Work-at-Home Moms and Child Care

Or, really, when can a work at home mom get by without child care?

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Whether you need child care or not will depend on a lot of things, but the circumstances in which no outside child care is needed are pretty similar to those in which part-time child care might work, varying only by degree. For instance, part-time or no child care could work for you if

  • your children are in school,
  • you work only part time
  • you can work at hours when your kids are sleeping
  • you have a partner at home to help with child care while you work.

    But, frankly, it usually takes a combination of these situations to make no child care feasible for a work-at-home mom.

    In some cases, trying to work at home without any child care is not necessarily wise. And, in fact, if you are an employed telecommuter (as opposed to an independent contractor or home business owner), it may not be allowed by your employer, who is, after all, paying for your time.

    But for those with a flexible schedule, it is possible to work full time with no child care. The most obvious, and perhaps easiest, way is to work when kids are in school and then complete your workload while kids are occupied at home, involved with activities or sleeping. (But don’t forget, there’s always summer! See these summer child care options.)

    Families with children who are not yet in school can manage without child care if one spouse doesn’t work or works a very limited schedule. In-home daycare operators are examples of work-at-home moms with young children who work full-time.

    Keep in mind that state rules vary about at what ages your own children count toward your allowed number of children in a home daycare. Employing these ideas for free child care a work at home mom may cobble together enough child-free time to get her work done without paying for child care.

    But keep in mind that trying to work without any child care has its costs.

    It can wear a mom to the breaking point as she constantly tries to multitask by caring for children and working at the same time. It can decrease her income. It can mean a less stimulating environment for the kids. So a mom must balance all of these concerns when deciding if she needs child care.