Working at Home with a Baby

I did a post before about my crazy daily schedule on the days that I go to work. A few people have requested that I write a post about how I manage working at home while taking care of a baby. I’ve been thinking about it and it’s hard to describe exactly how my day goes because every day is so different. In fact, yesterday I ended up having to work from home an extra day because my baby was sick and I didn’t feel comfortable sending him to daycare. Look at this face…even smiling when he feels like poop.

Smiley baby even when sick

A few things make working from home much easier in my situation.

  • My baby sleeps through the night (and has for quite awhile) so I am not sleep deprived.
  • He loves to play by himself on his playmat, in his exersaucer, on a blanket with toys, etc.
  • My husband often comes home for a few hours late morning or early afternoon and can help out with CJ while I get some work done.
  • My dad will come over at lunch and feed CJ or play with him for a bit some days too.
  • I don’t have a ton of meetings and I generally know my deadlines in advance so I can plan ahead.
  • I go to the office every other day so I’m not going stir crazy or trying to manage this schedule every day.

Here’s what a typical day may (or may not) look like when I work from home (although sometimes the morning starts out poopy!).

5:00am – wake up
5:30am – workout
6:30am – make a shake, pick up the kitchen, put some laundry in the wash
6:50am – shower and get dressed
7:10am – turn on computer and start working
8:15am – feed CJ when he gets up
9:00am – work while CJ plays on his own
10:00am – eat breakfast #2 while working
10:30am – keep working while CJ naps
11:45pm – get CJ dressed and feed him
12:15pm – play with CJ for a bit
12:45pm – make lunch and eat
1:00pm – get more work done when daddy comes home for a few hours to watch CJ (and feed him)
3:00pm – work while CJ plays on his own
4:15pm – feed CJ and play with him
5:00pm – make dinner
5:30pm – do a little more work and eat dinner while CJ naps
6:30pm – feed CJ
6:45pm – snuggle time, play time, clean up the house
8:00pm – bath time (daddy usually does this while I makes bottles up for the next day, pack for work and daycare, etc.)
8:30pm – feed CJ and put him to bed for the night
9:00pm – talk to hubby for a bit
9:30pm – bed

I’m telling you, every day is different and obviously some days go much more smoothly than others. CJ is often quite tired on Tuesdays and Thursdays (when I am home) because he goes to daycare on Mondays and Wednesdays and doesn’t nap well there. He’ll usually nap extra on the days I’m home with him which allows me to get more work done.

A few tips for working at home while taking care of your baby:

  • Plan your day. Work on things that take more concentration during nap time or when you have someone to help out. Work on things that are easier when baby is awake.
  • Fit in extra hours at night or early in the morning when your baby is sleeping if you have a lot to do.
  • Take advantage of the extra time you’re saving by not having to put on makeup, not having to drive your baby to childcare, not having to sit in traffic, etc.
  • I try to schedule most of my meetings for the days I’m in the office. If you work from home full-time, try to schedule meetings for nap times or when you have assistance.
  • Have a few different areas where you can work. I work most mornings in my office upstairs. CJ goes in his swing or plays on the bed (it’s a guest room too) with toys. In the afternoon I usually work from the kitchen and CJ can play with his other toys in the living room (which I can see from the kitchen) or take naps in his crib.

As an aside…I love this post on Tiny Sneakers from a few weeks ago about who has it easier – Working Moms vs. Stay at Home Moms.

None of it’s easy. Please don’t judge any moms for their work and/or childcare choices. Some moms choose to go back to work for financial reasons or because they love their jobs. Some moms choose to stay home because it makes more financial sense (if you need full-time daycare, you could easily end up spending your whole paycheck on childcare depending on how much you make at your job). Some moms choose to stay home because they can’t stand the idea of letting a stranger take care of their baby. Some moms are able to work part time and feel that’s the situation that gets them the best of both worlds. Some moms are able to do their jobs from home, either with outside help or just by multi-tasking. Some moms, like me, do a combination of working inside and outside of the home. I’m sure my work and childcare situation will change completely over the next few years as our business grows. Much more to come on that, but this is what works for me and my family for now.

As one of my Twitter friends said…unless they pay your nut, no one can tell you how to make a living. I love hearing how other people are making it work, whether they stay home with their baby (or kids) or whether they are working full time or part time.

Sick baby sitting upright

Would you rather stay at home with your baby, work full-time or try to do some of each?

Any other moms who work at home have additional tips to increase productivity?

Comments

  1. Like you, I’ll be working from home 2 days a week, but I have to have childcare while working :-( WIsh I could do it the way you do! But at least if I want to feed her instead of getting a bottle that will be possible :-)

    • There are pros and cons to both ways. Believe me, there are plenty of days I wish I had childcare w/ me at home! Just think of all the extra time you’ll have with her since you can get ready for the day faster, not spend time in traffic, etc. :) And that way when you spend time with her, it will be quality time!

  2. This is the first one of your posts that I have read and I just wanted to tell you that I think this is great. As a mom of two slightly older kids I was immediately transported back to the time when my children were infants and the decisions that we made that worked for our family. My feeling has always been if you do what is right for you, what will make you most comfortable then your child will take their cues from you and reflect your comfort and happiness! Thanks for this new outlet.

  3. Thank you so much for posting this! I’m still on maternity leave and am not going back till January. I’m so thankful for my extra time with my little boy, but am still uncertain whether or not I really want to go back and stay a working Mom. I guess time will tell! Thanks again for the great post! It gave me a lot to consider and think about :)

    • Definitely think about it and do what’s best for you and your family. Just remember too that your decision isn’t permanent…you can always change your mind and you shouldn’t feel bad if you do!

  4. GREAT post! And I definitely understand that fine balance with figuring out time. Having a good sleeper and kids who play well on their own definitely helps a ton. I know my “work” isn’t the same level of officiality as yours but I can understand.

  5. Love reading your blog =). Sometimes what you share is just what I need to hear. The last two have been very helpful. I think we all share similar thoughts/experiences; hearing how others deal with day to day life helps! Love you. Keep up the good work.

  6. What a packed day! I love getting a glimpse into others’ lives. :)

    I was going to be a work from home mom until I got laid off. I’m still searching for work from home positions exclusively (since in office jobs in my industry aren’t available where I live), and if all works out, we’ll likely need to get a PT nanny.

  7. I love seeing how other people manage their work at home days. I think the best situation is completely dependent on your family and your baby. I’m hoping to be a work from home mom, but I think it’ll be important to schedule some work out of the house so I dont go crazy. ;) and thanks for the mention!

    • I hope it works out for you! Looking forward to hearing. It’s definitely important to find ways to still get out of the house, whether it’s for work or other things. :)

  8. Sounds like you have a great balance to me! I find that when you are learning to balance baby, working from home and life in general, you become a lot more efficient at everything. And agree…planning ahead is key! Hope CJ is feeling better.

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