Bringing a newborn into your family is one of the greatest moments for moms. Problem is, moms, find it difficult to separate themselves from their babies weeks after giving birth. A lot of companies are not into the idea of telecommuting. They still expect employees to report to the office even after maternity leave. For new moms, it is a challenge to work a few weeks after giving birth. At times, most new moms end up quitting their jobs because the boss failed to compromise and allow the mom to work from home.
Today, there are numerous companies offering telecommuting opportunities to their employees. This means new moms have other options and can continue nurturing their newborn at home. What new moms need to know is that telecommuting jobs require focus and discipline. You must plan your day if you want to succeed. While spending time with your newborn is important as it helps parent and baby build a relationship. It is important for the mother to earn an income to settle all her expenses.
In this guide, we have compiled 10 tips on how to work from home. Following these tips, you can work from home successfully and still spend time with your baby.
#1. Be flexible
Work hours for a work at home mom need to be flexible. If you plan your schedule and take advantage of every minute, you can get a lot of work done. To be successful, make plans to accommodate your situation. For instance, if you have someone coming over to watch the baby in the afternoon, you can take this opportunity to get more work done.
If the baby interrupts you early in the morning, you can sneak a few minutes and get more work done. Remember, your baby’s sleep schedule is not flexible and so, you can always schedule the time to complete your projects.
What we have found to work for most new moms is having a to-do list. There are mobile apps which can be used to create a to-do list. Using such apps can help you prioritize.
#2. Create a baby-friendly office
As a work at home mom, you need a home office. It is here where you will chat with clients, discuss project requirements and make submissions to your clients. While your home office should be set up to enhance communication and productivity, it should also be baby friendly.
Making it baby friendly ensures that you have the baby supplies within easy reach. A few supplies to include in your home office – breastfeeding pillow, and breastfeeding bottles. As your baby grows, include a play area and add a few toys. Make sure the toys do not have small parts that can be removed with minimal force. A good toy to include in the play area is a mobile and a rocker.
While making your home office baby friendly is important, there are a few things you need to change to be productive. First, get a desk with shelves. A big desk is not appropriate for your home office. You can also invest in a wall mounted desk. Second, get a comfy chair, a corkboard, and a whiteboard combo. This is useful for pinning important notes and papers. Last but not least, add houseplants, photos, and other decor items.
#3. Never be too afraid to ask for help
As a new mom, you may feel like you can do everything alone but the truth is you cannot. We all need help. Help from family and trusted friends make it easy to accomplish different tasks. Also, you find time to work and rest. When you have a project that demands your full attention, help from family and friends fast-track completion of the project. This eliminates the need to take frequent breaks to check on your baby.
So anytime you need help with the baby, ask your family and friend to come over. As they babysit, lock yourself in your home office and get some work done. You will be surprised how much can be done within a few hours away from your baby.
#4. Get your baby on a nap schedule
Newborn babies can sleep up to 17 hours each day. Actually, much of the day and a better part of the night is spent sleeping. If you keep up with this schedule, it will be hard for you to find time for yourself. This makes it difficult for you to resume your work or even complete any project.
Want to set a baby nap schedule? Pay attention to your baby’s signals. A lot of babies will display certain signals if they want to sleep. Some will rub their eyes while others will get fussy. Take note of these signals.
To create a naptime schedule for your baby, consistency is key. Schedule your baby’s nap exactly the same time every day. For instance, if you put your baby to nap at 2 in the afternoon, make a point of doing so every day. This will help to create a sleep pattern and make it easy for you to find time to work.
It is also important to teach your baby that nighttime is sleep time. How? Follow the same procedure as described above and all should be well.
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#5. Avoid napping when your baby naps
When you have a newborn, doctors recommend that you nap when your baby naps. This gives you time to rest and rejuvenate your energy levels. When your baby is around 3 to 4 months, and you are back to work, you don’t have to stick to this schedule.
Why? Every minute counts. When your baby naps, it is the perfect time to complete a few tasks in your project. If you are not currently working on any projects, this is the perfect time to read a book or a magazine. A lot of babies take 2 to 3-hour naps. This is enough time to accomplish a lot.
If you choose to work on your laptop, desktop or tablet, mute the device. A lot of applications play sounds when a new notification is delivered. This sound can be distracting to the baby and interfere with nap time. So, if you will be working while your baby is napping in a swing close to you, mute the device.
#6. Be open with your clients
Now that you are working from home, it is important to inform your clients about your situation. A lot of clients are supportive and will create a flexible schedule for you. Some clients may not be very understanding. This should not deter you. There are lots of opportunities out there and you are bound to connect with a client who is understanding.
As said earlier, working from home requires you to be disciplined and focused. To communicate effectively with your clients, have a Bluetooth hands-free set. This enables you to manage all your calls efficiently. Maintain a to-do list and a follow-up list too. Juggling the baby and your work is crazy and you may end up forgetting things. A to-do list and follow up list makes it easy for you to remember.
#7. Be patient
Success cannot be achieved in a day, a week or even a month. It takes time. As a new mom, juggling your baby and work will drain your energy. If you are impatient with circumstances, you can find yourself getting angry even over small things. When you are patient, you allow yourself to understand situations before taking any action. Also, you get time to reflect on circumstances and allow yourself to reassess things.
So, how do you have more patience? First, identify the reasons for your impatience. To do so, dig deep and find out what irritates you. Once you do so, analyze these reasons and this will help you understand yourself better. Second, know when you are losing your cool and when you are burnt out. The best way to do so is to prioritize yourself. By doing this, you get to refresh yourself – spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Last but not least, identify what triggers you to act impatient. Once you identify the triggers, plan ahead. This will help you avoid situations that trigger your impatience.
Transitioning from a 9 to 5 job to working at home is not easy but if you are open to making money, there are plenty of options out there. You can become a blogger, affiliate marketer, social media influencer, bookkeeper, virtual assistant or an online tutor. Other opportunities include copywriter, freelance writer, web developer, mobile app programmer, and drop shipping business among others. As you can see, the possibilities are endless. To be successful, you need to prioritize. The best way to go about this is to come up with a schedule. What has worked with most moms is to follow the baby’s schedule. So, are you ready to work as a stay at home mom?