Working from Home as a Stay at Home Parent or Caretaker

One of the most important decisions parents have to make before having a child is whether one of the parents is willing to stay at home to care for their child, or if they should hire a caretaker.

Whether or not you want to continue working depends on a number of factors, including your finances and whether you have friends or family members to look after your child. Many households simply cannot afford to give up the extra income, but also cannot easily afford to hire someone to watch over the children.

For some parents, the most obvious solution is to work from home as a remote worker. Remote workers have much more freedom with their schedule, which is great if you are juggling the tasks of taking care of your child and a career. It also means you are always available if there is ever an emergency with your child. At first, it may seem simple, but there are some disadvantages as well as advantages to consider when you work from home and actively take care of your child.

Spending Extra Time with Your Children

One of the biggest benefits of working from home is being able to spend extra time with your child. Many working parents comment on how much they feel they are missing during the day. In many households, this is the time where children are most active, since the evenings are primarily centered on the child’s dinner and bedtime. However, there are a few disadvantages to having one parent spending so much extra time with his or her child.

While you may have much more freedom with your work schedule, you are still ultimately required to actually find time to work. If you spend all day with your child, you will have to work during the evenings, which means you will not have as much time to spend with your partner. There is also the chance of increased distractions when you are working at night. If you are beginning work when everyone else is normally getting home, you will have to pick between being distracted with social obligations or prioritizing your work. Also, even if your partner is home, it does not mean you are done being a parent. Bedtime can often be a very chaotic time, which requires both parents working together. Even if your partner is willing to handle all of the nighttime issues with your child, he or she may still create a lot of noise, which can be very distracting.

Another potential risk with spending too much time with your child is hurting his or her independence. You may be tempted to spend all your time playing with your child, but it is important you give your child a chance to play alone. Otherwise, he or she will get used to you always being around to play, which can make it much harder if there is ever a time where you have to go out. Your partner may also feel uncomfortable if it feels like your child favors you over him or her.

It is important to remember, letting your child be independent does not mean leaving him or her unsupervised. You should still actively be watching your child, but it is important he or she is not spending the entire day interacting with you. If you are working during the day when your child is still up, make sure you are able to shift your attention between work and your child as needed.

Career Risks

If you are lucky, you will be able to find a remote job within your company or pick a remote career that has room for advancement. More often than not, parents have to find a remote job with a new employer. Remote jobs typically do not have as much room for advancement as a traditional career. Even if you are only planning to work a remote career for the next few years until your child can attend school, you may find you are behind on some aspects when you return to your original career.

In addition to career advancement issues, there may also be issues with how much money you are making. Depending on your past work experience, you may be able to land a decent paying remote job right away. For example, you may be able to work from home as a consultant, or work in a remote tech support job. Even in these situations, you may still be getting a pay cut in order to work from home, especially if you are working fewer hours than before.

Another one of the risks with a remote career is not always being able to find work. Depending on your resume, you may have a difficult time locating a remote job. Even if you have an excellent resume, it may not necessarily translate well into finding a remote career. There are also a lot of difficulties associated with finding a remote job. Depending on your skillset, you may spend weeks before you are able to land a job. Many remote careers are also temporary. You may spend a few days or even a few weeks working on a project, but once it is complete, you are stuck looking for work once again. You may technically be saving money by not paying for a caretaker, but you could still lose money overall compared to conducting full-time work.

Saving Money

The savings offset some of the career risks associated with working from home. While the biggest saving comes from not having to pay for childcare, there are other savings as well. One savings that can quickly add up is not having to commute. Depending on where you used to work, this may end up being significant in terms of saving. You may also save money on food costs. Many workers go out for lunch with coworkers or end up picking up dinner on their way home. At home, it is much easier to prepare your own meals, which is not nearly as expensive as eating out. If you frequently have to spend money on work clothing, you are also cutting down on costs by working from home. These all may seem like relatively minor cost savings, but together they can add up to significant savings.

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