You had always planned to go back to work after having a baby, but now that they are here, it’s not quite such an easy decision. Whether it’s a case of needing to go back to work to earn money, or you want to, once the baby has arrived, it can throw a real curve ball into the mix.
That’s why working at home seems like a good option for many of new moms. Whether we’ve been able to negotiate a working at home arrange with the boss after the end of maternity leave, or decided to be our own boss. If working at home sounds a good option, then you’ll be among the 21% of working adults doing some or all of their job at home, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But to make working at home work for you, you need to find the right balance between your work and parenthood.
1. Be realistic
There are some huge advantages to working at home and it’s not just about being able to spend as much time as possible with the baby. But if you have an idyllic image of tapping away on your laptop and making client calls while your baby coos in the corner, or plays by themselves, it’s important that you realize the reality can be quite different. Your children won’t understand the importance of making that next call, or care about your deadlines.
But there are a few things we can do to make working at home a little easier, while also enjoying time with the new baby.
2. Make the most of naptime
It's a part of the day when you can expect to focus on your work without any interruptions. However long your child sleeps for, you can use this time to work on things with your complete concentration.
3. Keeping the kids entertained
Set aside some cool toys that your child can only play with when you are working. And if space allows, try to set up an activity corner in your office, or work area, so the kids can have their very own place to play and do projects while you work.
4. Consider childcare
Of course, one of the biggest benefits of working at home is that you are near your child. But there might be times when you need an extra pair of hands to help out. You might be coming up to a deadline, or need to make some important client calls. So, if possible, look into having some childcare help. Even if it's just a few hours with Grandma each week. Or think about joining up with other working moms to hire one babysitter to watch all the children together.
5. Interruptions are inevitable
Young children can have amazing timing and choose the time that you are on your important client call to decide they are hungry or want to watch their favorite cartoon. So, when it happens, press mute when you need to during important calls, to block out your background noise or reschedule if it’s possible.
6. But don't forget to switch off
It's important that you are able to find the balance between work and your home life. When you've finished work for the day, put your laptop away and focus on just being a mom. To juggle both your jobs successfully—mom and work— you also need to have a line between the two.