We received the question below in our inbox yesterday. We have our own thoughts, but we wanted to open it up to the larger community to give this family some tips for how to manage this difficult situation.
My husband is feeling overwhelmed right now: I just went back to work out in an office (no choice due to financial issues), while he is trying to work from home (not doing great) with our 14-month old daughter in his care. She is sleeping less and less, especially this week as she is familiarizing herself with the fact that I am not here during the day anymore since Monday. She wants his arms constantly, but once up there,she wants to touch everything that looks new or interesting, so he can’t work at all. She demands his attention 100%. How can he balance his work with taking care of our baby, knowing that we don’t have the money for daycare or nurse and grand-parents are too far-away (they live overseas). Any tips for this new dad at home trying to work from home?
This is a question that comes up a lot for dads in our group. Many dads currently work at home part-time or full-time, and many others are full-time caregivers thinking working at home might be a good way to return to the work force slowly.
Here is the advice we gave:
Thanks for writing. It sounds like a very difficult situation. First, let me say that we are not experts in any way shape or form. We are dads, however, and we do talk to a lot of dads that have been through this.
There are many dads in our group that work from home. The dads that are the most successful separate the time they work from the time they are taking care of their children. Trying to do both at the same time usually means neither the child nor the work is getting the attention it needs and deserves, and as you are seeing, leads to tremendous frustration.
Obviously, the solutions depend on the nature of both of your work. Could you work your schedule so he is able to get some work done in the morning before you leave? Would your schedule allow you to be home early enough for him to work when you get back home? Also, as things settle down, the nap might be more consistent so that will yield some time to catch some time during the day.
Any work-at-home moms or dads have any more advice for this family?