If you want to work from home with baby these tips are going to help you do it without totally losing your mind.
I started working from home over 17 years ago when my oldest was just a tiny baby and I can tell you one thing for sure, the challenges remain the same for mothers all these years later. It’s difficult to balance mothering and jobbing, so to speak, but not impossible.
While working from home has become much more popular and accessible to new moms than ever before you will run into the same or similar issues that moms did over a decade ago.
Being a stay-at-home mom is a beautiful and rewarding experience. Hard but great for those who feel led to stay home with their kids. These helpful tips that I used back in my early parenting years are timeless and should help you, too.
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Work from Home with Baby
Check out the helpful 10 tips in this article and if you have a tip not included that worked for you feel free to email me! I’d love to know it and share it with my readers.
Get a flexible job
It’s pretty important to your sanity to find a job or even a business that will allow you to have a flexible schedule. This will keep you from losing your mind more than any other tip I can offer.
Think hard before applying
I recommend thinking about your needs and seeking out only jobs that meet those needs. Do you need a job that allows you to work whenever your baby naps? Or maybe you need a job that allows you to work nights and weekends? Do you need a job that is low-stress? Or just a flexible job that allows you to work whenever you can? The key is to find something that will fit your needs as closely as you can get it. No job is perfect, but you should be able to seek out better options when you know what you’re looking for in a job.
Examples of jobs that may work better than others
Freelancing gigs might work better for the mom who just needs to pay a bill or two with their income and need something they can work completely around their baby’s schedule. Although freelancing can actually grow into a fulltime living so you’d want to map out how many hours you can work each day or week before freelancing so you know ahead of time what will become too much. Also, becoming a virtual assistant may work well for you – that’s what I did, and it was fairly flexible.
Oftentimes the more flexible the job the better for mom working from home with baby.
- Think flexible
- Look into freelancing
- Consider becoming a virtual assistant
Get yourself some help
One of the advantages to working from home is that you won’t need full-time childcare to do it. Having said that, if you’re working 20, 30, or 40 hours per week from home you’ll likely get burned out quickly and possibly be unable to juggle it all on your own for very long.
Don’t burn yourself out
You don’t want to sacrifice your mental and physical health just to work from home. If you have a partner, I recommend sitting him/her down and coming up with a plan of how often your partner would be able to step in and take care of the baby while you work. You could also ask your family or friends for help. Maybe swap babysitting with a friend, try mother’s day out programs, or hire a teen to watch the baby for an hour or two a day when you need completely uninterrupted time for working.
What I did when I had babies was to use grandparent time, and have my spouse help. When they were toddlers I took advantage of a mothers day out program where I was able to get some work done while my little guys were socializing with other kids. If I were to do it over again I would have hired a teen to come to my house a few times per week for maybe 2 hours at a time so I could get some focused work time. This would have saved me some frustrated and overwhelmed tears through the years.
- If you have a spouse or partner, make a plan of how they will help
- Consider help from parents or even swapping childcare with a friend
- Look into mothers day out programs
- Think about hiring a teen to watch your baby
Work when baby naps
This was difficult at times because I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep when the baby slept. You will need to fit sleep in somehow for yourself because a sleep-deprived mind isn’t as sharp as a well-rested mind.
If you aren’t too tired yourself, work when your baby naps.
Working when the baby was napping was one of the easiest ways for me to get a lot of work done in these early years. Typically, my babies would nap for 2 hours at a time and would often nap a few times per day, so I was able to nap during one of their naps and work the other two naps and get a lot done.
Having said that, there were times when I had to prioritize sleep and would choose to nap with the baby instead of working.
- work when the baby naps
- but only if you aren’t so sleep deprived that you should nap with the baby instead
- if the baby takes multiple naps per day it might be best to work during 1 or 2 naps and then sleep during the rest
Set a schedule
This isn’t as easy to stick with when they’re babies, because you have to go with the baby flow, but the older they get the easier it becomes. No baby or toddler will stick to a schedule 100% of the time, but if you can get into some sort of schedule with some flexibility then a schedule can be an effective tool.
If your baby lays quietly and happily by him or herself in the early afternoon that would be a great time to let the baby have its own “scheduled” “alone” time while you work from your laptop next to him/her.
Discover your baby’s natural schedule and work with it
If your partner can give you a few hours in the evening to work while he or she takes care of the baby, you’ll want to make sure you stick to that schedule and make work a priority in those hours.
Often this is what worked for me with my babies. It tends to change as they grow. Your schedule will morph and change as your children grow. And you’ll likely find you’ll have more time in your day for work the older they get. Hang in there in the baby months. It’s hard to balance your baby, your job, and your sleep. It can be done but it won’t be easy. If you go into it knowing that I think you’ll be set up for success.
- a schedule will help keep you on track for success from home
- work whenever the baby’s natural schedule comes into view – they often will present you with opportunities to make a schedule work
- work out time where your partner, or a helper, can watch the baby and make that work as a daily or weekly schedule
Use a baby sling
Baby carriers/slings can be so convenient for so many things including: cleaning your house, doing laundry, doing dishes, and… working from home! You can wear a sleeping baby, keeping him or her close to you, quiet and happy, while you type away at work.
I found this to be an excellent hack with my boys and wore them frequently. This will allow you to remain in close physical contact with your little one, keeping them calm and near you, while allowing you the much-needed time to make money from home. It’s also sweet for the mom because she gets to keep bonding with the baby while earning an income from home.
Wearing your baby could become one of your favorite work with baby tools
You can find baby carriers pretty much everywhere nowadays. They make all sorts to fit all kinds of needs and desires of mom and baby. I would ask fellow mothers their recommendations if you’ve never used one before.
- wear your baby in a sling
- wear your baby when he or she is asleep for extra ease in working from home
Plan your week ahead of time
Plan your meals, prepare, or even cook and freeze them, have a laundry night on the weekend and just start plowing through your piles of dirty clothes. Get as much of the things you need to get done on a weekly basis done on the weekend so you have more time for the baby and work during the week.
Get as much done on the weekends
At face value, this may not seem like working at home with a baby tip but if you think about all the tasks that can take away from your work time: meal prepping and cooking, and laundry, are probably three of the most common and some of the easier to do ahead of time or on designated days.
- prep your meals
- make your meal plan
- freeze meals
- get laundry done
Work when baby eats
Whether breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, feeding a baby can be a good time to get some quick work in. They’re often happy and relaxed and focused on eating and you can get a few things done while they’re peacefully eating. This is also when a sling would come in handy.
Wear your baby while he or she eats
Just think about any smaller increments of time as opportunities to get some work done. You aren’t likely going to have 6-8 hours of uninterrupted time to work from home with a baby or toddler. Your mindset must change, and you must be open to working in little bursts of time when the baby is occupied.
- work when baby eats
- use a sling
- adjust your expectations of how many hours you’ll have to work uninterrupted
Work during playtime
Working when your baby is happily playing next to you will be a go-to hack that you’ll likely use a lot when they’re too little to move around.
Enjoy a few minutes of work while baby plays
I have a picture somewhere of my middle son on a boppy floor next to me while I’m working at my desk. He was just happy looking around the room on his back, calm and happy, while I crammed work in before he needed me to hold him again.
Don’t feel guilty about this either, mama. It’s okay for the baby to have some “alone” time on the floor next to you. I would just be certain that your baby is safe and sound, not far from you unless they’re in a crib or something secure, and I wouldn’t do tummy time if they can’t hold their heads up on their own (while you’re working).
- use safe baby playtime items to keep your baby occupied while you work next to them
- always be close to the baby while doing this so you have an eye on your baby
- never leave the baby unattended unless in a safe crib
Like I mentioned before, you aren’t likely going to have 6-8 hours of uninterrupted work time like if you worked outside the home. Your working life is going to look a little different and that’s okay. You will have to be more flexibility in your days with your work. You’ll need to understand that you might only get 1 hour or less of time when the baby is quiet. It’s also where having a flexible job and an understanding boss comes into play.
Find a job that works with your schedule and be realistic
If you have strict deadlines that you have a hard time meeting, you’re going to be stressed, and that isn’t good for you or the baby. So being realistic with the type of job you can work, and the hours you can work is going to be vital to your success.
- be realistic with what your work days are going to look like
- find a job that is flexible
- be gentle with yourself
Remember your why
You’re likely working from home so you can be with your baby. You want to be a stay-at-home parent and you don’t want to miss out on any moments with your little one. Remember that when you begin working at home.
It won’t be easy working from home – remember your why
You will have to find the “balance” between being a mommy and a business owner or employee. It won’t be easy and some days you may want to give it all up. IF this continues to be what you desire most in life then you just need to remember your why on the hard days.
If you have a partner, keeping an open dialogue with your partner about your stress levels, your happiness with your job, or unhappiness, that will be important.
Keep open communication with your boss as well. Don’t be afraid to politely turn down extra work if you can’t juggle it all. You’re home for your baby and while you also most likely need the job so that you can be at home, I’ve found prioritizing family over the job to be extremely important.
There will always be another job out there but there will never be these precious years with your babies again.
- remember why you’re home — to be a full time mommy
- prioritize family time – you can always find another job if the one you have isn’t family friendly/flexible
- keep open communication with your partner about your stress levels etc
- be okay with turning down extra work or projects with your job
- if you own a business you will want to keep in check the hours your business requires vs. the time you need to spend with your baby
Wrapping it up
I’d like to stress finding a flexible job, or business, asking for help from the people in our life you can lean on, and working when the baby is sleeping or occupied. These are my top tips for juggling a job and a baby.
Juggling a job and baby was one of the hardest things I did in my mothering career, but I wouldn’t go back and do it any differently.
I cried, it was stressful at times, I was tired, and it wasn’t a cakewalk. I want you to go into this knowing it won’t be easy, but it can be done. I got to be part of my kids lives from the very beginning and watch them grow and learn and explore and become who they are today. And I hope the same for you, should that be your desire as well.
And for further reading, check out the remote jobs for moms article all about if you can work full time from home as a mother and where to find job leads.
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Mom to Littles is a passion project of long-time stay-at-home mother of three boys. Nell loves to write about baby names, pregnancy advice, best baby products, and self-care for new moms. You’ll find MomtoLittles.com to be a place for real talk and a warm hug from a friend for the mom of little children.