What’s YOUR Working Mom Situation?

I was thinking the other day about how I always get such good advice from the other mommies out there whenever I post anything about O and his daycare follies.

It made me wonder… what are our reader’s “work” situations?

1) Do you work full-time? Part-time? SAHM?

2) Do you work from home? Or at an “office”?

3) If you work, what’s your childcare situation? Daycare? Babysitter? Family?

So yeah, maybe I’m just being nosy, but I thought I’d ask the questions nonetheless. I thought might help us at WMAG figure out a little about you. (And ok, yeah, I might have stole the idea from Sarah and her “Answer Me This” series.) So, feel free to answer ’em–or tell me to mind my own business!

41 thoughts on “What’s YOUR Working Mom Situation?

  1. I work full time and both my girls (4 years and 5 months) are in daycare full time. When my oldest was an infant I worked at home part time, starting at 15 hours/week, working up to full time and in the office (this change took place over 2 1/2 years). I desperately would like to work at home or part time again. But I’m not sure that it’s feasible for us. We’re happy with both daycares (yes, they’re in 2 different centers).

  2. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah says:

    I work part time from home – no babysitter, I just use the tv or crayons.

  3. Coffee Lovin' Mom says:

    I work part-time. 7-11am Mon-Fri. I have a home office setup and am only required to go into my work office Tues/Wed for face-to-face meetings. My husband sleeps in with the kids and watches them until 11:30 and then he goes into work until 6:00 or so. He has the ability to log into work from home to sneak in some work or monitor things in the morning too. Tight schedule but very worth it.

  4. I work full time outside the home. Both of my daughters are going to daycare. I am currently on maternity leave. I have a plan to talk to my boss when I return to work about working from home once a week. On the days I am home, I will bring the girls to daycare for the morning. At lunch, I will pick them up and we will go have lunch with their daddy at his jobsite and the afternoon is ours to play etc. I will catch up onthe few hours of work in the evening or over the weekend.

    I am really struggling with knowing that in a little over 2 weeks I will return to work and will not have the time I have now with my kids. DH and I tried to figure out if I was possible for me to be a SAHM or even to work part-time, but right now, it is just not possible.

    This is a new daycare for us and we both were so impressed when we toured the other day. I am very excited. My older daughter was with a private babysitter until I went out on leave.

  5. The Spunky Mommy says:

    I work FT outside the home about 50 miles from where I live – so 2.5 hrs commute daily plus 8+ hrs working. I have a wonderful sitter who comes to our home (she’s 19 and lives down the street) but I only have her until July…then ???. I requested telecommuting 1-2 days as an option when I returned from leave but it was denied because it’s against “company policy”, so here I am. I would give anything to 1) be closer 2) work from home some of the time and 3) fewer hours or more flexible hours. My six-month-old hasn’t been sick or anything yet…when that happens, who knows what I’ll do! My hubby works longer hours and further away then me so that’s not an option either! And we don’t live close enough to family for that to help. It’s OK but I would love to make some changes…

  6. I have to say, in relation to Amy’s response: Wow, you can choose a daycare center while you’re on maternity leave? I had to get on waiting lists the minute I found out I was pregnant, and then we only got a spot by sheer luck that an infant left the center. It was 11 months between signing up for the list and getting in. And there are other centers that still don’t have spots. That’s one of the reasons I’m scared to go part time/work at home some. I don’t want to lose my spot!!! Our baby’s center offers part time care, sort of. They make it pretty difficult.

  7. I work FT with a 30 minute commute each way, so a 10-hour day for my girls (7 and 5). 7 yr old is in first grade and then does before/after care at the school, as does my 5 yr old kindergartner who does before/after and a 1/2 day K-care in addition. It’s working for now, but my real dilemma is what to do when school’s out…to put them BOTH in summer care is EXPENSIVE!! Any ideas would help, but my job is not flexible about telecommuting or PT.

  8. I run a small business out of my home and my 4 year old is in preschool full time. I lucked out because (after being on the waiting list for 2 years) my wee beastie got into the preschool located inside the high school where my husband teaches (it doubles as their child development lab). They go in together and come home together. The commute has given them a really awesome kiddo/daddy bond because it is their time alone without me (not to mention how cool it is for Henry that he gets to go to the SAME school as Daddy!), and my husband can pop down to say hi whenever he wants between classes-they even have an observation room with a two way mirror if you want to check in without being spied by little eyes. And after a whole day of working in an empty house, I am excited to see them by the time they get home. Most of the time…

  9. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls says:

    I work full-time, out of the house in an office. My girls go to school and/or daycare – we have a family home daycare that we love. I wish I had more flexibility in my hours or work situation…

  10. SelimaCat says:

    I work at home, 20-30 hrs/week, with a PT sitter.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I work as a salaried retail manager so that means 50 hours a week and 60 during the holidays. With two girls (3 and 5) it is a little challenging to say the least. Thankfully dad is a SAHD. I know he misses the adult world but I think it’s a little challenging for men to find the same social networks a SAHM can. In the end it was the right choice for our children but a little tough on mom and dad at times but that’s true no matter what your situation.

  12. I work full time. My son is in half day kindergarten and half day other kindergarten (!) at the same place where he went to day care and preschool. My daughter (4) is in preschool there. My husband does mornings with the kids, and often works late. I work early, and often do nights with the kids. I absolutely love the daycare/preschool/kindergarten but wish that our district kindergarten were full day. Can’t wait for first grade. Actually. I really can’t wait until both kids are in elementary school and I’m not paying over $20,000 a year in daycare expenses.

  13. I work full-time and commute 45 min. to an hour away from home. My mother-in-law watches my daughter. Nice that I can rely on family, but let’s just say that this kind of child care situation has its own “special challenges.”

  14. Letterdancer says:

    I work full time as a Program Coordinator in a nearby hospital and am the only parent (another story, another time). I am young & live young, but my eldest in a freshman in college 3 hours away. My 12-year old daughter have adjusted to this change and to my new more time-consuming job. Before- and aftercare are provided at her school, thankfully. I’m also a painter and write but have no real dream of working at home again…I think I do better havinga defined workplace and someone to lead me. My daughters would certainly have fared better had I either not been the only parent or not had to work full time. I need a “Sven.” Anyone seen that commercial?

  15. I work full time – 3 days at the office, 2 days at home. My 4.5 yo is in full time daycare, he was there 4 days a week but the YMCA we enrolled him in only does 5 days a week. It’s a fantastic program. When he starts Kindergarten in the fall he’ll be in the morning session, then will be bussed to a local daycare for the rest of the day. We may work out a partial week schedule so he’s not there until 6 every day, maybe pick him up early on the days I work at home. We’ll have to play with that schedule once school starts.

    My 15 mo goes to a home daycare Mon-Thurs, and is home on Fridays. My husband is a consultant and makes his own hours, so he is home with the baby.

  16. just4ofus says:

    I work 20 hours a week (2 10 hour days) from 1230-2300. Then I have to take on call for a total of 28 hours a month. The hours work and 10 hours a day work for our schedules.
    I use an in-home daycare because most daycare centers take part time.
    Next year my son starts 1st grade and my daughter will still be in preschool and the part time day care /school schedules are stressful.
    But I feel like I have the best of both worlds working part time.
    : ) I don’t think I could give it up.

  17. Currently, I work “full time” four days a week, which means I end up working fairly long hours … 9-12 hour days so I can hit 40 hours/wk. Some work (3-5 hours/wk) I do at home.

    One day a week my kiddo stays with me and my friend’s boys. The next she stays with my friend. The other three days, she’s at a home daycare where she’s one of three kids only.

    It’s sort of wearing me out … but it’s been nice to get a whole day with her.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I work full time, Mon. through Thurs. at the office and Fri. at home. My 2 girls (2 and 5) go to an in-home daycare from 7:30 to 5:00, plus my 5 year old is in Pre-K 3 half days a week. I am part of a carpool for getting my 5 year old to and from Pre-K, but it is hard to juggle and when she starts full-day kindergarten next year, I am hoping I can find enough stay-at-home parents to help me out with the carpool!

    I’m lucky that my boss allows me a lot of flexibility for working at home and leaving early for dance class and school functions and taking days off for daycare closures.

  19. kookaburra says:

    I work FT – I’m a teacher. Luckily this year I’m at the same school as my middle schooler so we get to ride together to and from school. Great opportunity for us to visit and me get to know her as a young lady better. Her younger sister is in elementary school and goes to a sitter after school until we pick her up.

  20. I work (more than) full-time in an office. My boys are 6 and 9 so they are in school, and I have a wonderful after school nanny (only 18 but darn good). I manage 40 other people so working at home is not an option…though I do work from home when needed…and attend any school event that I want to attend. Since my oldest son was born I’ve done it all…part time work, work from home, stay at home. I have to say this situation is the BEST for our family. Working at home was okay but I always felt like I was doing a half-@$$ job of both things – parenting and my work. Being a SAHM was the WORST two years of my life!

  21. I work a regular M-F FT job & the DH has a FT rotating 4-on 4-off job so our schedule is constantly changing. We have a 3 year old who spends anywhere from 2 to 5 days a week with a private sitter. We make it work, but google calendar is my best friend.

  22. Ethan's Mom says:

    I work full-time away from home and my 2.5 year old son goes to a daycare center. We love his center, so that is not usually a concern. My hours can be somewhat flexible and I can work from home when the need arises. I worked from home 2 days a week for his first year (he was home with me). Then it got too hard to play with him and work, so he went to daycare full-time. I do wish I had more time at home with him though. It is hard to get things done (housework, etc.) on the weekends, because I just want to play, play, play since that’s the only time we have. I would love to work part-time or even stay home, but those just aren’t feasible options for us right now.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I work 20-25 hours per week from home but also must leave the house for appts. and work-related networking and other commitments. My 18 mo. old daughter goes to a preschool PT, 3 days per week. She still takes an afternoon nap so I work the whole time she is sleeping too, usu. 1-3.5 hours. It varies greatly so that is a little maddening. I am VERY grateful not to have my pre-baby schedule which was 6-7 days per week and 60-70 hours per week every week. (I am self-employed.) It was awful. I am so happy to be the one actually raising our daughter. However, right now I am earning very little income and our expenses have increased very substantially due to the economy, housing crisis, and our specific situation. That challenges me daily. Pre-baby, I was the main breadwinner and could afford everything we needed and almost everything we wanted. I am striving to find a way to be happy with the current situation.

  24. I work full time at an office about 20 minutes from home. My son is in a “family day care” – basically he stays with a lovely woman who watches two other kids near his age and is part of a network of in-home providers in our area. So there is backup care, ongoing training, etc…

  25. Anonymous says:

    I work full-time, about 9:15am until 5:45pm with some logging on and blackberry use after my son goes to bed. One day a week, I leave an hour early to pick my 2.5yo son up. We use a family day care in our neighborhood–two women who care for six kids FT and one kid PT… care for is an understatement; they also teach him and his playmates all sorts of stuff (Spanish, letters, numbers, sharing, etc.). Our son is there from about 8:15am until 5:45pm. My husband goes in early–8:15 or so–and leaves work at a few minutes before 5pm to pick him up two days a week. The other two days a week, we have a sitter (a college student) pick him up at 5pm, take him to the library or an extra park trip (they go with the day care most days) and then come home and start dinner. Those days, we get home at 6:30-m. This gives us a lot of breathing room. But it’s a delicate dance~!

  26. The Q Family says:


    First of I have to say, I love your blog. Glad I found it!

    1) I work full-time

    2) In the office. But my office is flexible enough that I can work from home if needed (not on a regular basis but case-by-case basis)

    3) Daycare for younger one. The school-age one, we just leave work early to pick her up from school. My husband and I split the week. He leaves work early 3 days of the week and I do 2 days a week.

  27. I work full time (4 days week and the rest from home.) My girls (2 1/2 and 9 months) are in a wonderful daycare (you get what you pay for) three days a week. My husband is home the other day but works late two nights and six hours on Saturdays. It is crazy, but it is working for us while the girls are little.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I work full-time outside the home, though can work at home on an as-needed basis. My son goes to an in-home daycare in the building next door to our apartment, so we walk out together, then I hop a train to work (20-30 mins) and I pick him up on the way back. We used to commute to a commercial center midway between home and the office and this is so much better. His caregiver is like family! The only downside is he misses his daily train ride!

  29. FreshHell says:

    I work full-time, in an office. I have two daughters. The seven-year-old is in first grade. The 3 1/2 year old spends 3 days/wk in preschool/daycare and 2 days with daddy. Daddy teaches at a university so his schedule is loose when he doesn’t teach and rigid when he does. Fun! I worked at home for a few months each when both girls were babies but once they were mobile, it was all over. You simply can’t work and watch a big baby or toddler at the same time. Never used the tv as a “babysitter” ever. Not that I’m against the tv I just don’t think it’s appropriate to plop a small child in front of it. Daycare is and has been expensive and it’s meant no savings, no college funds, no retirement funds, but soon it will be over. I have to work – I am the breadwinner and carry all the benefits – and I need to work. I would go crazy at home full time. I love my kids but I need to work. They are none the worse for it.

  30. I work full time outside of the home, but have the flexibility to work at home as well. I typically limit my WAM time to a few hours every week. But it comes in handy to have the flexibility when my son is sick or I’m not feeling well.

    My three year old goes to an all day preschool M,W,F. He’s typically there from 8:30 to 5:00. On Tuesday, my FIL watches him in the morning and then my dad picks him up in the afternoon for a long playdate. On Thursdays, my FIL watches him all day.

  31. Anonymous says:

    1) Part-time (30 hrs/week)

    2) 3 days/week = office. 2 days/week = home.

    3) Daycare.

  32. Guess I should tell you ladies my work situation, eh? That might have been smart to do in my post, but whatevs.

    OK, so I work full-time. Home for one day a week (Friday).

    The one day a week is hard. Like some other women mentioned–working from home with a bigger baby/toddler is almost impossible. But I get a lot of work done the night before, early in the morning, and during his nap so I can make it work. Sometimes I work Friday evenings, too. That way I’m just trying to stay on top of emails during the day. I think it’s worth it to have him home and spend that time with him, even if I’ve had to turn to the TV on occassion (PBS only, because we have no cable, that makes it OK, right? Heh.)

  33. I was working full-time, 45 minute commute from home. When I first went back to work, we tried to work out an arrangement where I could work from home 1 day a week, but it didn’t work very well (I’m a librarian at a residential college). So 4 months after going back to work, I cut back my hours to 32 hours/wk (4 days a week). During parts of the academic year, one day a week is 1 – 10 pm.

    My 16 month old daughter is in daycare full time, though I usually keep her home on my day off.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I’m a full-time working Mom and I work at an “office”. My son is in elementary school so we use a latch-key program. The bus picks him up at the daycare and then the bus brings him back there after school. I don’t know what I would do without that program.

  35. Anonymous says:

    I am deciding whether to return to work full time or not. I’ve spent the past year as a SAHM with my daughter, and have been offered a full-time, office-based position. It’s funny, though… my daughter really isn’t the only factor in the decision. I feel like I’m more deciding between working for “the man” or thinking outside the box so my husband, who is a teacher with summers off, and I can enjoy what we love most… traveling, and in turn showing our daughter the world. It’s next to impossible with 2 weeks vacation. I feel like it’s inhumane to ask someone to work for two weeks off a year.

  36. I work full time in an office outside my home. My youngest is the only one not in school full time, she’s 4. She stays with her grandmother during the day and attends pre-school 3 days a week.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I agree with anon. posted today (2/23) that it is inhumane to expect us to work all year long for only 2 weeks off. I think it is unhealthy and an indication of us Americans not having our priorities straight. I am in a simplification mode right now, reading several of Elaine St. James’ books on simplifying. I think we may even rent a condo soon, short-term (once our dag-blasted house sells!), to give ourselves more time for what really matters: each other! 🙂

  38. 1) Do you work full-time? Part-time? SAHM?

    Fulltime PLUS 🙂 30-45 hours contracted – telecommuting, 5 hours blogging each week, I also own a small website for moms that has been on the back burner for 3 months and freelance.

    2) Do you work from home? Or at an “office”? I have an office that I rent outside of home AND a home office on the kitchen table 😉 AKA lap top. I am planning to move into a home office again in May.

    3) If you work, what’s your childcare situation? Daycare? Babysitter? Family?

    I am blessed that my friends from when I studied Early childhood education run a daycare in town. 2 of my children attend this. One after school and one full days (including her preschool program). My oldest has adhd and he comes to the office with me or i work from home from 2 45 – 5 15.

    I have had aupairs in the past and plan to have one again this summer.

  39. I work full-time, at an office and my 5 month old daughter attends a family day care home. I’m new to the blog – thanks Real Simple! I’m really enjoying it!

  40. I work full time and my daughter goes to daycare. I do try to take a couple Fridays off a month, when it works out, just to spend more time with her.

  41. I work part time and am a mom to one daughter, 18 mos. I am a studio manager for a commercial photographer. I am usually in the office 2-3 days a week. We are lucky to have grandmas to babysit one day a week each. And either my sister or my friend babysits the third day each week. Sick days are rough, I ususally have to stay home, and then I am out a day’s pay. I also run my own photography business from home. I try to schedule shoots on the weekends when my husband is home and can be with the baby. I feel lucky to be able to work part time and have those extra days at home with my little one!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.