I can’t tell you how to make it work for you, but I can at least share the way I made it work for me. Maybe you’ll be able to take away some nuggets that will help you make it work for you. Working from home means something different to everyone and I didn’t chase these pipe dreams about getting rich while never leaving my house.
What I built instead was a sustainable professional career that doesn’t require me to leave my house while having the option to work from anywhere that I have a good connection and my arsenal of tech tools. And guess what? It took me years to find my identity as a remote professional.
I have a main office for hourly work and I have a secondary office that I use for the work that doesn’t reuqire me to have a quiet workspace (which is a baby-friendly time). I purposely put that in the midst of the common area so the baby has her play area or can even be popped into her high chair and sat next to me while I write. Sometimes she’s just in the mood for a bottle and a movie, which she can relax and enjoy nearby as well.
It’s allowed me to stay on my deadlines for any social media management, create websites, blog, research for writing projects, and still give her plenty of attention and conversation while I do. A lot of folks wouldn’t be able to work like this, but it’s the only thing that works for me when I have a very mobile and attention-craving baby that also needs her own care.
I usually make sure to stock everything I need for my more creative work, as well as everything the baby needs. Every morning before my husband goes to work, I restock her diapers, make sure she has enough clean bottles, rotate out her toys for washing (if needed) and grab a clean blanket. I toss in the next load of laundry and prepare for the battle of balance.
It isn’t easy. It may not even be sustainable for most but I manage to put food on the table and keep the baby happy, healthy, and active at the same time.
During times where I have hourly work, I usually schedule it around my husband or a sitter so they can give her attention while I focus on my work in the separate room. Yes, it leaves me working really odd hours, but there’s usually no easy way to manage raising a baby and providing for your home without sacrificing a few comforts.
Is it worth it? Absolutely. But it takes a ton of tools, really good net and keeping a routine that is sustainable for you and your situation. Being able to be the first face this baby sees every time she wakes up from a nap or listening to my favorite music while I work and she sits with a look of amazement….it makes it worth every oddity.
And this will be the year where I will finally get to travel again, but with a baby in tow and still keeping up with work. It’s all possible if you have a clear voice and an even clearer plan.
Are you a work-from-home parent? How do you make it work for you?