Trying to juggle your career and a baby can be difficult, but it’s one of the most fulfilling accomplishments as a parent. Most parents with newborn babies often decide to work from home because this eases up the load of work and having to take care of a baby—but I guess we don’t have a choice but to work from home while the pandemic is going on. Although working from home is supposed to make things easier for you as a parent, it can still be pretty demanding if you don’t know how to balance your work and home life. Lucky for you, we’ve got all the tips and tricks that you’ll need to take care of your baby while working from home successfully:
Make the most of the free time you’ve got.
Whenever you get the chance to work, you should take it. Whenever your baby is napping, when you’re breast-feeding or pumping milk, or while they’re distracted by their toys, take advantage of these moments and use it as a time to work. Babies under four months old have pretty unpredictable nap schedules, and they’ll need your full attention while they’re awake, so you’ll have to jump at every opportunity that they’re asleep to be able to work.
Sounds hectic, I know. But don’t worry, it won’t always be like this. As babies get older, their nap schedules also get more predictable. By the time they’re four to six months old, you can start scheduling their naps, and then you’ll be able to schedule your work around their naps. You should learn how to settle them down too. The sooner you figure out what helps them sleep, the easier it’ll be for you to work. Some parents find that having their babies close to them, either strapped onto them in their carriers or swaddled up in a cashmere blanket in their arms, works best. Of course, this may differ from baby to baby, so find what works for you.
Learn to multitask.
Parents who work outside of the home have the luxury of knowing when to separate home and work. But when you’re always at home, it can be challenging to set up a boundary between work and home life, especially with a baby in the picture. Babies need all of your attention, and you must give it to them. But of course, you can’t just forget about work either. Part of being a parent is learning how to multitask. Some of the things you’ll have to learn include typing with one hand, breast-feeding, and working at the same time. Those are just a few things you’ll have to master.
Share the load with someone.
Find someone to share the load with. If you have a partner, make sure that the two of you take shifts in taking care of the baby. You could also have another family member to do it with you if you’re a single parent. Just remember that you don’t have to do it alone. You’re only human; you should learn to ask for help when you need it. Because if you don’t take care of yourself, who’s going to take care of your child. You can also look to online parent support groups for more tips and advice on how to take care of your child and work from home at the same time. Support is important, especially now that there’s a pandemic.
Try to get a solid routine in.
In the first few months, you’ll have a challenging time trying to get a routine in. Babies are very unpredictable during their first few months, but you should still have a routine or a plan. For example, wake up early in the morning to get the most important work done before your baby wakes up. Once your baby wakes up, you quit working and entertain them a bit. During their first nap of the day, you can use this to complete whatever work you have left and continue working while you breastfeed them during mid-day. When it’s time for their afternoon nap, you could use this for some me-time. Entertain them again when they wake up or do some multitasking. After you put them down to bed at night, you finish all the work you need to finish and start again the next day.
If you really can’t find a way to set a solid routine, make sure to have a list of important tasks instead. Rank each task by priority and ensure that you cross every task on this list by the end of the day. This way, you won’t have to worry so much about sticking to a routine instead of just focusing on getting the important things done.
Learn when to take a break.
Parents, especially first-timers, often forget to give themselves a break. Of course, we all want what’s best for our baby, but we have to take care of ourselves as well. Take advantage of the weekends and make it a rule not to do anything work-related during the weekends—if possible.
And if you can’t stick to these tips, don’t beat yourself up about it. Every parent and parenting style is different. What works for others may not work for you and vice versa. Find out what’s best for you and your baby, and stick to it as long as it works.