When you are a work-at-home mom do you need childcare?
The short answer is – it depends.
While staying home with my twins, I started blogging and writing a lot. It was a wonderful creative outlet. After a while, it became a source of income for me as I began pitching hyperlocal and niche print publications who then began to offer me regular assignments. Years later, and a lot of learning along the way, I worked as a social media manager for a small company and the path from there added more clients, more hours, and a need for some help.
Each Work-at-Home Mom Scenario is Different
When you’re considering whether you should get childcare while you work-at-home, consider your personal scenario at each stage of your career path along the way. There are a variety of scenarios that can work, depending on your personal working schedule and career at home. There is no one way to do it.
Work Around Your Child’s Schedule
When I was starting out as a newly minted freelance writer and social media manager, I didn’t use childcare. I worked early mornings, during nap time and late at night after bed time. The schedule and commitments that I had didn’t demand much more from me at that time, so this worked for me.
Hire a Mother’s Helper
After I started adding clients and consistent part-time hours, hiring a ‘mother’s helper’ was the way I could make childcare affordable for my twins who were then toddlers. A mother’s helper is usually a teen or college student who has little to no experience babysitting. If you go this route, you’ll want to make sure they enjoy your children and have good instincts (especially if you have multiple younger children like I did) by having a trial session or two.
If they get along well with your child(ren) hire them to hang out with your little ones while you are still at home, but in your office working. Their fee is usually a fraction of the cost of a regular sitter. Keep in mind that with this scenario, you are always at home, available for emergency needs or questions that arise.
Use part-time or full-time outside childcare
if you find that you do need childcare that keeps your child outside of the home for a period of time, but it needs to be budget-friendly look into ‘mother’s morning out’ programs. We had one at a local church and my girls first attended three days a week and gradually went five days from 9-1pm and for two kids, it was very inexpensive. They loved the little playgroup-like atmosphere that it offered and I was happy with the circle time and circle time, a great preschool primer for my growing toddlers.
As my freelance opportunities opened up, I was able to set meetings times with regular clients and any new potential clients and blocking off steady hours for my expanding work load was essential.
3 Things to Consider Before Hiring Childcare as a Work-at-Home Mom
- What do your work tasks demand of your time? Do you have to be on calls a lot without interruption? What about video conferences? If you need to work uninterrupted on some days, you may need to hire a sitter or even consider regular part-time or full-time daycare.
- What do you want your work-life balance to look like? If you don’t mind working evenings and during nap time (around your child’s schedule) then a sitter may not be necessary depending on your work load.
- Is spending some of your income on childcare financially feasible? Some moms are at home because staying home made more sense financially with their family income. In my case, I would have been working to pay for both of my twin’s in daycare had I went right back to full-time working outside of the home.
When it comes to working from home, moms often choose it for a variety of reasons. It can be a wonderful opportunity to bring in additional income, continue a career path that you love or start a new one (like I did!). Childcare can help you meet whatever goals you have and it can be done in a way that works for you and your budget.
Are you interested in working at home? One way to begin chipping away at this is to start a blog to showcase your skill set. We have a group for that in the mom.life app where moms are sharing tips and tricks for getting started! Download the app, meet moms who are interested in the WAHM life, make friends and more. You won’t regret it.