With the rise in remote work possibilities, many SAHM (stay at home moms) have become WAHM (Work at Home Moms). As a WAHM myself, I can attest to the fact that it is not easy.
After having my baby in July 2022, I was in the hospital for a whole week post-delivery. Once I got home, it took some time to get into a routine and get the hang of having a new member of our family in the house, not to mention all the sleepless nights and overwhelming moments that came with that.
Before I knew it, my six week maternity leave was up, and while I was excited to get back to work, “see” my coworkers via Zoom, and have projects to work on beyond the typical laundry and changing dirty diapers, I was genuinely unsure how difficult it would be.
In the few months I’ve been back to work with a little one at home, I’ve learned a few hacks in making work-from-home with a baby as simplified as it can be.
Communicate Your Needs
Over-communication is key. It may seem counterproductive at first, but over-communication is truly the solution to making sure you have everything you need to effectively get your job done. It’s cliche but true, that you can’t pour from an empty cup – you can’t give what you don’t have. If you don’t have a sense of peace and clarity, you won’t be as successful in your work. It’s as simple as that.
Be sure to keep your boss and coworkers in the loop of how you’re doing with your workload as well. Chances are they’d be happy to help if they know you’re struggling or falling behind. But they won’t know whether or how to help if you don’t communicate!
Find a Routine
As babies grow up, their needs and routines are ever-changing, but it’s not impossible to get into certain habits and routines as you go.
Though it may only last a few weeks, for each stage, find a daily rhythm that works for you and your kid(s), and stick to it! Whether it’s a nap at similar times each day, meals at predictable times, or even breaks/playtime at certain times of the day, children thrive in routine, especially when it comes to sleep, which will certainly be beneficial to you as a stay-at-home, working parent.
Take Advantage of Help
Depending on your personality, it might be tempting to think you can do it all yourself. But the reality is that even a little bit of help goes a long way.
If your work schedule is flexible, consider working during nap times, and later at night when you can have someone else watch the baby for a bit – whether your spouse, family or friend, or hired help. Don’t be afraid to admit that you could use a helping hand or two.
Create a Designated Work Space
But be flexible with where you work. Having a designated and organized workspace is a game changer for keeping your focus and staying on task. At the same time, it’s not always practical to work at a desk for hours straight with a baby who needs frequent attention.
Working at your designated workspace as often as you can is vital – but don’t shy away from bringing your laptop with you elsewhere in the house if it’s more convenient to work somewhere else while also keeping an eye on your baby.
Remember You’re Not Alone
As difficult as it can be sometimes, working from home with a little one(s) to care for, it’s certainly not impossible, especially if you take advantage of the tools available to you! Many work-from-home parents (like this one on Instagram) are in the same boat as you – just remember to over-communicate your needs, find a routine, say yes to help and try to keep a designated workspace as often as possible!