Considering the difficulty of deciding whether or not to return to work after you have had your child, many parents choose to find a job and/or career to work from home. Whether they find the time during their children’s slumber or wait until their partner comes home from their workday, balancing the time between parenting and work is incredibly difficult. To be frank: it takes skill, patience, and an abundance of time that you will have to find throughout the day.
Read below, as we have combined 10 ways to successfully work from home while caring for your child full-time. We don’t promise it will be easy, but it can be done. You’re a parent; essentially a Super Hero without a cape. And yes, you can have it all. We’re just here to help.
10 WORK DURING NAPS
Well, duh. When baby sleeps, get your stuff done! How brutal is it when someone tells you, "When baby sleeps, you sleep!" This may, in fact, be helpful in the first few weeks of parenthood, but not once you're recovered and have to provide in more ways than one.
Working from home while caring for little ones means you must find the time in the day, whenever that time is, to get your things done—with hopefully little to no distraction. During your child's nap-time would be the most essential time. As long as they stay asleep.
9 PROVIDE ACTIVITIES/GAMES
Ensure you have picked out a few activities that you know that your child will be occupied with for more than just a few minutes. For inspiration, here's a great list of things for toddlers to do that will keep them busy for hours.
Not only are these activities great for fine-motor skills, but they will keep your child busy while you get some work done.
8 ASK FOR HELP
This may come across as a no-brainer for the working parent, but ask for help when you need it. Seriously! We can have it all, but we can't do it alone. When you feel stressed, neglected, or need some solid time to get a good hour or two of work done, call a parent, a friend, or a neighbor to spend some quality time with your little ones.
If it's only an hour at a coffee shop you need to get to in order to make a conference call, the caretaker may even enjoy that hour with your child and/or children. Put your pride aside and ask for help when you truly need it.
7 BLOCK OUT TIME ON WEEKENDS
Of course, as a parent, weekends have an entirely new meaning. Just as when you become a working parent, weekends seem to blend in with the weekdays. Whether you're a single parent or have a partner, support tends to be around more frequently on Saturday and Sunday.
Take advantage of these two beautiful days to get some quality work done. Even if it means sneaking from a toddler friend's birthday party to send an e-mail or two in the washroom while your child eats cake. Don't sweat it, just get it done.
6 GO TO BED LATER/WAKE UP EARLIER
Yes, sleep. We faintly remember it, too. Some say we may not see it for 18 years, while others swear by sleep training. No matter which way you take advantage of your must needed zzz's, while you care for your children and work from home, you will likely get a lot less of it than you ever had before.
Once you get your little one finished with their bedtime routine, sneak away to get some work done once they settle down for the night. Also, consider their morning wake-up times. If it's been a long day, set an alarm an hour before they (usually) wake to get a burst of work done before the day begins. If you have to go to sleep late and wake up early in one go, you gotta do what you gotta do.
5 COMPROMISE SOCIAL TIME
We felt your heart sink as you read that. Yes, social life. The social life you barely even had while being a parent you sometimes must compromise even more.
While working from home and caring for children, you may not be able to pick up that phone call from your aunt every week or Face Time your sister who lives in another city. You will have to prioritize your time much more while working from home and caring for little ones. Even if it means changing your weekly date nights to monthly, something's got to give.
4 DON’T OVEREXTEND YOURSELF
Considering all that we have been saying, make sure to try and get some you time. Life is a balance and being a parent is hard enough. When you begin working on top of caring for children full-time, the stress can catch up to you. It may feel like it's hitting you in the face like a bag of bricks.
But remember you're not alone and you don't need to lose yourself and/or your sanity in the process. Check in every day to see how you're feeling and what you need for your mental and physical health. Don't forget to eat and don't forget to breathe.
3 LEARN HOW TO SAY “NO”
Speaking of keeping a balance and compromising your social time, you will have to say "no" like never before. Whether it is a play-date in the morning that you have to cancel because you have to pitch only a few more ideas to your boss while the toddler binge-watches Peppa Pig, or the family get-together on Sunday that you can't attend because of the Skype meeting you have with a potential client, you will have to say "no" more than you may say "yes".
It's ok. They will understand. And if they don't, that does not matter. What matters is what you're doing for your family and yourself. You're a boss and don't forget it.
2 GET RID OF THE GUILT
Mom Guilt. What a classic thing to attempt to stray away from. But, it always seems to catch up to us in some way or another. Feel bad you can't play dress-up because your manager wants your hours sent in by noon? Don't. You have to do what you have to do, and you will (we know you will) make it up to your toddler after.
Showing your children that you can provide for the family in more than one way is not a bad thing; it's actually quite admirable. Don't feel guilty for the little things, especially when you know you will be able to make up for them in the long run.
1 LEAVE THE DISHES
We're telling you: leave the house a mess. It will get messy in about 5-10 minutes after you clean it anyway. Those dishes? They can wait until the kids are asleep or during their breakfast the next morning.
Prioritize your time and ensure you're getting what you need to get done when they need to be done. It's ok to leave the kitchen a mess, the toilet un-scrubbed, and the laundry unfolded. Oh, and while you're at it: don't feel bad about it for one minute. You're a working parent while keeping little ones alive. You deserve a medal.