Possible Drawbacks to Working at Home with Children

Perhaps one of the most over-rated reasons to work from home is to spend more time with the children and save on daycare costs. The real fact is that one of the greatest challenges that may need to be overcome when working at home is children.  Here are some of the possible drawbacks of working at home with children.

Too young to understand

While it may be possible to explain to a grade-school aged child that certain times of the day mean work time, a younger child will likely be too young to understand that a work-at-home mom or dad cannot be disturbed while they are working.  Young children may be very insistent about getting attention from mom or dad which can interfere with the ability to get work-tasks accomplished.

Many work-at-home moms or dads may face challenges with children who are not school age who simply do not understand that mom or dad needs to work from 9am to 5pm on a daily basis.  Taking breaks is certainly easier when working at home, but an 8 hour break is probably not ideal.  Working at home offers more flexibility, but having part-time day care for younger children may be a better option.

School-aged children issues

For the work-at-home mom or dad who has children in school, the return home from school can cause an unplanned interruption in the work day. This is fairly easy to overcome however, if there is a planned break in the day.   While it may be later than intended, a work-at-home mom or dad may find that taking their lunch during the time when children are due to arrive home allows time to share a snack or review homework.

One of the most commonly overlooked issues with school-aged children is after-school activities. Parents who work-at-home may still have to shuttle children back and forth for band practice, sports activities or other after-school projects. This can severely impact productivity.

Summary

While there are some possible drawbacks to working at home with children, in some cases they can be easily addressed. Parents who wish to consider working at home on a full-time basis may have more challenges to deal with than those who elect to work-at-home on a part-time basis.  Younger children typically demand more time than older children, and at times, it may be more beneficial for a work-at-home parent to consider part-time day care if they will be working at home.  When children are older, working at home becomes less problematic and with some careful planning most parents can find success.  Nothing is perfect; parents who wish to work from home will have to come to terms with how best to provide for their children while juggling the responsibilities of their work-at-home job.