kindergarten, which gives us a few hours a day with only her little sister—but I swear, between work and mommy duties I sometimes feel like I'm in the house with 20 kids.
Can you truly find balance within your own home?
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy working from home. The zero-minute commute, my morning green tea in my favorite mug and the comfort of my own space are all priceless. But there are those moments when my youngest is done with her blocks, has eaten her snacks and wants no one else but me. The fact that the clothes need to be folded, dinner needs to be prepped and beds need to be made all creep into the back of my mind while I'm trying to focus. So I confess: On occasion, I envy the mom who is able to close the front door, leave it all behind and find solace in her work space without the constant distractions of home life.
I know the grass is always greener, but I wonder whether it's easier to function more effectively without your children nearby.
I've met plenty of women who have a system and are amazing at both. These women can handily take care of their children and run successful businesses out of their kitchens! It is truly inspiring.
I believe that in order to pull it off, you must be extremely organized, disciplined and have a laser focus—all things that are clearly not my strong points. My husband always tells me that when my daughters are around, I can't focus on anything else. And true enough, it's been like that since they were born. I get my best work done in the evenings, once they're in bed.
So when you work from home, is child care a necessity? For me, the answer is YES. With a 16-month-old who is walking, talking and always on the go, it helps a ton.
I'm learning to be more organized and disciplined in my actions. I've always been focused, but when my girls are around that focus is centered on them. So I've enlisted my mom to help more regularly and a trusted babysitter to fill in the gaps. My husband and I have also started tag-teaming child care. This arrangement gives me a little more time to devote to my work while also having the benefits of working from home.
I began to feel guilty when I tried to balance work and motherhood. I felt like I was giving neither my daughter nor my career the time and attention they deserved.
Having trusted child care for a few hours during the day is a necessity for us and our careers.
It has allowed me to focus during work time and be 100% present when I'm in mommy mode, which is the best of all!
There is no single answer to this question and no wrong way to do things. Be honest about your strengths and needs and do whatever works best for you and your family.