More and more parents today are finding ways to be closer to their families, and more often than not this involves working from home so parents can continue to earn a living and support a lifestyle the family has grown accustomed to. Working from home certainly has its blessings, as you can definitely see more of your children and can even squeeze in some housework on your “coffee break” or lunch hour. Yet while your friends and family may envy your ability to enjoy such a leisurely life, you scoff at such comments knowing full well what a challenge it can be to work at home when you share your office space with kids.
When your child is an infant, of course, your challenge just got ten times more substantial. Working from home with older kids is great because they can entertain themselves or you can entertain them with puzzles, coloring, and whatnot while you plug away on the computer. With infants, though, you simply cannot entertain them in this fashion, and so more planning and organization to your workday is in order. Here are some tips for success for working at home with an infant:
Stagger Your Workday. Not every job allows you to be flexible with your work hours, but if you do have any flexibility, by all means take advantage of hours when your spouse is home and when your child is napping. This may involve you getting up an hour or two earlier, working during those one to two naps most babies take during the day, and even working later at night if you need to.
Make Calls at Nap Time. Most jobs require you to be on the phone at least a little bit. Make every effort to take and make these calls at nap time, and be sure to head to an area of the home where your loud voice won’t disturb your little one. This way, you can tend to your baby when he or she is awake, and your calls won’t seem unprofessional with the sound of a baby crying in the background.
Set Up Play Areas. If your baby is old enough to have play time on the floor, such as sitting on the floor with toys or laying on the floor for tummy time, you can get right down on the floor next to him or her with your laptop while he or she plays. Babies lose focus with toys easily, so by all means have different toys on hand to change out.
Working from home with a young baby is absolutely challenging, and the bottom line is that you will need to be flexible. You may start a task and not be able to finish it for several hours, and that’s to be expected. You may have to burn the midnight oil, and that’s fine, too.
It’s also common for a parent working at home with an infant to feel guilty about dividing time and attention between work and baby. If feelings of guilt plague you, keep in mind that you are doing your best and if you were not working you likely would have housework to tend to or other such things that need your attention, too. Soon enough this point in your baby’s life will pass and working will take on new challenges with a toddler in the house!
Here are a few other articles written by this author:
How Positive is Your Parenting?
Helping Your Kids Through Fights with Friends
Kids and Friend Drama: When to Step In