Having children is an incredible experience. It is exciting and fulfilling, while at the same time being incredibly challenging. Trying to balance everything that is involved with being a parent is no easy feat.
Among the many decisions that you will need to make is how you are going to continue to make a living while caring for your kids. For those who work from home, this topic is especially tricky.
Working from home is great in many ways. Those who work at home are able to avoid a traditional commute, and they often enjoy more flexibility with regard to when their work gets done. Once kids are added to the equation, things can get harder to handle, however.
As every parent knows, trying to get work done while the kids are running around the house is no picnic.
So, the question at hand in this article is the following – should you pay for childcare when you work from home? Let’s discuss.
An Added Expense
Obviously, the main downside to paying for childcare is the expense that will be added to your budget. In order to make it work financially, you’ll need to make enough money during that time to at least cover the cost of the childcare. And, of course, you don’t want to work for free. So, you should be making enough to come out ahead comfortably even after the childcare costs have been paid.
If your work from home arrangement is such that you earn less per hour than it will cost you to have the kids cared for by someone else, it will probably be best to simply watch the kids yourself and cut back or eliminate that work.
Can You Do Both?
When your kids are little, it is effectively impossible to both watch the kids properly and get any kind of meaningful work done. Little kids require near-constant attention, so focusing on a work task while making sure the kids are okay is probably not going to happen. You may be able to get some work done after the kids go to bed. That is, if there is any energy left at the end of the day. But, working during the day is a no-go.
This can change a bit as your kids get older. As they become more independent and able to entertain themselves for periods of time, you might be able to work without bringing in outside childcare. In the end, you will know your situation best. You will need to decide what makes sense for you and your family.
Remember, it doesn’t make any sense to work for free. And it certainly doesn’t make sense to lose money while you work. If you do decide to bring in childcare so you can work from home, be sure to do the math. This will confirm that you’ll be coming out well ahead in this situation.
If you work from home, do you pay for childcare? Why or why not?
Photo courtesy of: VABo2040
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