Always something us working moms think about regulary: How to balance work & family life?
Sure I’ve always considered myself a master when it comes to work and family balance, but when my newborn arrives, I’m wondering if I’ll ever get back my A game!
Currently working from home as Social Media Manager, taking on projects/campaigns here & there on top of my blogging (which by the way is a huge outlet for me), caring for my 3 year old AND pregnant with my 2nd child, I fear that I will lose that very substantial equilibrium.
I have many close friends and family that also juggle work-life, some work-from-home moms, others work-out-of-home moms, and many of them tell me that after having a newborn, things can get a tad cumbersome.
Here are some great tips that I think I will learn to incorporate into my life after the birth of our new baby and I think will also benefit many working moms.
For the multi-tasking WAHM, balancing a newborn and a WAHM position can create quite a challenge.
Your home office just got a bit more crowded, and you’re struggling to remain attentive on your conference call while changing a dirty diaper at your beloved desk! Yes, caring for a newborn and maintaining a home business can be overwhelming.
However, you’ll find that bottles and business can mix just fine when you use these tips to stay productive.
Make Room For Baby
Though they themselves are small and don’t take up much space, newborns come with plenty of accessories and necessities that can easily fill your home and home office. Since you’ll want to continue working or running your business from your office – a productive space – you need to make it baby friendly so your little bundle of joy won’t find it to be a joyless place for him or her. Depending on how much office space you’ve got to work with, create a play area, changing area and sleep area. Set up a play yard or bassinet close to your work station or desk so you can see your baby and they can catch some Z’s (which they’ll likely catch plenty of). Many play yards double as a sleeping area and have changing tables. Setting up a baby swing and playing soft music may also keep baby calm while you focus on work.
Let Baby Play Boss
If you’ve been a WAHM for awhile, it’s likely you’ve got a schedule you’ve become accustom to working. While you may find it difficult to adjust that schedule, you can bet that baby will have no issue making it difficult to stick to. You’ll need to be flexible with everything from when you work to possibly where you work. Like many WAHMs, you may find yourself sacrificing sleep and breaking the age old rule of sleeping when the baby sleeps to get work completed. Take advantage of quiet and free time as much as possible to remain productive, without overkill and exhausting yourself. Aside from changing up your normal work schedule, you may find that sitting around in your home office all day is not your baby’s favorite thing to do. Hopefully, you have a laptop and can be accommodating; working from home will literally mean working all around your home, and you may spend more time in baby’s nursery than your actual office.
Hire a Helper
Hired help can really help you stay productive as you adjust to life working from home with a newborn. You can have someone come in a few hours a day, a few days a week; though it may not seem like much time, you’ll be amazed at what you accomplish when you’re baby free. You can find a mother’s helper online (just be thorough in your search), through friends or family or a teen in your neighborhood. If you have older children at home or your hubby/mom/sister, etc. is available, they can be lifesavers! Have them care for and entertain baby while you work.
Remember What Matters Most
Your business or WAHM position matters, after all it is your livelihood (or a contributing factor). However, you need to remind yourself of that which matters most – your newborn and your own well being. Don’t push yourself to the point of exhaustion and misery attempting to be productive. Get plenty of rest, aim to eat plenty of good foods and don’t miss a moment to create plenty of memories with your baby!
How about our wonderful and equally industrious moms that work out of the home? Perhaps you’ll find these tips useful:
Take Time For Yourself
“Being a new parent is wonderful, but at times it can be really difficult and stressful, too,” offers Dr. D’Arcy Lyness, behavioral health editor for KidsHealth.org. “This can generate feelings of guilt for a mom or dad who isn’t enjoying every second of being a new parent. But it’s important to remember that it’s okay to want — and to take — a break from the baby every once in a while.”
Share Baby Duties and Household Chores
It may sound like something college roomies do, but setting up clear guidelines and expectations will circumvent a slew of resentment and disagreements. Decide who will do which household chores, early feedings, and other tasks to help you return to work and balance daily duties.
It’s always great when you’ve got such an awesome support system (Thanks Mom!)
Get the Most from your Commute
Making the most of your drive time can turn your stressful commute into time to unwind. Listen to an audio book, walk or bike to work if you are close enough, or people watch in the lanes around you to gain some stress-free you time. Or, consider carpooling or taking public transportation so you can enjoy a good book, socialize on the phone, or daydream to chill out before you get home.
Once your newborn makes his way into the world, your priorities will need to be rearranged. After a long day in the office, letting chores slide until the weekend or waiting until baby is off in dreamland to go through the mail may help you keep your sanity. Just remember to make some couples time with your partner a high priority on your list in order to achieve true work and family balance.
Simplify Meal Time
Reduce the amount of time you’re spending in the kitchen. There are tons of fabulous meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less, and others that can be made ahead of time. Or, pull out that slow cooker for a meal that is ready when you walk in the door.
Negotiate a Flexible Work Schedule
Whether it’s working extra hours one day a week to get off early once a week, or working from home part-time, it doesn’t hurt to ask your employer for a flexible work schedule. Or, have your partner drop off the baby at daycare so you can start work an hour earlier and pick up your infant earlier to cut down on babysitting hours.
Most importantly, you need to cut yourself some slack. Often, the pressure of finding work and family balance are put upon yourself. So, in order to return to work and balance life with a newborn, brush up on these ways to juggle your job and your new baby and soon you’ll be managing work and your expanded family like a pro!
Credits: parenting.com, busymommymedia.com