As a work-at-home-mama of two little boys, my days are crammed full. I appreciate this fact, but let’s just say it’s been awhile since my to-do list has been completely crossed off. It takes quite a bit of planning and strategy to get even the basics done. Welcoming a new baby is such an exciting and busy time.
If, as a mama, you have a paying job to do alongside the already enormous responsibility of motherhood, preparing for baby gets even more complicated.
Having gone through the newborn stage with my career intact twice now, I’ve discovered a few helpful tips to keep in mind.
- Don’t kill yourself trying to “get it all done” before baby comes.
Focus on the basics and give yourself room to breathe. It’s good to prepare and try to get ahead so you can rest and enjoy bonding with your new little one, but don’t feel like you absolutely MUST get the house clean from top to bottom and get 6 weeks ahead on all your projects before the big day arrives. Life will go on!
The first few weeks of a baby’s life are actually so sleepy and calm that many moms actually find they have more downtime in those first few weeks than when their baby is older and more active – so you can still work if you really want to! Personally, I wish I had prepared to take more time off when my baby was 3 months old rather than when he was first born. And if you don’t want to work for a few weeks or months after baby is born, try to get ahead or adjust your work responsibilities to make that happen in a non-stressful way. Don’t rule out the possibility of having to tell others, “Hey – I’m having a baby soon and I have more on my plate than I can handle. What can we do?” It’s not ideal, but it’s a part of life. Wrap up any loose ends on communication with clients, let others know when you expect to resume working, and budget your finances to make it work!
- Automate what you can.
There are so many tools available for automating your work so you can work when you can and not worry so much when things don’t go exactly according to schedule. (Who knew? Babies are hard to schedule!)
Hootsuite is helpful for automating social media updates across a number of platforms.
Schedule blog posts and articles in advance to keep your blog publishing on track.
Set up autoresponders when you’ll be away so no one wonders about unanswered emails.
Consider outsourcing certain tasks to lighten your workload.
- Prepare older children.
If you haven’t already, start encouraging older children to spend longer periods of time keeping themselves occupied. There are so many different activities appropriate for different age groups such as coloring, looking at books, or playing with a special set of toys reserved for that time. Using a timer makes it easy for kids to understand and this training will be so helpful for you when you have a few moments to work while the baby sleeps. Wear your baby. There are so many, many benefits of babywearing. You can get a lot done both around the home and on the computer while carrying your baby in a sling.
- Accept help!
If you have friends and family members that offer to help you out during this time, take them up on it! Whether it’s folding some laundry or holding the baby while you shower, loved ones really do want to help. The main thing to remember as you welcome your new arrival is how quickly this time passes – remember why you’re working from home in the first place and enjoy bonding with your children!
About the Author
Kylie Worthington is a young and crunchy mom of 2 boys and natural living advocate blogging at Everblossom.net. Kylie and her husband, Kent strive to live naturally and sustainably, which means buying food in bulk online to stay healthy and taking family survival courses to stay sharp.