Times are changing y’all. Working remotely is far more common than it used to be. It’s probably the new norm. I work from home a few days a week and have been lucky enough to keep both of my babies home with me on those days. And to clarify … I’m not keeping both kids home with me … just one at a time while in the ‘baby phase’!
I know what you’re thinking … HOW IN THE WORLD CAN YOU BE PRODUCTIVE??! It is totally a possibility and I’ll share my tips with you here:
Right from the start, if you have an opportunity to try to work from home with a baby, you should go into it knowing that your #1 priority is keeping your service excellence up for your employer. If you can’t swing it, you can’t swing it and move on! I went into it knowing that if it didn’t work for me, no biggie. I know that I work for an incredible organization that believes in a good work/home balance and feel very grateful, but I’m never willing to force something to work at the expense of my productivity or my/baby’s well-being.
This Isn’t For Every Parent & Every Baby
This TOTALLY hedges on three things: the kind of role you have at your company, the type of personality that you have and the personality of your baby. If you are in a call-center type role and have to be on the phone constantly, I would find this really hard to accommodate. From a personality standpoint, I’m a great multi-tasker and very, very organized, so this type of environment is my norm. From a baby personality stand-point, each baby is different. The more independent babies are easier to keep. Elliott is super self-sufficient, and is happy as a clam to play independently with me in the room with her. Emerson is and was higher energy and a bit needier, so I didn’t work from home with him as long.
Take Advantage Of Best Windows Of Opportunity
Get up and work before your kids wake up and maybe after they go to bed, save the big heads-down projects and conference calls for nap-times (if possible). Babies sleep a lot. If they are still taking 2 or more naps a day, this is key. When they drop the morning nap, or when they’re walking and into everything, usually time to make other arrangements. I’m a planner and feel that getting a good daily schedule helps me thrive on both fronts.
Make Stations & Get Creative
When my babies are awake, I get creative with the types of activities and sceneries they have. I change it up by making different stations around the house for them to keep occupied with. That might mean moving room to room, setting up a playpen outside on a pretty day or also, letting them play in the kitchen with a pile of kitchen Tupperware and (safe) utensils. My house is turned up-side down by the end of the day, but we just run room to room and put it back-together in about five minutes. Emerson even helps once he’s home from school.
Try To Get Out Once A Day
I think it’s pretty critical to take a dedicated “lunch” on the WFH days, regardless of if you have a baby home with you or not to be able to reset and see something other than your four walls. We always run a quick errand to the pharmacy, take a walk, etc in the middle of the day during lunchtime to refresh. That also serves as a good way to get baby good and tired for the LONG AFTERNOON NAP!
Take Advantage Of That Baby Carrier
These are nice for when baby wants to cuddle, but it’s not quite time for nap yet. Strap them to you and work away standing in the kitchen. Everyone is happy & productive.
Sometimes You Need Help
There are just times that I have too many conference calls booked that it’s pretty impossible to feel confident in your day with a baby with you. That is A-OK. On those days, I call in back-up, with my inlaws or our sitter to come in and babysit. Everyone is happy and we stayed true to the ‘be realistic’ 1st tip that I gave you. 😉
Things Can Change
There is no magic formula, but there comes a time for each baby/work-from-home mama that you both realize this isn’t working anymore. I find that this usually is around the time that the sleeping gets to be less and the crawling/walking is happening more. When that point happens, I’m willing to say, hey – this was amazing to have the opportunity to have the best of both worlds for a little while, but it’s in the best interest of all parties to find a different arrangement on the WFH days.
I love reading and sharing how mamas ‘make-it-work’ getting through the daily grind. I learn so much from the online mama community, it’s great. 🙂
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