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The remote workday is challenging, but include a baby or young toddler in the mix, and the challenges compound. It may seem like a struggle to get all your work done, keep the house relatively clean, and take care of your little one all at the same time — but guaranteed, you are not alone in this journey. Take a deep breath. Exhale. And read our tips for surviving remote work with the little ones in tow.
Stick to a routine
Having a schedule not only helps you keep track of everything going on, but also helps ground your toddler. In fact, research has shown that having a predictable routine helps young children feel smarter and more self-confident. This kind of schedule can be critical for your work schedule, as well. Get up at the same time every day. Put the child down for a nap at the same time. Getting in this kind of groove will help immensely.
Which brings us to…
Take advantage of naps
When your child sleeps, take important phone calls. If you’ve created a set schedule as suggested in the previous step, plan to do your video meetings and other brain-intensive work that you may not be able to devote your whole mind to when your child is awake. Depending on how old your child is, they may take one or two naps during the day, during which time you can get some work done. You can also work when they’re calmest — i.e., after their nap or after you feed them. Sleepy babies and toddlers will be amenable to you needing to put your nose in your laptop for a while — until it’s time to play or eat again.
Dress the part
You’ve heard the common adage: “Dress for the job you want.” Nowadays, during the pandemic, you have two bosses: your corporate supervisor and your child. Dressing for these jobs seems antithetical, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the old adage goes out the window. Dressing comfortably with a bit of flair, especially as a new mom, can help you feel more confident and can give you that boost to tackle your day. Repurposing your maternity clothes and finding things with elastic waists will be a lifesaver. (And don’t expect your body to go back to the way it was pre-pregnancy right away — it could take up to 10 weeks just for your uterus to shrink to its “normal” size, so give it a little more time to feel like your pre-baby self).
Check out this post for practical ways to lose the baby weight if you’re struggling with it.
Comfortable clothes should be comfortable for your wallet, too. If you shop online at stores like Belk, you can save money on new items through online discounts, coupons, and promo codes. Don’t pay full price when you can easily save!
Communicate, communicate, communicate
If you are raising your child with a partner, one of the biggest, most important things you need to remember about working from home — or working in general — is you should be able to communicate your needs to each other. Use the tag-team system, one of you cares for the child while the other does an important project and the other way around. Get creative!
Even if you’re not raising your child with a partner, communication is still key. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Affordable childcare (and childcare alternatives like in-home daycare and babysitting cooperatives) are one option.
Remember: You’re not alone
Working from home and having a baby are, separately, two challenging events. When you bring them together, it can seem overwhelming, but there are many moms and dads who are in your shoes. Relax, exhale. You’re going to get through this!
Post by: Janice Russell
For more inspiring content and tips on how to live your best mom life, visit MotheringMadeEasy.com.