Architect as stay at home parent?


Just planning a bit for the future. Has anybody done the stay at home gig while raising new borns? I don't know how feasible it is if you've got client meetings and site visits. I also know it differs (duh) between a solo practitioner vs working for the man and also (also duh) men vs women (what with maternity leave and all). So I wanted to know what your experiences are and if you had any tips on that. Thanks! 

Mar 19, 19 12:00 pm

Freelance specification writing for other architects comes to mind as something you could easily do from home. There would be little to no need to leave home for meetings, etc.   In my community, a number of people support themselves this way.

Mar 19, 19 12:16 pm

its really hard...a newborn is more work than a full time job, getting them down for a nap is the most welcomed break you can get...and trying to squeeze work into that time-slot is tough (usually not long enough to be productive and you need a mental break yourself) visits/client meetings...forget about it, are you going to bring the baby?  I could barely make a phone call during the day....the only way I could make it work is by working all evening/night when my partner got home at the end of the day.  

Mar 19, 19 12:18 pm
Non Sequitur

What Chigurh says is damn accurate.  Our newborn (now 3) refused to be left alone and out of our arms for most of his first year and hated those motorized swings. Not sure I'd want to miss-out on those early years just to squeeze in some extra work tho.

Mar 19, 19 12:38 pm

Sorry but that's not going to work or parent.

Mar 19, 19 1:09 pm

What I mean is; When I parent I parent, when I work I work.


Thanks for the comments so far... Somehow, i've got an idyllic image in my head where I'm CADing with one hand and rocking the crib with the other. But it seems, from the comments, that it's one or the other and almost always never both.

Mar 19, 19 1:23 pm

Yes, how's that quality time with your kid or with the job? I choose to be at home one day a week (my partner does the same) and our kid has our undivided attention at those times. I don't schedule or attend any meetings on that day and I simply don't use my phone for work calls, there's always tomorrow. I also didn't take on any projects the first six months, so we were all home together as a family, best time of my life so far.


I have a 4 month old.  It's almost impossible to hold him while doing anything on the computer.  And if he's not asleep, he's likely wanting to be held.  I get the occasional 10-15 minute reprieve where he'll sit in a bouncy seat or something else.  The play mat works for a while, but ends up not lasting very long. 

I've just resigned myself to sending him to the sitter on days when I'm home.  Once he's older and a bit less needy, I'll try again.  As of right now, productivity is very limited if he's around. 

Mar 19, 19 2:12 pm

I've known two guys who have run small firms while being the stay-at-home dad to infants and small children - but the catch here is that they both had at least one full time employee in their firms, which were operated out of their homes, and in both cases the employees were (somewhat resentfully) also regularly pressed into acting as drafter / babysitters. If you've got a staff - whether of actual babysitters or of unsuspecting CAD monkeys - to help you parent, then it might work.  If not then don't kid yourself.

Mar 19, 19 2:41 pm

my wife and I both own businesses and split the kid time 50/50.  We have a nanny 2 days a week to help out.  When I’m with them I can barely find the time to take a pee.  The only work I do while watching them is answering the phone if it’s something really important.  Hershey kisses will buy you 2 minutes to talk on the phone with relative quiet.  Their little fingers take a min to open the foil....then a min to chew before being able to yell again...Enjoy the time.  It is truly the best thing to spend time with them while they are little.  

Mar 19, 19 5:06 pm
Non Sequitur

my wife just told me she has weekend’s worth of training coming up. I got the wee one all to myself for 2 days!

Mar 19, 19 5:29 pm

My husband and I both run our own businesses. I often get up at 3 am to work and often work on the weekends. Sesame street and naps. I don't know of any other job where you can do this or even come close to it. Daytrader maybe. Any  meetings or site visits are on the days my husband can take the kids which is 1.5 days during the week or Sundays. Those are the hardest parts.

I took 2 days of maternity leave with my last one and my husband took 1 day. 

Mar 19, 19 5:35 pm

Sometimes I pull 16 hour days on the days my husband doesn't work. 2 16 hour days is almost a full work week. In other words, its surprising what you can do if you don't have a full time office drone job.


probably best to wait till the kids are start school.

Mar 20, 19 9:30 pm

I guess it depends on the type of firm you work at? One person firm, small firm, large firm, etc. There should be some policy's in play for larger offices to alleviate maternity leave.
I work at a large office, and recently my co-worker and his wife had a baby. She took the first month at home and then he took the next month at home while he worked from home as well. So, as long as yourself and your team can handle you being away for an extended amount of time, I think it is becoming easier and easier to work mobile, from home while getting a bit of work done.
With that being said, I am still a bit young to have a kid - I am sure the unbridled time with a new child is wonderful, but if you can balance both and keep sanity, why not....

Best of luck and future congratulations on a new child!

Mar 21, 19 8:49 am
Non Sequitur

Work can wait, the first few months of the child can't. When we were expecting, I made it known well in advanced and made arrangements with projects to compensate for my 4ish weeks of planned absence. Kid came (very) early and that threw most of my planning out of the window... so much so that the office's name partner had to replace me on emergency basis on a project he knew nothing about.

won and done williams

My wife and I have our own practice and work from home with our 7 month old. (My wife is also a college professor.) Our daughter is our third. Our first two we stuck in daycare from 3 months on. We wanted to do it differently with our third. I love having the time with her, but that being said it's damn near impossible to stay focused on work, even while switching off with my wife. I'll just get into a work rhythm when she will need to take a conference call. Or she'll having a meeting, and I'll end up taking long drives with my daughter while she naps. (I actually love the thinking time while driving with her.) I end up with maybe 2 productive hours a day - and that's no way to run a practice. We've had to turn down a number of projects because we just don't have the time. I agree with the poster above that if I currently had employees I could do more, but that's more mouths to feed. ;) I love the time with my kids, but do have some regrets that I can't grow the business to the extent I would like to.

Mar 21, 19 9:13 am

first time i tried do office emails from home with a 6mo baby:

we are about 90% done wth elevahm, ,vuiobq (stop Oliver) adn about 80 plansuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuj ;anf s;ldkfq; qvkllavko2922+99+8


Mar 21, 19 10:29 pm

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