In the last 5 years, I have built a few different home businesses as a work at home mom raising toddlers and newborn babies. The whirlwind of bringing a new child into the home is already enough to rock the boat and challenge family dynamics, but trying to actually get work done too can sometimes make me feel like it’s going to send me over the edge.
Like the time my girls spilled water on my work laptop. Or when my son was a baby, he somehow found a way to be a sneaky little ninja and pop a key off my keyboard.
Things happen, but you learn to roll with it and make life work.
How to manage working at home as a new mom with a newborn
While many women decide to work from home so they can achieve a better work-life balance. Though I would argue balance doesn’t exist, only a fine art of juggling. Many new moms want to be available to their kids but working at home with a baby comes with a lot of challenges.
…Always feeling distracted, being sleep deprived, and not being able to find enough time to work, just to name a few.
In some cases, being a new mom feels like drowning. I’ve gone through periods of thriving but also moments I have felt like I can’t ever get enough done.
These tips won’t solve all your problems, but they will make it easier to get things done and you’ll feel a little less stressed by using them. And remember that sometimes being a stay at home mom is not rewarding because it’s not the same as the workplace. Be patient with yourself, this is a new situation and it will take some adjusting to make it work. You may need to continually tweak your work schedule, how you work or even where you work until you figure out how to make it all work for you.
Work while breastfeeding.
Those marathon nursing sessions can provide quality time with your laptop or phone. Find a comfortable place, latch the baby on and get to work! If you have to be sitting, why not make that time productive?
Master your mindset.
Even with all the craziness of excess hormones and lack of sleep, you need to find a way to stay positive, see the bigger picture and just take things as they come. Mastering a positive mindset is crucial to keeping your energy up so that you can work and take care of baby. Find some uplifting YouTube videos and save them for quick reference when you need a pick-me-up.
Keep baby close.
Keeping baby close by in a carrier or small bassinet will make it easier for you to get to her when she needs you, saving you valuable time of running back and forth from your office to wherever she’s sleeping.
Working from home can give you peace of mind as a new mom, but it may come with some odd hours. You may find yourself needing to sleep at 10am with your baby and work at 2am when you are awake with a feeding.
It won’t last forever, try to enjoy it while it lasts.
Carefully consider if you will or will not sleep when baby naps.
Sleep is imperative for your mind to function. Some days I make nap time my times, but other days I know that the best thing for the whole family is if I am more well-rested and my mind is sharper and fresher from the rest.Try to take advantage of those times and do as much work as possible. That is a great time for work that requires your undivided attention. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get done during short periods of focused time.
You can try to take advantage of those times and do as much work as possible, but remember that work will always still be waiting. However, you can never get back sleep you don’t take, nor can you rewind time to enjoy your kids while they’re little.
Be aware of when it’s ok to sacrifice some time for your business and when it’s best to give your kids and yourself the attention you all deserve.
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Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!