Baby-friendly Jobs

Baby-friendly jobsI returned to work when my daughter was around 3 or 4 months old. While I was primarily a stay-at-home-mom, my employers offered me a small amount of work that I could do from home in the evenings. I wrote blogs, managed their social media and website, that sort of thing. While the work could be done at home, it was hard to stay connected and up to date that way, so I started going to the office meeting every Monday morning. My daughter came with me.

As young as she was, she was no trouble during the few hours that I was there. I’d wear her in a ring sling or settle her in between us all in her bouncer. This allowed me to stay in touch with the current workings of the office without sacrificing my time with her. I’m fortunate to work for wonderfully understanding and accommodating employers, but I’ve come to find that I’m not the only mom who made bringing baby to work work for them.

A good friend of mine works in the back office of a yarn shop that a family member manages. Her daughter has gone to work with her every day since she was just under 3 months old. She’s now nearly 2. When she was very small, her mom generally wore her while she worked. Now that she’s older, she stays with mom in the office or out in the main shop, where there are nearly always grandmother-type women who are more than happy to keep an eye on her. It’s like one big family. Benefit of a community yarn shop, I suppose!

I’ve heard of a woman who returned to work part time at the front desk of a gym. Since she was only working a few hours at a time and mainly was interacting with gym members, her bosses didn’t see an issue with her wearing baby during that time. The baby boutiques in our area are also places I frequently see children accompanying working moms. In that atmosphere, you almost expect it! Another friend of mine does this, working two days a week with her little one right there by her side.

What I’ve seemed to notice is that family-owned and other small businesses seem to be more open to the idea of working with baby.  If you worked for somewhere like that before baby and want to return, talk to your bosses and see what they think. They very well may come up with an option that suits everyone.

If you’re looking for some new part time work, the atmosphere I would look for is that of a smaller company, a job that may not have a lot of direct customer contact or phone work, and a job that may already cater to families, women or parents. Quiet office work (book keeping, etc), baby boutiques, locations that offer on-site child care (YMCA’s, JCC’s, etc), or even something like house cleaning can be potential baby friendly positions. Nannying for other children is another great way to earn income while still staying at home with your own child. Yet another option to consider is pet services. Walking, yard clean up, and/or pet sitting may also be ways to incorporate work and baby. There are even large companies that welcome babies!

As baby grows it may not be as easy to continue to take them to work with you. Much depends on where you work and what the temperament of your child is. At that point, you may need to consider child care during work hours. But it sure is nice to know that many women manage to stay in the work force and bring extra income in for their family while keeping their littles at their side.

I know I’ve only scratched the surface here on mom/baby friendly options, so if you’ve got a suggestion, let’s hear it!

Kate Cunha is a mostly stay-at-home mom in the Pacific NW. She’s in favor of anything that supports a strong family and the mother/baby relationship and hopes to see many more mom friendly jobs in the future.

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