One of the big benefits trumpeted about for working at home as a medical transcriptionist is that you don’t need childcare. You can just be there for your kids. How true is that?
Depends on the hours you want to work and the ages of your kids.
Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers
Infants, toddlers and preschoolers need quite a bit of care. It only gets more challenging as they become more mobile, active and curious.
Doing medical transcription with children in this age range is difficult, but not impossible. You’ll need to work early mornings or late evenings into the night for the most part if you want to skip the childcare. You may also be able to get some work done during naptime or when your spouse or partner is home.
The simple truth about working with kids in this age range is that they aren’t going to give you much peace for getting work done. They want your attention. They need your attention.
School Age Children
Once your kids are old enough to send to school, your work at home life gets much easier. The kids are at school several hours a day, during which you are free to work, assuming you send them to school rather than homeschool.
School age children do need your attention once they’re home, of course, but you can also work some hours while they’re home. Teach them when it’s okay to interrupt you, and allow them age appropriate independence.
You may be able to set up your home office so that you can watch kids in this age range play in the backyard. Have your desk near a window with a good view of the yard, and you can keep a light eye on them while they enjoy themselves in the fresh air and sunshine. Or keep your office door open as they play in the house.
So… No Childcare Required?
All this doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t need childcare for your kids. It means you may be able to limit your childcare expenses if you do need to use childcare.
These clearly available hours may not be enough for you to work the number of hours you need in order to earn a living, for example. You may need the kids to spend some time in childcare so that you can support your family. This takes a bite out of what you’re earning, but so long as it’s significantly less than you earn while the kids are away, it should be worth it.
If you want to save on that cost, find another at home parent to trade off with. You watch their kids, they watch yours. It’s best if the children are friends and similar in ages, so that their time together is seen more as playtime than as being cared for by another parent. Just sounds more fun to the kids.
While you don’t want to miss out on those milestones that are probably a big part of why you want to get into working at home in medical transcription, you need to think about what you need to earn to get by. There should be a balance you can strike so that you are there for your kids as much as possible while earning a living in this flexible career.