5 Tips on Working from Home with a Baby
Being a stay at home mom AND running a business from home is a lot harder than it seems. As a makeup artist, I'm answering emails, sending out contracts, following up with people, working on projects, and other freelance things we do. As a blogger, I'm planning and creating content, taking photos, editing photos, writing, and etc. Well now add a baby into this mix and my life was turned upside down and inside out. I needed to reevaluate and change up my routine. I know my other mamas can relate, but juggling a crying baby, answering emails, working on your website, writing blogposts, editing photos, etc.. can become a sh*tshow if you don't prepare for it. So today I'm sharing 5 tips on how you can work from home with a baby.
Just as a side note: For the first 3 months, I recommend focusing on recovery and not pushing yourself to work so hard. Postpartum recovery is no joke with the physical aspects and mental aspects of anxiety/blues/depression (I have yet to still share my experiences on this). Your mind, body, and soul will thank you if you take the time to heal properly. For some, it can take longer than 3 months. So go at your own pace. But once you're ready to get back into the game, hope these tips will help you out!
1. ESTABLISH A ROUTINE
As much as you can, establish some routine for you and the baby when it comes to feeding, playing, and nap time. The best case scenario, and most books and doctors will recommend for babies to nap for an hour in the morning, and 2 hours in the afternoon. Truth is, this doesn't happen that often unless you've sleep/nap trained them (this is a whole other topic if you want to check it out for yourself - but do what is best for you and your family) OR you just have an angel baby. Haha. You may not be able to get a strict schedule down and most don't, but having some routine will help know when you can squeeze in some work. ie: during naps or when they are playing in their crib/floormat. Routine is good for babies too!
2. GET UP EARLY, OR WORK LATE...OR BOTH
Sorry mama, there's no getting around the unpredictable nature of a baby. So during the day your child will dictate when he/she will need your attention. You can still work here and there and during naps, but don't expect to get a large amount of work done during the day when the baby is up. Once you've established some routine (discussed above), you probably have an idea of when your baby will go to sleep and wake up. So either wake up earlier than your baby and get a head start, or work after your baby goes to sleep. I'm more of a night owl, so I work after my baby goes to sleep around 10pm. We all work differently, so do what's best for you.
3. BABY WRAP OR CARRIER
Two words. HANDS FREE! This Godsend item lets you be hands-free and actually do things around the house and work. They call this baby wearing. Most babies love to be carried and studies have shown that babies who are "worn" cry less, are much happier, and bond better. Addie's now 9 months so I don't need to wear her around the house because she just plays on the floor, but when I wore Addie when she was smaller, it let me get work done while she napped peacefully in the carrier. Must have item for all moms!
4. GET HELP
Okay, I think as woman, we try to do everything on our own. We are born multitaskers and naturally can juggle things. While these are important traits to have especially as a mom, there's times where you need to focus only on your baby, and you also need the time to focus only on your work. If you really need it and fits within your budget, hiring a babysitter might be a good choice. Hiring a babysitter for a few hours on certain days of the week can give you the time you need to solely focus on your work and get it out of your way. Another way is to work out a schedule with your husband or partner. Right now I take care of Addie during the day, but once my husband comes home from work, he takes her so I can catch up on work. Sometimes I'll carve out some work time over the weekend. Currently we don't have a babysitter, but my husband and I started talking about hiring one this Fall, so we'll see. If you can get help from family, that's also gold. HELP IS GOLD! So take it when you can, mama.
5. BE FLEXIBLE
This is totally contradicting #1, haha. Do your best to establish a routine, but when everything's said and done, babies are unpredictable. Period. One minute you think they'll nap for awhile, but 15 minutes in, they're crying. One minute they're playing peacefully on their own, and then 10 minutes in, they need your attention. One day they're in a good mood, and another day, they can't stop crying. This is the reality my friends. So what's going to save your sanity, is to be flexible. Being too rigid with your routines and expecting that everything will go your way, will only frustrate you. Trust me, I'm speaking from my own experience.
I didn't realize how much time I had before the baby, until Addie arrived. Back then, I didn't think I had enough time in a day, but boy, was I wrong. I didn't realize how much...pardon my French...bullshitting I was doing by aimlessly looking at my phone, overthinking about my dreams, not enough doing, and essentially wasting my time. Before I knew it, my day was gone. But when Addie came, I quickly realized this wasn't going to work. I guess the silver lining is that I'm wasting less time and focusing on productivity, because as a mom, you don't have time for BS! Am I right mamas?
At the end of the day, be gracious to yourself if you can't get #allthethings done, enjoy the time you have with your baby, and figure out the best schedule that will work so you can give both to your baby and business..
Hope this helped!