The Work at Home Mama

February 28, 2013

Did you all hear the news about Yahoo ending it's work from home policy? It just makes me so sad to think about it. I understand that CEO Marissa Mayer wants to shake things up a bit....and that there might not be enough accountability from those who work from home at Yahoo...but still. I'm worried that this could have repercussions with other employers, and that the hard work of so many moms who work from home will come in to question. It also saddens me because the CEO is a mom herself. I would think that she would be more sympathetic towards working moms....it's tough enough to raise a baby, let alone have to work too! And I expect more from Yahoo...they are a technology company after all.

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Can you blame me for wanting to stare at this face all day?

As a new mom, working from home has been a lifesaver. I think it's the only thing that has allowed me to keep it all together. It has helped me create more work-life balance and because of it I am a happier, more productive employee. Now, I only work from home one day a week...but I cherish that day. I love that day. For me, working from home makes me a more diligent and loyal employee. I am the first person at my work to be allowed this option....and it was tough getting them to say yes. But now that I do get to work from home I am super motivated to make things work and prove myself. Some of the arguments for not allowing people to work from home are that less work gets done. Which I totally understand...but that is SO not the case for me! I frequently get more things accomplished from home than I do in the office. I have fewer distractions at home. When I'm in the office I chat with my co-workers or get interrupted constantly by walk in appointments and my phone ringing. But at home it's much easier to concentrate. Now that Hudson is a little bit older and starting to be able to play on his own I can devote more time to working. As long as I'm sitting next to him with my laptop he's happy as can be to play with his toys or bounce in his jumper. Plus, I don't have to "get ready" for work and pack all of our bags up for the day and instead can work during that time. 

I think that companies who offer a work from home option not only prove to their employees that they trust them, value their work, and value their personal life, but also they have a competitive edge. What do you think? Does your company allow employees to work from home? Are you a work at home mama? How do you find work-life balance?

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37 Comments »

37 Responses to “The Work at Home Mama”

  1. I work from home full time so I can really relate to this. It is hard to find that work-life balance at first, but once you find out what works you have your routine (which changes with each major milestone) and everything works out. I think I actually work more from home than I would in an office. I get up at 7:30ish and get about 2 hours of uninterrupted work in, so when my little guy wakes up I have time to spend with him because I've knocked out a good chunk of work before he is awake.
    I wouldn't change my scenario one bit. I'm still able to work and contribute financially to the family and still be there for every little thing my guy does. Grant it, I have NO alone time besides a shower, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

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  2. I am due in April, so lots of thought went into what to do about work. In my line of work, it's difficult and almost impossible to re-structure jobs to work from home because too many people took advantage of it - in the bad way. Sad how a few people can ruin the opportunity for others who really would be great work-from-home employees. We decided to sacrifice a lot so I can stay home since I can't work from home. So glad you have found your work/home balance!

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  3. I completely agree with you! I work for my parents company, which I love. I have worked for them for the past 4 years and it's so hard knowing that I will have to quit my job and can't work from home even a few days a week. I'm the first of their employees to need this option (and I am treated as anyone else, no special treatments!) but it's sadly a no-go :( I obviously want to stay at home with Charlee, but I don't want to lose what a great job I have here, and by the time I want to come back to work, my position will be filled and I will no longer be needed. So I do wish I was offered to work from home!

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  4. Gina, what kind of work do you do if you don't mind my asking?

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  5. Did you see that the yahoo CEO lady only took a 2 week maternity leave! How crazy is that? Life is too short to have people like that ruin any extra time women can get at home with their babies. There needs to be a work life balance or your loyal, hard-working mothers will have to leave and that's not good for anyone. It's hard finding a company to value you as a worker and person to trust you with this. I wish there were more out there!

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  6. I would lovenothing more than to work from home one or two days each week. Although my commute isn't bad, cutting down on the time spent in my car would be incredible. Not only better for the environment, but better for my health too I'm sure! When it's time to look for my next job this will be an important factor in my search, definitely.

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  7. You sound way more productive than I am! I try not to even have my phone out (except to snap pictures and make videos for daddy) while we're playing so I can give her 100%... But nap time it's GAME ON!

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  8. I'm the mother of an almost 5 month old and I work full time in an office. The balance of work and life is incredibly difficult. I hate that I miss the majority of her day! I'm an architect (almost) and some people at the company I work for are allowed for remotely work from home but mostly to do extra work. My boss, in particular, is very anti-work from home since we collaborate a lot during the day. My fiance and I are working on our financial situation to hopefully get me working from home (doing another job) within the year. I hate missing all those precious moments! I just wish there was something mom's could easily do from home to generate income and stay with their babe.
    www.babysaiz.blogspot.com

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  9. I've never been a working mom but I definitely think the option to work from home should be more popular.

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  10. I also work from home one day a week and totally agree...it makes me so much happier and more motivated when I know I get to work and spend time with my baby. I am just hoping that in the future (as my career advances) I can have even more time with my little one!

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  11. Oh I completely agree with this! This is one of the things that is stressing me out most over having a baby! I have to go back to work, and I want to talk to my boss about working from home one day a week, but I'm scared he'll say no!! :( EEK!

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  12. I wish wish wish I could work from home, even one day a week. Our office is gearing up to head that way - with more online databases and putting all files online instead of the old paper copies. I pray that one day soon I can work from home one or two days a week! It would make me MUCH MUCH happier and more productive, less time pumping, running out to feed the babe, thinking about the babe, calling daycare to check on the babe, getting calls from the husband who is calling me to check on the babe! You get my point. Yay for you to be able to work from home one day a week.

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  13. At my previous company I was allow one work from home day a week and I loved it. I agree that I was SO MUCH more productive. Less interruptions, more quiet time and like you said you don't have to get ready so you can start earlier. I'm hoping that I'll be able to arrange something like this again when I become a momma!

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  14. I'm a work at home mama and the ability to do so has saved my sanity since A was born. I was supposed to go back to the office 3 days a week and have 2 at home but we had a crappy daycare situation that I pulled her out of after a week. Working from home is crazy and wonderful all at once but it's seemed to work for our family. For me the flexibility to be at home with my kiddo has made me a more loyal and hardworking employee. It's sad that in this day and age companies are taking away things that make them more valuable to employees. I also agree that I get way more done at home. Despite the baby there are far fewer distractions! I actually have a post in draft form about working from home. Lets hope I finish it soon!

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  15. Julie, I totally agree. Even though my kids are older, I would love the opportunity to work from home. I work full time from an office, but 100% of our work is electronic and none involves private or personal information. Sadly, my location doesn't offer telecommuting now. Oh, how I wish it did.

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  16. I have a 5 month old and I work from home twice a week. During that time I have a nanny here from 8-1pm so that is when I get the majority of my work done, but I love being able to stop and check in with the little guy for a couple minutes during those hours. I really cherish the time because right now he goes down to sleep around 6pm and when I have to go into the office, it makes it hard to get home and have enough time to spend with him before he goes to bed. I at least know that on Tue and Thur I can be with him a lot more which makes up for the other days. My company is a digital marketing company so it makes it extremely easy to work from home, but I think any company should offer the policy if they truly believe in having a strong work/life balance. I don't know what I would do without it.

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  17. I am SOOO with you here! And do you know that CEO has a nursery next to her office? Nice luxury that I'm sure no one else gets in the company. Seems like a double standard to me! I think it's all about work-life balance and you are much happier and productive with that flexibility. I know that's how I felt when I had that option!

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  18. I have to disagree. While it is a nice benefit for employers to offer, employees shouldn't see it as an entitlement.

    Personally, I don't see how anyone can get as much work done while taking care of a baby. I know if I tried to work at home with my babies, one of the two would not get as much attention as they needed and that would always be my job. But all kids and jobs are different, so maybe some are more easy-going than mine.

    I also don't know why moms are always used as examples for a need to work from home. The assumption that I, as a mom, would need special treatment that my husband, as a dad, does not need is a little insulting.

    Still I can agree that if employees are not abusing the privilege, it is certainly a nice benefit for employers to offer ALL employees (not just the procreating ones) and would definitely lead to more job satisfaction.

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  19. I totally agree. I think once we have baby #2 I am going to push to work one day a week from home. Even if my son stills goes to my MIL (daycare) it would still be nice to run laundry, etc. while WFH and help with the whole work-life balance.

    I know you said you were the first to get this opportunity at your job and they were really hesitant about it. How did you convince them to let you do it?

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  20. I hae a 3 month old and "quit" my job once she was born. They offered to let me stay on as a contractor since they don't have an official work from home policy. I accepted, and work about 15-18 hours a week now. I've been "back" for about 3 weeks now and it's not always easy, but I'm very happy with the set up. I'm glad my company valued my talents enough to try to figure out a solution that would work for them and would allow me to stay home with my daughter. I'm a LOT more productive now, even working in just a part time role. Even though I'm taking care of a baby, there are very few distractions.

    If I did this full time however, I'd definitely need to hire in-home care.

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  21. I hae a 3 month old and "quit" my job once she was born. They offered to let me stay on as a contractor since they don't have an official work from home policy. I accepted, and work about 15-18 hours a week now. I've been "back" for about 3 weeks now and it's not always easy, but I'm very happy with the set up. I'm glad my company valued my talents enough to try to figure out a solution that would work for them and would allow me to stay home with my daughter. I'm a LOT more productive now, even working in just a part time role. Even though I'm taking care of a baby, there are very few distractions.

    If I did this full time however, I'd definitely need to hire in-home care.

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  22. Such a great post! Im going to respond to your email now xoxo

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  23. I'm actually going back to work next year but only one or two days a week. But the only reason I took the job is that Avery is able to come with me. I feel so bad for all of the employees! Ps. Your shirts went out today!

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  24. I am so fascinated by this topic. I think working from home can be SO productive and worthwhile for the company and the employee... but yeah, I just feel like Yahoo set women back 10 years. Horrible, horrible policy.

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  25. Sarah - I plan and operate corporate meetings and events. So luckily all my business is done via email/phone until a group comes into town.

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  26. I couldn't agree more! I worked from home 4 days a week with Emery for an entire year! While it was one of the most stressful things I've ever done I wouldn't trade that time with Emery for the world and am so grateful to have had that full time salary coming in!

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  27. Great post :) Working from home (which I do) is great but I think the broader topic is working on terms that work for you and your company; be it telecommuting, job sharing, home, flex-time, etc. There is no way I could have entered (and survived) the established system of my field (law), so I created a system that works for me and my family and it's been fantastic!

    Julie, I totally agree that when companies work with their amazing employees :) the end result is a win-win. Life is not as segmented as it used to be. We're all working, raising kids, running carpools, trying to finish homework/housework/yardwork, and a zillion other things. We need flexibility.

    As for CEO Yahoo! my feelings are the same as with congress -- I don't mind following rules/policies as long as they have the same rules/policies. A company in-house daycare facility for all children sounds like a good start.

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  30. I work from home 2x a week and it means I can shave 2 hours off my morning routine and time off of each pump/feeding session so I really have more working time during the day! Typically it takes me 30 minutes to get set,pump,clean 3x a day! It also means I don't have a ton of bottles/pump parts to wash every.single.night. Productivity depends on who YOU are!

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  32. Yahoo came out with a statement saying that in order to create a more collaborative work environment, they were no longer allowing telecommuting. And if that's the case, then I have to agree with the decision. I work with a woman who telecommutes twice a week and she is next to IMPOSSIBLE to get a hold of during those days. And she doesn't have a child that she's taking care of. Even the federal government doesn't allow telecommuting to be used in lieu of childcare. So, no, I don't see this such a bad thing.

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  33. Luckily we have 50 weeks of paid Maternity leave in Canada so we get to stay home with our babes until about a year. I'm dreading going back to work in October - I don't want to leave C!!
    A girl in my office and I have brought up working from home but unfortunately it's been turned down - although we haven't brought up doing it one day a week. I think it's a great thing for those who are committed to putting in a full day of work, but we know there is always a few bad apples that ruin it for the rest of us :(

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  37. Jamie MooreMarch 03, 2013

    I am considered a full time employee at 35 hours a week, I spend 3 days a week in the office working 9 hours and then finish up the remaining 8 hours at home throughout the week at my convenience. Pretty sure my employer is awesome!!

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