Work-at-Home Moms and Childcare

Can a work-a-home mom get through her day without childcare?

Mother working from home with daughter sitting on her lap
Caiaimage/Sam Edwards / Getty Images

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

  • 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 childcare while you work

However, it usually takes a combination of these situations to make no childcare feasible for a work-at-home mom.

In fact, in some cases trying to work at home without any child care is not necessarily wise. And 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 childcare. The most obvious (and perhaps easiest) way is to work when the kids are in school and then complete your workload while kids are occupied at home, involved with activities or asleep for the night. (But don’t forget, there’s always summer vacation!)

Families with children who are not yet in school can also manage without childcare 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 home daycare. By employing these ideas for free childcare, a work at home mom may cobble together enough child-free time to get her work done without paying for childcare. Finally, if your kids are old enough, you may try involving the child in your work by assigning age-appropriate tasks that can lighten your load.

But keep in mind that trying to work without any child care has its costs. It can wear a working mom to the breaking point as she constantly tries to multitask by caring for children and working at the same time. It can decrease your income as well as mean a less stimulating environment for the kids. But if you take all of these concerns into consideration, it will help you in your decision whether or not to hire childcare while you work.