I have a 3 month old daughter and have just started working again for my employer full-time from home after maternity leave. She is quite a needy baby and will sometimes cry if I'm not holding her.
I'm currently trying to schedule my meetings when she naps, but this has proven to be really difficult because she still naps very irregularly. I have had to resort to holding her in my lap, and once now even breastfeeding her, while I'm in my meetings. I know it's not ideal but this is the only solution I've come up with. I can't afford childcare right now.
I don't need to talk a lot in these meetings, so can mute my mic some of the time, but will need to talk occasionally. She can be noisy and make the usual baby cooing noises. She isn't super loud.
I live in the UK and my employer is in Texas, USA. I don't know if it's appropriate to do this, and also if I do have to as a last resort I don't know how to bring it up. Should I excuse the baby noises in the background?
- Do I ask permission? ("Is it ok if I feed my daughter?")
- Do I mention it up front? ("Excuse the baby noises, my daughter is in my lap/being fed, etc")
- Do I only mention it if she makes a noise ("Sorry about that, my daughter is noisy!")
- Do I just not say anything and ignore her noises?
- Do I find some way to work childcare into my already tight budget because this is completely inappropriate?
So far I have just ignored her noises, but I have no idea if that's the right thing to do. There are usually 3-4 people in the meeting, my boss and colleagues. They all know I have a baby.
I do plan on organising childcare in a couple of months time when she becomes more mobile. I work flexible hours and currently only work when I'm not tending to her (usually when she's sleeping or playing happily). I have been careful to not have her interfere with my work productivity and deadlines.