Why You Need Childcare Even When Working from Home

September 2, 2015

Many people believe that working from home can cut down on childcare costs because a working parent can do their job AND be there for their child. But that’s not realistically the case. The truth is that there is no way to balance being employee and a stay-at-home parent. Attempting to do so can harm your professional reputation and hinder your parenting.

For one thing, you will discover that telecommuting and parenting will both viciously compete for your time. There are only so many naps, movies, and crafts a young child is willing to do without or with little parent involvement. If a parent is home, it is a child’s instinct to want to spend time with them. Young children in particular cannot be alone for long because it could be unsafe. With the little distractions of caring for your child during your “work” hours, you will not be able to do your job effectively. Yes, you may have to pay for someone to play with your kid while you work in the other room, but it will allow you to better focus on your tasks at hand.

Not being able to focus on your job because of your child is bad for your career reputation. If you conference call frequently, it is unprofessional to be able to constantly hear your child on the call. What if they interrupt you while you are remotely speaking to your employers? If you are working at home because you want to seriously invest in your career, then childcare is a must. Just because you are working at home does not mean that the work always takes a second to your child.

So if you can’t eliminate the cost of childcare by working at home, then why do it? Well, many opt for telecommuting because their work hours can be centered around the child. You can spend time during the typical 9 to 5 work time to go see your child’s preschool play or do those Parent and Me activities that are during the day, but still work manageable hours. Also, if your child stays home sick, you can then easily care for them while still being relatively productive.

If you really want to cut down on childcare costs, here are a few tips. You can opt for sending your child to daycare a few days a week and use the movies, naps and crafts regiment for the rest of the week. With this option, at least you know and can take advantage of the days during which you are home alone. Another option is to hire a part-time nanny or babysitter to watch your child while you work. You will be in the vicinity if an emergency arises, but you can focus on your work while someone else entertains and feeds your child.

Remember, your job should be taken as seriously as if you were working at the office, so finding a balance between work and child will make your telecommuting situation easier and more productive.