Joe and I have been running the business from home while caring for our 20-month-old Della. I know many parents are in this same situation, so here are some tips on how we're optimizing the situation:
Make a schedule. Determine who is working and who is on childcare and schedule important meetings and tasks to fit around that.
Say “Goodbye”. We found we had to treat the transition from doing care to working in the same way we leave the house. I started saying goodbye and explaining that I am now going to work in the other room, and she got the hang of it really quickly.
Create a private workspace. We added a small desk in our guest bedroom so we could shut the door and be away from Della while working. We found Artist's Loft sit-stand roll-away desk from Michael's online and highly recommend it.
Get an ergonomic chair and workspace. Trying to work on a computer while sitting on a couch is terrible for posture and may lead to back pain!
Bring everything you need at the beginning. Every parent knows what happens when baby sees mommy - you have to go through the full separation ritual all over again! I'm careful to gather everything I need for work and have it ready before saying goodbye.
Cancel the noise. I use Avantree Noise Cancelling Headphones and it is well worth it.
If taking a call while with baby:
- Fill her up with attention before and after
- Take her on a walk
- Give her a snack, like a Serenity Kids pouch!
If both caretakers need to work at the same time:
- Schedule that during nap time when possible.
- Let her watch TV. We usually keep her away from screens, but desperate times call for desperate measures. She loves Little Baby Bum on Netflix and Yo Gabba Gabba on YouTube.
Manage expectations. I’ve had to accept that I'm going to be less productive with work and prioritize the most important things. I'm allowing my house to be a little messier than usual, who's going to see it anyway!? And while we usually cook most of our food, we've relied more on packaged and prepared foods and takeout.
Don't start anything hard. We decided to start potty training since we were stuck at home which made things WAY HARDER. Go easy on yourself and remember how big a change this already is and there’s no need to make it worse by starting new major projects.
Remember it gets easier… or at least you get used to it. We got into a groove about a week and half in and now it's almost normal, so hang in there!
Find the silver lining. We've discovered new ways to connect with each other and have fun as a family - going on picnics, playing games, and having dance parties.
We hope this helps some. Let us know what is working for you!
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