Anonymous

Working from home with 14 month old

I just started a new job working online from home. I love that I get to still be a stay at home parent while also being able to provide for us (single parent). However, I’m finding it difficult to keep my 14 month old entertained while I’m working. She is very attached and likes playing with me or checking in with me very often (not complaining, I love this! But I need to find a balance in order to keep my job). Any suggestions on how to keep her actively engaged in activities that nourish her development? Thank you!

  • Kelly
    Dec 05

    I don’t have a specific recommendation, but just that it will take a little time and definitely consistency. Make a schedule and stick with it and she will catch on. I’ve been working from home since my son was born (he’ll be 2.5 in Jan). It’s definitely harder as they are mobile/more curious/etc. I only work part time (20hrs/week) and can work anytime so I try to save my most important tasks for the 2 hours a day he naps or after he goes to bed. He has learned to play by himself for 30-40 mins at a time with things like a train/track or little race cars or even just with a few books, when I have to get something done while he’s awake. We also let him start watching a little TV at age 2, so he gets one episode of his favorite tv cartoon in the morning and one at night that lets me do a few tasks for work or to get dinner ready. It is absolutely 100% a blessing and a curse to try to do both jobs at the same time......you will inevitably feel like you are short changing either your job or your family at some point...and it can be stressful as hell, but it CAN be done. Good luck! :)

  • Stephanie
    Dec 06

    I work full time from home (corporate job with lots of calls and deadlines to meet) and up until a few months ago my son was home with me. I would start work at 6 so I had some time before he woke, I scheduled as many calls as I could for his nap time, I had lots of noisy entertaining toys in my office - think jumparoo, talking bears with buttons, shape sorters, stacking rings, toys I could wind up and a song would play, stacking cups!! But I also found that sometimes he just really wanted to be involved in what I was doing, so he sat on my lap, played with things on my desk, my calculator, notepads, an old mouse (that he had broken) and was quite content to be close. It’s never going to be like working without a child, they’re there and they’re going to get in your business, your work will be affected - I sent numerous emails with added characters at the end because a little hand hit the keyboard when I was sending, but it is so wonderful to have the opportunity to stay together while you work for as long as you can. I could start my LO on an activity, or get him engaged with a toy or book and then I could leave him to it for a while then I’d start the process over. My recommendation is definitely have your space loaded with things to keep her entertained and that you can grab at a moment. I read about a “discovery box” where you put different items from around the house in a box so your LO can dig through and play with them, it seems like a great concept and would be entertaining for the right kid, I did it a couple of times but just couldn’t keep up with changing out the stuff. Plus my son became obsessed with the potato masher 🤦‍♀️ I started WFM when he was 12weeks and it was great until he was around 20months when he needed more than I could give him while I worked (more entertainment, development & socialization!) so we enrolled in daycare. Maybe also look at a moms day out program for a few hours a week to bridge.

  • Nathan
    Dec 07

    There is a whiteboard wall at my office which extends under a table. My son sat down there and colored for a while. At home we have a small trampoline to supplement toys and pillow forts.

  • Elle
    Dec 09

    Let her mimick you! If youre at a laptop, make her an toy one out of cardboard boxes and have her decorate it. Maybe she can place tbe letter keys herself. At thia age, children love to feel included, useful, successful, and helpful. Any chores you need done? Make them a challenge - or a bet - that she can't do them in X number of minutes / without spilling / etc. Two birds one stone - happy kid with new skill and fewer chores for you to do.

  • Marcy
    Dec 09

    I work from home. When I need my son occupied I let him paint with water colors. I give him his hot wheels type cars or legos or whatever to paint that he wants. It’s keeps him occupied. He makes a mess but it’s so worth the time I need to work. We also have kinetic sand that he loves “digging” in. Play doh is a winner. Even pouring rice in a Tupperware and letting him bury his toys in it. I set him up at the kitchen table where I can see him and I ask him randomly what he’s doing to stay involved. Messy but works for us!