Being a stay at home mom or dad is tough work. Working from home with an infant is even tougher. But it can be done. I currently work a full-time job from the comfort of my own home, and I returned to work just two weeks after giving birth. It was a daunting task and I have to admit that, at times, I didn’t handle it very well. But, with time, I have been able to make it work. Here are some of the tips and tricks I have found to make this arrangement work for me, my baby, and our family.
Be Patient, and Be Flexible
It takes time to figure your newborn out, and figure out how to get it all done. If your baby is anything like mine, there is no such thing as a set schedule. Nope. Not in our house. Naps are few and far between. Every day is baby led, and I had to learn quickly to go with the flow. So we did, and we do. Accepting that there would be no schedule was the first step in making our day-to-day life work.
Work When the Baby Sleeps
I know what they say—sleep when the baby sleeps. But, I found that, in order to successfully work from home while being a stay-at-home mom, I have to make some sacrifices. I found that getting up early in the morning allows me to get more work done. So each morning I wake up around 4am, take a shower, and work for three hours before the baby wakes up for the day. Then when he is awake I can spend quality time with him. During morning and afternoon naps, I am able to get more work done and, if there’s extra time, get a little housework done too.
Wear Your Baby
Baby wearing is a lifesaver. Figure out, early on, which baby carrier your baby enjoys and use it frequently. Baby wearing is especially handy while attending virtual meetings, making important phone calls, or when the baby is refusing to nap. For us, this means wearing the Baby K’tan Organic Baby Carrier often. It also means working standing up. I certainly don’t mind, as long as my little guy is napping happily, and I can be productive.
Let Baby Have Some Independent Playtime
Experiment and try different things. At first I felt like I had to spend every free moment entertaining my baby. Then I discovered that he really enjoys playing independently on his play mat. He will spend 30 to 40 minutes playing with the toys dangling above him. And he does so happily. I take this time to sit next to him on the floor and answer emails or complete some of the tasks on my to-do list.
Ask for Help
There are times when my workload is overwhelming. On these days, my husband keeps an eye on the baby for an hour or so, so I am able to catch up on anything I was unable to accomplish during the day. In exchange, he gets quality, one-on-one time with the baby. It’s a win-win situation.
Take A Moment to Breathe
Sometimes working from home while being a stay-at-home mom becomes incredibly overwhelming. Times like this, it is important to step away from your work and practice breathing, and gratitude. I am grateful that I can be home with my son each and every day, watching as he grows and learns new things. I am grateful that on the snowiest days, we can stay inside, safe and warm. And on the warmest days, we can find our way to the pool, to enjoy the summer sun.
Working from home with an infant isn’t for everyone. For me it is a win-win situation, and incredibly rewarding. I enjoy my career, and I love being a mommy. I wouldn’t trade this opportunity for the world.
Are you a stay-at-home mom or dad who also works full-time from home? What strategies have you found to make your workday easier? Leave your suggestions in the comment box below. I look forward to hearing your tips and tricks!