Wailings Of A Work At Home Mom

The Wild and Wacky World of WAHMs!


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Working While Pregnant: Perks and Pains

A pregnant woman

A pregnant woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know a number of work at home moms who started working while they’re still pregnant. When I was still working as a medical information analyst, my office allowed me, and other pregnant employees to telecommute.

I also know a lot of women who think that the best time to become a work at home mom is while you’re still pregnant. Working while you’re still pregnant does allow a lot of perks.

For the most part, working at home is more relaxing than working in an office. You don’t have to commute. You’re comfortable. You can take as many bathroom breaks, snack break, and naps as you want.

You get an idea of what it’s like to work at home before the kid(s) arrive. You can set aside workspace as you’re preparing for the baby.

Telecommuting and working at home has allowed a lot of pregnant moms to stay productive. However, pregnant working moms, especially those in their first pregnancy, have to be ready for the surprises and problems childbirth can bring.

No matter how prepared you are to work at home, once the baby arrives, everything changes. You have to give your body time to recover and you have to adapt to your child’s needs.

Not Superwomen

We hear stories of moms going back to work after only 2 weeks from giving birth. These moms are admirable but it’s not for everyone. Some work at home moms feel compelled to go back to work so soon because they feel like they don’t have an excuse to take a longer leave. They’re working at home, which should give them all the rest they need.

But that’s not often the case. Even work at home moms have to take extended leaves for their health and for their child. This means a break from business/employers/clients. This means you might have to change everything you’ve prepared for before you had the baby.

I was hoping for a normal, natural birth and I believed I was healthy enough to go back to work in less than 2 months. Instead, I had an emergency C-sections, surgery complications, a colicky baby, mild post-partum depression and limited childcare options if I did go back to work. From being able to work 12 hours a day (even during my pregnancy), I had to stop working completely for the 8 weeks and slowly pace myself back. As much as I wanted to be like Marissa Mayer who went to work after 2 weeks, it would have been impossible.

Once you have the baby, it’s who new ballgame. Will talk about that more tomorrow.

 

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The Best Time To Start Becoming A Work-At-Home Parent

telecommuting

telecommuting (Photo credit: jessamyn)

“When is the best time to start working from home?”

I encounter this question time and time again from moms who want to try their hand working from home. It’s also one of the questions had the hardest time finding an answer for because most of the moms I know (myself included) didn’t really have the option of choosing when we can start working. All the working moms I know starting working from home either out of necessity or because the opportunity was there and they had to seize it.

But I think this is a question worth answering because knowing the ideal time to start becoming a work at home parent can make process easier.

Working from home can be a big shock, especially if you’re used to working in an office. Those who don’t have any work experience can also have a hard time working at home because of the high level discipline, focus, and time management skills needed do a full day’s work load consistently.

The Answer

I asked a lot of working moms I know this question. And the one thing that we all agree on is that if we were the choice, we would like to start working from home one our child starts elementary school or grade school.

We believe this is the best scenario for several reasons.

  • Grade school classes last all day (at least, for private schools here in the Philippines). This would give work at home parents the most amount of time to focus on work.
  • Even if you choose to home-school  there are enough activities and exercises in an accredited DepEd home school curriculum to give parents enough time to work while teaching their child.
  • Grade school kids are old enough to take care of themselves and do some simple chores. They’re also old enough to entertain themselves from time to time. This frees up more time for work.

The Alternatives

Unfortunately, most of us don’t really have the option of waiting for the kids to go school before we can start working. What if you’re still pregnant or you just gave birth? What if you have a toddler or several toddlers? Tomorrow, I’ll be talking about the pros and cons on working from home at different stages of motherhood, what you can do to allow working from home possible, and job options.