Is child care a necessity when you work from home?

How I learned to stop stressing and hire a babysitter.

Is child care a necessity when you work from home?

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.

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In This Article

    14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    With fall in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in outside-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

    From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

    Wooden doll stroller

    Janod wooden doll stroller

    Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


    Detective set

    Plan Toys detective set

    This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


    Sand play set

    Plan Toys sand set

    Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


    Water play set

    Plan Toys water play set

    Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

    Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


    Vintage scooter balance bike

    Janod retro scooter balance bike

    Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


    Wooden rocking pegasus

    plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

    Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


    Croquet set

    Plan Toys croquet set

    The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


    Wooden digital camera

    fathers factory wooden digital camera

    Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


    Wooden bulldozer toy

    plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


    Pull-along hippo

    janod toys pull along hippo toy

    There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


    Baby forest fox ride-on

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


    Balance board

    Plan Toys balance board

    Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


    Meadow ring toss game

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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    I live in the Northeast and when I woke up this morning, my house was freezing. It had been in the mid 40's overnight and we haven't turned the heat on yet. Suddenly, my normal duvet felt too thin. The socks on my bare feet too non-existent. Winter is coming, and I'd been drinking rosés still pretending it was summer.

    I couldn't put it off any longer. It was time to do my annual tradition of winterizing my home—and I don't mean making sure my pipes and walls have enough insulation (though obviously that's important too). I mean the act of evaluating every room and wondering if it has enough hygge to it.

    If you've never heard of hygge, it's a Danish word that means a quality of coziness or contentment. And what better time to make sure you have moments of hygge all throughout your house than right now? As far as I'm concerned it's the only way to get through these dark winter months (even more so during a pandemic.)

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