LOS ANGELES — 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
* Home-Based Working Moms - (www.hbwm.com)
* Work-at-Home Moms -
* The Entrepreneurial Parent - (www.en-parent.com)
* Association of Enterprising Mothers -
* 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).