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A Word On Child Care

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Just because you work from home doesn't mean you don't need child care.

Obviously it depends on how many hours a week you plan to work, the age of your children (there's a big difference between a two-year old and a two-month old), and the type of work you do.

Still, nearly all of the mothers we talked to agreed they couldn't get everything done without outside care - day care, a sitter, a nanny, a husband.

"We strongly recommend that women look into child care and not see working at home as a way to avoid child care," says Marcia Brumit Kropf, a work and family researcher at Catalyst, a women's-advocacy group in New York.

"You have to be realistic about how much you're going to get done," adds Tina Champagne-Egge, founder of the Association of Enterprising Mothers. "Don't think you're going to do 30 hours of work a week with a one year old and not have child care."

Ms. Champagne-Egge, who works part time, sends her daughter to preschool from 8:30 until 2:30, while working around her infant son's nap schedule.

Kirsten Coleman, who started working from home full time as a recruiter for a software consulting firm when her daughter was born a year ago, has full-time help - her husband. Still, on the one or two days a week when he works from home, they bring in a baby sitter.

For those who think "they'll work out of the house and get all this stuff done while the baby's asleep," Ms. Coleman contends, "you need a reality check."

Resources for Work-at-Home Mothers

WEB SITES

* Home-Based Working Moms - (www.hbwm.com)

* Work-at-Home Moms -

(www.wahm.com)

* The Entrepreneurial Parent - (www.en-parent.com)

* Association of Enterprising Mothers -

(www.momwork.com)

BOOKS

* How to Raise a Family and a Career Under One Roof, by Lisa M. Roberts, (Bookhaven Press).

* The Stay-At-Home Mom's Guide to Making Money, by Liz Folger (Prima Publishing).

* Finding Your Perfect Work: The New Career Guide to Making a Living, Creating a Life, by Paul and Sarah Edwards (Putnam's Sons).

* Mompreneurs, by Ellen H. Parlapiano and Patricia Cobe, (The Berkley Publishing Group).

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