Many parents would like to work at home so that they can continue to support their family while also spending more time with their children. However, many people find that the reality of working from home when children are present is more difficult than they thought it would be. Juggling both work and caring for a child can be more than many people can handle.
There are many things you can do to make this balancing act work if you feel like you would like to work from home while caring for your baby (or other small children). Here are a few things you can do to make working from home successful while caring for children:
Create a Realistic Schedule
When you have a baby, you aren’t going to be able to get as much done as you would if you were working alone. You won’t be able to schedule yourself to work from 8 to 5 every day and then expect it to actually happen. You need to be more realistic with your schedule. Know that you won’t be able to work for long stretches of time uninterrupted. Plan for that.
Work around times that you know your baby will be occupied, such as during regular naps or during visits with family and friends. Try to schedule time that is dedicated to work, but be realistic when setting those times so that you’ll actually be able to work during those times.
Even the best schedules will be derailed when you have a baby. As much as you’d like them to eat and sleep on a schedule, they just don’t. Even if you’ve gotten your baby used to a schedule, teething, developmental spurts, and illness can derail that schedule – and your working plans. Develop a contingency plan for your work should your baby become sick or should have a day where he needs more of your attention and care. If possible, build time into your week for “make up” if such instances arise.
Set Realistic Goals
You won’t be able to finish as much work as you would have before your baby came or when you were working in an office. You just won’t. By setting unrealistic goals for yourself, you’ll only get overwhelmed, which can make you even less productive. Set realistic goals for your daily and weekly workload, and you’ll feel empowered as you meet them, helping you to remain productive.
Work with Your Child
Of course, you won’t be able to actually work with your child. However, you should keep your baby’s habits and needs in mind when determining your work load and schedule for the day. If you know that your baby has a period of time in the afternoon when he likes to play on the mat or swing in the swing contentedly, you can plan to get in some work during that time. If you know that your baby is cranky in the late afternoon and wants to nurse or be cuddled at that time, don’t schedule work or conference calls for that time. Learning to work with your baby instead of forcing your baby to fit your schedule will help you to get more done.
Even with all the best planning, you are still likely to face times when you fall far behind on work or you just feel overwhelmed with trying to juggle it all. Don’t hesitate to call up a friend to help you out by watching your baby for a few hours one afternoon. If you can afford it, hire a part-time babysitter to come to your home and give you relief for a few hours each day. You can concentrate on working while resting assured that your baby is getting the care he needs.
Working from home when you have a baby isn’t easy, but it can be done. Use these simple tips to help you make working from home while taking care of your baby a success so that you can have the best of both worlds, taking care of your family while also spending more time with your baby.
Have you ever worked from home while also caring for a baby? Tell us how you made it work in the comments!
Article Written by:
Chloe Trogden is a seasoned financial aid writer who researches common misconceptions such as bad credit student loans and gets down to the facts. Her leisure activities include camping, swimming and volunteer work.