When you have a baby and also work from home, you can expect your plate to be full at ALL TIMES. But that doesn’t mean you can’t streamline the work day, create a calming environment, and manage both your household and professional obligations at the same time. Here are a few things to keep in the back of your mind as you get started and settled with remote work and parenthood.
It's OK to get away
We’re going to address one of the most neglected areas of motherhood first: failure to spend time away from the baby. As moms (and even dads), it’s easy to feel like we have to be available to our little ones 24/7. But YOU DON’T! It’s healthy to get away so you can have a genuine break and be yourself. This is accomplished in many different ways, from an afternoon shopping trip to a weekend retreat.
Your older kids still need you
If you’re the parent of multiple children, you have to look for ways to spend time with each of them. Doing so can help you stay focused when you’re at work so you’re not staring at your computer screen feeling guilty for not giving more time to your little ones. A few times here:
- Establish a bedtime routine together each night
- Make an effort to learn new, exciting things together
- Go sightseeing (even exploring your own community can be fun!)
Each of these is something to look forward to that will keep everyone in a good mood. You can also plan to do chores together, and Today’s Parent offers a handy chore chart, which shows jobs kids can do starting at age 2.
Your entire house matters
When you’re trying to work from home with kids, you have to pay attention to more than just your home office. The entire house should be free of clutter and full of features that perpetuate positivity, such as potted plants, natural and ambient light, and calming scents, like lavender. Do yourself a favor and go ahead and stock the pantry and fridge with healthy snacks and make sure to change out the filter on your refrigerator water dispenser.
Invest in Self-care
When it comes to self-care, there are endless products and services to choose from. For example, aromatherapy is a popular stress-relief technique that involves using essential oils to promote relaxation. Many people find that using an oil diffuser in their home or office can help to reduce anxiety and promote feelings of calm. In addition, massage can also be an effective way to relieve stress. Professional massages can be expensive, but there are also a number of quality massage products available for use at home. Whenever purchasing products for your home, read online reviews from trusted sources to determine which items to buy.
A Helping Hand Goes a Long Way
Just as your business has a team of people that keep it running, so too should your home. While you already have the older kids doing chores, there’s nothing wrong with expecting your spouse or partner to also pick up the slack. During the workday, you might also consider hiring a babysitter or nanny, which can charge anywhere from $15 an hour up to $20 an hour or more according to Sittercity. If you can make more than you’ll spend on childcare, it may be worth it to have the time to get important projects done at least a few days each week.
Find a New Home With Room for an Office
Many people who work from home find that they need a dedicated space in which to do their work. A home office can provide a quiet place to focus on tasks and avoid distractions. It can also be a convenient way to keep work-related materials organized. If buying a home isn’t in your budget right now, there are many Columbus-area rentals available. Look for listings with an extra bedroom that you can convert into an office.
Your Employer May Offer Flexible Hours
Many employers, especially those that allow remote work, will be happy to offer you a flexible schedule. While you may still need to be available for morning meetings or during peak hours, talk to your boss about giving you a little more leeway during the morning (while you’re cooking breakfast and getting kids settled for the day) and in the late afternoon, when the kids are bored and want your attention.
Having a bit of flexibility can also give you the time to practice self-care; PureWow notes that simple things, like watching a movie, following along with the YouTube yoga video, or painting your nails are all simple self-care tips that you can do from home.