I never set out to be a “working mom” in fact, my goal was to stay at home always with my babies but things change and opportunities arose that I couldn’t pass up. After 10 months home with my little one, I found myself working with The Refined Agency on a part-time basis. It was an opportunity to grow in my career field at a comfortable pace and hit some personal goals. As you may know, Alex & Lin have recently opened a gorgeous cafe in town,! With new businesses comes new responsibilities on the team and I quickly moved to a more full-time role. Half the time I work from home and the other half I’m in the office, which works really well for our family right now. I’ve had to learn how to thrive in this new environment and after almost one year working and being a mom, I’ve got a few tips and tricks to get things done!
1. Find ways to be hands free! – One thing people always comment on when they first meet my daughter is how tiny she is! She’s barely 20 pounds, which I think is so funny since I was 20 pounds by like 6 months (no joke!) I actually love how tiny she is though. It helps ease the pain of realizing how quickly she’s growing. That’s why I still baby-wear her whenever I get the chance. This Sakura Bloom Scout is the perfect wrap to keep her close and my hands free. I love it because it’s easy to use, beautifully detailed with soft, American leather and can carry up to 45 pounds! The wrap can be used as a front carrier or a back carrier and it can guarantee to put her to sleep once she’s in! Last week was the grand opening off Cafe Lola and I grabbed Millie from the sitter and brought her in. I still had some work to do so I strapped her in to the Scout and finished up my work day. It was perfect to keep her out the way but also interactive with what was going on. I use it around the house to skip the rocking of nap time and to clean up before settling in front of the computer to get work done! I can’t say enough great things about baby wearing and I’m so happy I can wear her until she’s 45lbs with the Scout. (Which at this rate it’ll be til she’s 4!! LOL)
2. PLANNING! – I recently have implemented planning our days down to the minute. I’m fortunate to have a flexible work load, meaning I can do my job at odd hours without falling behind. I plan my schedule and what needs to get done, then I plan what I want to accomplish for the baby and put them next to each other. I set alarms that tell me what to do so I don’t forget. I even plan our meals for the day! I can get really stressed when I don’t know what we’re going to eat and have to figure it out while she’s fussy. Knowing exactly what we’re eating saves so much time and stress. We’ll start our day with some fresh air on a walk then have breakfast and then read and do some quiet play while I look over emails and make sure I don’t have anything that needs to be returned. I’ve been working on learning her behavior at different times. For example, when she wakes from her mid-day nap she’s energetic so I know not to even try to do work because she wants my attention. This is when we run our errands or go to the park to change our scenery.
3. Maximize Sleep time! – I know this seems like a no-brainer but it’s actually something struggled with. When I put her down for a nap I usually want to do three things eat, relax and take a nap myself. I also feel tempted to clean up while she naps, but I’ve learned that I can’t truly focus on laundry or dishes if I have something I know that needs to be done. Since I also can get so much work done while she sleeps I usually eat and work on my top 3, the three things I want to accomplish that day. This makes it easier for me to put my work away when she wakes up and help her burn off that after nap energy I mentioned above. I also try to wake before the family to do some of the tasks the require me to focus. This means I get up around 5:30 am, make coffee, listen to something soothing like worship music or a podcast and work until baby girl wakes up.
4. Ask For Help! – I hate asking for help and feel like I can do everything myself and while it is try you can do anything you can’t do everything. I used to think we couldn’t afford childcare but it’s surprising what you can do with some determination and resourcefulness. I’ve found some really great help from younger girls at our church. They’re responsible, kind and all-around good people. Since I’m home with they’re here or away for maybe an hour or two, I don’t need someone who comes with 100 credentials and degrees to watch her. I just need someone respectful and great with kids. A lot of the times our sitters volunteer to fulfill school requirements which helps financially but when we do pay them it’s not an extreme amount as it’s usually 5 hours a week. I’ve also heard of moms who switch off days watching each others kids.
5. If all else fails. Split screens and Youtube! – I’m not an advocate for a lot of screen time at all but sometimes I can’t catch a break. She may skip her nap, not want to eat or just be very clingy. In those moments, I split my screen in half with nursery rhymes on one side and the project I’m trying to get done on the other. This gives me about 30 minutes to power through something that just can’t wait until my husband gets home!
That’s all! Working from home with a baby can be done! It will require flexibility, time-management and creativity. It can be tough at times but it’s so worth it. If things don’t work out the way you plan or you make a mistake, give yourself some grace! You’re doing the hardest job in the world. I’m always rooting for you! Tell us below your favorite tips and tricks to being a working mom!
This post has been sponsored by Sakura Bloom!