When you’re a remote worker it can be a real struggle trying to get work done at home with an infant in tow.
Most people are keen to continue working after they have children, and a remote job can provide the flexibility parents need to better cope with the demands of raising children while maintaining a career. Being able to attend events and appointments with children and being readily available on days when they’re unwell can be easier to manage when you’re working remotely from home.
However, many parents with young children (particularly those new to the game) share one common misconception about working remotely from home – and that is, since they’ll be at home all day they don’t need to worry about childcare.
Whilst it might sound wonderful to have bubba on your knee during a conference call with your team, you’ll find it very difficult to multi-task. (In fact, it’s often in the middle of an important conference call that your child decides it’s time to throw a massive tantrum, bigger than any tantrum you have ever seen before! We speak from experience.)
Distractions are inevitable with young children at home and they have a knack of interrupting you and needing attention at the most inopportune times.
If you’re working part time hours, shifting your work time to evenings and weekends could be a way to avoid the need for childcare. But it’s very easy to start burning the candle at both ends because you’re still ‘working as a parent’ during the daytime. Don’t try being super-mum or super-dad – sometimes you need help and it’s ok to ask for it.
Here are some childcare options to consider when you’re working remotely from home:
- Ask the people in your life who may be willing to help out: family members, close friends who live nearby, and neighbours.
- Ask another stay-at-home parent who you trust and who might be interested in earning some extra income.
- Hire a nanny or babysitter.
- Put your child into a play group, day care centre or pre-school.
- Swap childcare duties with another parent – they look after your child on certain days and you look after theirs on certain days.
Whatever you decide, there’s no right or wrong way to handle childcare and it might change depending on the age and temperament of your child. Just think about how much you are willing to allow your family life to intrude on your working life and this will help you to set boundaries and decide on the best childcare options that work for you and your family.