Three ways to balance working from home with a newborn
Like many working parents, you may be surprised by the flood of emotions that hit during the last days of maternity leave. After all, juggling the responsibility of managing your career and a family is no easy feat.
In fact, research from the Association for Psychological Science found that work-from-home parents are expected to shoulder greater household responsibilities due to being “home all day.”
From learning your baby’s routine to building flexibility into your own schedule, there are ways to find a balance between your work time while still being able to attend to your child. Here are three ways to simplify working from home with a newborn.
1) Follow your baby’s lead
Every child is different. What worked for your neighbor’s best friend may create utter chaos for you. Therefore, it’s a good idea to spend most of your maternity leave bonding with your newborn and trying to figure out their likes and dislikes.
Does your baby like to swing, or do they prefer bouncing? Do they like to hang in a baby carrier, or do they scream every time they’re put down? While many work-at-home mothers praise the use of baby carriers, others claim to get more done by keeping their cribs nearby – with bumpers in place once they can turn – so they can keep a watchful eye while they’re working.
2) Be flexible wherever possible
In a perfect world, your newborn would follow your schedule by the minute. However, routines are certainly not fail-proof. Between teething and growth spurts, there are plenty of things that can throw a newborn off their daily routine.
It is important to remember that your little one will need your undivided attention more than usual on some days, and that is perfectly okay. Just remember to have a back-up plan for days that take unexpected turns.
3) Welcome offers of help
Let’s face it, we all enjoy a solo trip to the market: it helps us get in and out without the stress of tagging the little one along. The same goes for having undistracted time for your business at home. So whether it’s the grandparents looking to spend time with your child or a responsible neighbor looking for a part-time job, you’ll want to find any help you can.
If you can’t afford a regular babysitter, make a plan with your spouse, and ask family members if they’d like to help out. You can even make a schedule with other parents in the same situation.
Babies don’t stay little for long. As they grow, so will the changes in their routines – and your work routine will probably change too. While it is possible to work at home with a newborn, it is not always easy.
Focus on getting to know your baby, and create a flexible routine with some sense of consistency. Once you learn how to prioritize which tasks to get done first, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and follow your baby’s lead.