People say that the first three months after delivering your baby will be most challenging. Experiencing lack of sleep and feeling a bit sleepy and exhausted at times are just part of the life of a modern mom. After you have adjusted to your new mother routine, there's still one important thing to think about--your work routine. If you have decided to become a stay-at-home working mom, there's no need to worry as many mothers have managed to do just that. It's all about balancing act and we mothers are experts in this regard. Talking to your friends who have experienced the same challenge going back to their work routine, you may receive some useful advice similar to these:
Have the right mindset.
It would be extra difficult to go back to your work routine with baby in tow. Managing a long to-do list amidst the craziness of excess hormones, lack of sleep, nerves or even lack of confidence tend to overwhelm most newbie mums. It would help if you keep a positive mindset about the things on your plate. Mastering your mindset is key in dealing with all the things you need to do, both for home-based work and baby care. Learning to stay patient and to keep your cool can prevent the onset of a meltdown. Stay positive and take things as they come. Try to not give in to panic so easily, as that would keep you from paying attention to anything you would do, either for work or for your baby.
Learn your roles well.
Most mothers find it difficult to work at home with a new baby because they overlook the importance of learning to separate themselves on each role that they need to be each day. Trying to be a mother and a businessperson all at the same minute will never work. Learn your roles well and concentrate on each one to become effective in doing what each role entails. It's like learning how to switch gears quickly and intentionally. By now, you are familiar with your baby's temperament and daily routine, use that to assess when her cries are actually from distress or just for seeking attention. Also, whenever baby cries while you're at the middle of some focused work, step away and return to it when you're done caring for your baby. This way, you can still enjoy your baby, put her down to play and sleep, and focus on doing work.
Baby must never be an excuse for a messy home. Now that you're working at home, you need to keep everything organised so you will know where everything is and quickly get them when you need them. Keep your baby's supplies and things organized--do the same in your work area. Make sure that all your computer or power cords are neatly tucked to avoid accidents. Keep your work tools within arm's reach. Do the same in organizing baby wipes, nappies, formula and formula bottle and other baby supplies. This way, you can avoid much interruptions and wasted time looking for items that you need.
Work out a work routine with baby.
You are truly lucky if you're newborn sleeps a lot. But if that's not the case, then you need to have your baby's downtime dictate your work hours. Now that you are somehow familiar with your baby's daily routine and temperament, you can easily predict her feeding, bathing and nap time. As for finding time to work, make use of the precious time in between your baby's routine. Align your work hours to your baby's rhythm. Once baby reaches 6 months, her routine will be more predictable, which means you can enjoy longer hours working without interruptions, particularly at night. Also, even when there's still work to do, always give yourself the time to step back and spend some quiet time to stay centered and find some sort of peace that will help keep you calm. Giving yourself a quick break also helps prevent burnouts.
Just roll with it and be flexible. Remember that this crazy routine will not last for long. Just look at it as a season of your life, which you should enjoy. Be open about working during strange hours. It could be at night or at dawn where you can work in peace and without interruptions. During the day, if you are still caring for your newborn, observe 15 to 30 minute increments when working on your to-do list or task list so you get to accomplish something or anything in between your baby's relatively unpredictable feeding, changing, playing and napping schedule.
Your decision to work at home could be driven by your willingness to find a better balance between work and family life. Things may seem hard now, but as your baby grows older, your at-home work routine will be much easier. As your baby presents many new challenges into your life, just look at it as a phase with lots of difficult challenges that you can overcome. Just hang in there. You are doing a great job. Keep calm and keep trying. If you do that, you will be surprised at how things will eventually work out to your favour.