Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.
Going back to work after having a baby can be a daunting experience—even mums who are going back to the office experience the same anxiety and challenges as work-at-home moms. You may not be leaving your baby for long hours as the woman who will be going back to the office, but it still demands a major transition.
If you were already working from home before the baby, you are at a better place than a mum who wants to start working from home after having a baby. It sounds hard starting, but with a bit of planning and help, you can do it whether it’s your first time or not. Today I give you tips I learned when I got my second baby and had just started with freelance work from home.
Work when they nap
When your baby is a few months old, they will be napping a lot during the day and night. This is the time you should take advantage of and plan your schedule around it. When they take their daily naptime, that is the time you should sit down and work.
My son would wake up early in the morning at five when I was getting his brother ready for school, and he would feed and go back to sleep at 7. He would then sleep for about two to three hours which was enough to get a lot of work done. I would take advantage of this time to work through my work, check my emails, and apply for more work. This worked best when the baby was three months to eight months old.
Be flexible with your time.
If your work doesn’t demand working a specific time, you can try working different hours. I always found I was most productive in the mornings before the baby wakes up and after he sleeps. Then the rest of the day, I would spend doing chores, cooking, and laundry in the house. If your schedule allows, you can work in the mornings like me or late at night when everyone else is in bed.
Ask for help
If you can get help with taking care of the baby, do it. It can get overwhelming taking care of your baby and still trying to work and satisfy your clients. Family and friends also can be of help when you just had a baby. Take advantage of that if it’s babysitting or chores around the house. That would be great because it will ease off some of the things you have to do around the house.
If you can also afford hired help, that would also come in handy, and it would help you get so much work done while someone else is looking after the baby and the other chores in the house.
Get your partner involved.
Involve your spouse when it comes to taking care of the baby and doing things around the house. You can’t do everything on your own that can be very exhausting. Instead, talk to your spouse about helping. Have a sit-down and discuss how they can chip in doing something around the house. Make them understand that you don’t have to do everything even if you spend your days at home. Taking care of a bay takes a team’s effort.
Make plans for future projects.
In some jobs asking for projects in advance may be easy, but in others, it’s impossible. The key is to take care of what you can for now. If a new project is to start after your maternity leave, start doing the basics early to know what the project entails. When you have done some research on the project, it is easier to work on it even after the baby has arrived.
Freelancers usually have an idea of their work because they can ask clients what they may need in the coming months. Remember not to overpromise on what you can’t deliver. Don’t take too much, especially immediately after the baby is born; you wouldn’t want to be overwhelmed and fail to deliver.
If you have people, you can outsource the work with the clients’ knowledge, of course, then do it. Don’t take too many projects at once. You can work out with your client how you can manage your workload.
Do your best to plan for your personal life too. Stuff like bills which you may forget, you can set up automatic payment systems. Doctor checkups and the like plan for them well in advance so that you don’t forget and hurry to book appointments last minute.
If you have to restock on baby essentials, you can shop online, and they will bring things to your doorstep. You can click here to shop for your baby essentials. This helps ease up your to-do list throughout the month.
Give yourself a break.
It’s important to give yourself a break from the routine of work and taking care of the baby. When I was writing and taking care of my son, I would work for an hour. Then give myself a break to tend to the baby or do a few chores in the house. This helped a lot, especially when I felt overwhelmed with either work or caring for my son.
When I had someone to babysit, I would go out for a walk or get my hair done to break that routine monotony. Breaks give you a chance to recharge your brain. It also helped a lot with my work on days when I felt stuck.
Despite your efforts and planning, working from home with a baby has its challenges. Don’t be so hard on yourself on days you don’t do anything. Maybe because the baby was fussier than usual or when you had so much work to do that you didn’t get time to be with the baby. Pat yourself on the back for the days you accomplish something because they will be many.
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.