How does one freelance with a baby in the house?
April 27, 2014 8:23 PM Subscribe
Our first little one is due in November. I previously freelanced and now work a full-time, very time-consuming corporate job. I would like to return to freelancing after baby's born to give me more flexibility and to avoid massive daycare costs. How do I do this while also acting as the primary care-giver for an infant?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (17 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I previously freelanced in the translation and writing fields. Then I went to work in the technology sector and gained quite a bit of knowledge there (a QA/SDET skill set with ever-improving programming skills).
I would like to quit my job after my maternity leave ends, which will be 8 weeks after baby comes, so probably early 2015. This is because:
-My job and commute require me to be out of the house 50-60 hours weekly, which would require us to get at least that much childcare.
-I do not particularly like my job. It's not a great fit for me and does not pay spectacularly well (2/3s of my income would be eaten up if we decided to get full-time infant care, if not more). I don't want to trade baby time for this AT ALL.
-I want to be a very involved parent and spend lots of time with baby. I also want to take over some household tasks to make our lives run more smoothly. I want to have the ability to do things like cloth diapering, making meals from scratch, DIY projects with baby, etc. (I am well aware that in reality, not all of these things will happen regardless of my work situation.)
-My husband is the breadwinner, quite happy at his job but also highly employable should anything happen there, and works 12-14 hour days during the week (and we need that to stay that way). I would like for him to be able to come home and bond with baby and I at night.
-I am well-suited to freelancing and independent intellectual work.
We can survive fine on just my husband's income (at least in baby's early years), but I would like to supplement this by freelancing again. I would also like to avoid a significant gap on my resume as well to ensure I'm more employable if/when I decide to re-enter corporate life.
The work I do ranges from moderately challenging to requiring a large amount of focus to complete. Some of it can be done in tiny chunks, but some projects will demand larger amounts of time to work.
So... how do I do that when I have a teeny-tiny, 8 week old baby to care for?
As far as childcare resources, we will have:
-Grandparents in the area that desperately want to help with babysitting. They will be available a lot, but they may or may not be able to be available on a schedule. We also have some other family in the area that will be less available for sitting.
-Various facilities and providers in our area, which range from cheap (and often less trust-inspiring) to very pricey (and well regarded)
What kind of childcare do I realistically need? Could I possible do something like hiring a cheap-ish college age sitter to be in the house while I work? Is trying to work a little here and there while baby sleeps a lost cause?
I will be exclusively breastfeeding for at least 6 months if not a year, if that matters.
Thanks in advance for the input.