Being a mom can be difficult. Being a new mom can be even harder, especially if it’s your first baby. You will be on one very steep learning curve as you try to come to terms with your new life and figure out everything you need to know to be a parent.
Thankfully, you’ll have plenty of time to get your head around this during your maternity leave. But what happens if you need to start earning again while your child is still very young? Well, there could be one simple solution – become a work-at-home mom.
There are thousands of women out there who have successfully set up their home-based business or started a career as a freelancer after they have had a baby. Working from home gives them the chance to successfully juggle their new work alongside looking after their baby.
However, it may sound a lot easier on paper than what it is in practice. That doesn’t mean working this way should be a big struggle. Here are a few tips that can help you create a balanced life as a professional work-at-home mom.
#1 Stick To Part-Time Work
You will need to be realistic about your work expectations once you return to your career after having a baby. If your child is still a baby then there is no way you will be able to hold down a full-time job even if you are working from home.
Your baby will be just too demanding and you might struggle to give them the care and attention that they need every day. So, it’s best to start with some low expectations and not work more than part-time hours.
This way, you’ll still have plenty of time to dedicate to your baby and will be a lot less likely to end up stressed with deadlines.
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#2 Set A Schedule
It’s important to stay organized when you work from home even if you don’t have a baby. Many home-based freelancers find that they find it hard to switch off from work at the end of the day and simply keep going into the evening.
This won’t be good for stress levels, and it could mean that you end up neglecting your other duties, like household chores. So, it’s always important to establish a schedule. You can do this by buying a wall planner and mapping out your coming week every Monday.
Block out hours during which you will work. Then you know how many free hours you can dedicate to your childcare and other household jobs. This schedule should also keep you from overworking at any point.
#3 Share Housework With Your Partner
If you aren’t the only adult at home then you shouldn’t be the only one taking care of all the chores and other important household responsibilities.
After all, it’s only fair that your partner takes their fair share of the work as well. This can help you share the chores so that you don’t have all of the household work to do on top of your work and looking after the baby.
If you try to do all of these things, you’ll find that there’s no way you’ll be able to fit everything into your daily schedule. And that’s a surefire way to get your stress levels shooting up to unhealthy levels.
#4 Think About Your Childcare Options
If you find that trying to juggle your childcare and career starts to get too much, you might want to try to see if there are any other options available for your baby.
For instance, you might be able to find them at a local nursery or kindergarten for a few hours each day. Even if you can only afford to place them in this kind of childcare for a small amount of time each day, it still provides you with a window of opportunity to complete your work without any distractions from the baby.
One cheaper option could be to hire a childminder or to even look for a live-in au pair.
#5 Set Up Some Boundaries
One of the main things that many work-at-home moms struggle with is setting up boundaries. It can be all too easy to try to be a mom and a businesswoman all at the same time.
Unfortunately, this never works too well, and it is always best to stick to one role at a time. This is where boundaries come in. When you have an hour on your schedule blocked out for working on professional projects, then you should make sure that it is all you do in that hour. Don’t try to be a mom at the same time or else you will be stretching yourself too thinly.
Your work may not be up to quite as good a standard as a result, and you could end up losing projects. So, make sure that you are strict with your boundaries. Don’t let mother time overflow into your business hours and vice versa.
As long as you have some solid childcare options in place, then this should be easy to manage as you shouldn’t be too distracted by your child.
#6 Remove All Distractions
Your baby isn’t going to be the only distraction that could keep you from working. It’s a good idea to consider all the things that could encourage you to procrastinate and remove them from your home office if possible.
For instance, if you don’t need a cell phone or tablet device with you while you work then there is no point taking them into your office.
You can leave them in the kitchen. That way, you won’t be distracted by your social media notifications and other messages that pop up. Other things that could prove to be distractions include books and magazines.
#7 Work Around Your Baby’s Naps
If your baby is home with you all day and you are trying to look after it while you work, there is one handy tip that many work-at-home moms find to be very useful.
They simply work around their baby’s naps. You won’t need to attend to the baby much while it is sleeping, so this is the perfect time to squeeze in some of your work.
Thankfully, most young babies will have quite a few naps throughout the day so you should find that this gives you ample time to get your work done for the day.
#8 Never Compromise On Your Sleep
Most work-at-home moms have extremely long to-do lists for each day. However, it’s worth finishing for the day in good time even if you haven’t completed some of the non-urgent tasks.
Whatever you do, do not continue to work into the evening as this could compromise your sleep. It’s really important that you get as much sleep as possible every night so that you are refreshed and full of energy for the next day ahead.
Not only that, though, but getting plenty of sleep can help you manage your stress levels so that you never have to worry about burning out.
#9 Leave The House Once A Day
If you stay at home for five days a week, you might find that you start to go stir crazy from looking at the same four walls all the time! So, be sure to try to leave the house at least once a day.
This could be to take your baby out for a small walk to help them fall asleep for their nap. You might even want to head to the supermarket to pick up some groceries.
Hopefully, these tips help you become a successful work-at-home mom!