I've just completed my first full week of being a stay at home/work at home mom. I have to say that I love it. This week has been challenging and full of learning curves, but even more so it's been fulfilling. I've always wanted to stay at home when Tyler and I had children, but running a business and caring for a newborn seemed like a daunting task. I know I'm only a week in and have so much more to experience, but for other moms who are worried about staying at home and working with a newborn, here are my best eight tips to making a smooth transition.
1. Baby carrier - Our little one loves her Moby wrap, in fact it's the only place she'll take a nap in besides our arms. Carrying Charlie means having her close to me and my hands free. She naps much more peacefully and longer than in her bassinet. I get a solid two to three hour work period while bonding with her.
2. Plan, plan, plan - Planning might feel counterintuitive since your routine changes everyday, but it's been one the most important keys in being successful. Every night before I go to bed I review my weekly goals and plan for the next day. I choose a few things I know I can do to help me reach my goals. Another part of our bedtime routine is to pick out meals, clothes, and ensure they are enough changing supplies/baby necessities at the diaper changing stations. By taking care of these little one minute chores, I'm prepared for the next day and allowing a smoother work flow.
3. Be gentle with yourself - My first day alone and working was far from perfect. I had a productive two hours before Charlie woke up. After she was fed and played she did not want to take another nap. It took three hours until I was able to get her to go back to sleep. I started to get frustrated that she was taking too long to sleep and I was losing work time, but then I realized she is the reason I'm staying home.
You will have days when your baby will just need you and that's okay. Don't think about the work you will have to catch up on, just remember these little moments are fleeting. Tomorrow she will be older than she was today, so take in every detail of where you are.
4. Make the most of your nursing time - when Charlier nurses I use this time to post to social media, blog (using the dictation feature on my iPad, write emails, and further my knowledge on business). Each day I write down in my planner what I'll do during nursing sessions. Some nursing sessions I might not do anything but enjoy being with her and cuddling.
5. Talk with your significant other - This has been huge for our family. My husband does a lot of the cleaning during the evenings so I don't have to do it during the day. My hands are typically full with either work or holding her. Talking about chores and expectations during this stage is so important. You and your significant other can get on the same page and understand how the other person is feeling. Don't be afraid to speak up and ask for time to work baby free in the evenings, Tyler loves holding our baby girl and the bonding time they get in the evenings really is precious time.
6. Freezer meals - Stocking up on freezer meals is an easy way to make sure you're both getting fed healthy meals that are quick to make. There is nothing more fabulous than 1. Being able to smell delicious food cooking all day and 2. Only needing fifteen minutes for prep and clean up.
7. Make a manageable to do list - It's tempting to hit the ground running after spending weeks on maternity leave. Be honest with yourself and pri
8. Don't take yourself too seriously - Plan for days off to enjoy little trips with your baby or go for a walk. It's important to get out of the house and remember life is just as much about rest as it is work.