Juggling your day job while having your baby at home is a challenge for even the best multi-taskers among us. Read our tips on how to manage.
Here are some tips on how to keep all the plates spinning if you're working while trying to look after your baby...
1. Go easy on yourself
First up, don't be too hard on yourself. When you're juggling 101 things, it can feel like you're not doing anything well. But you most definitely are. Have a think about what you can leave and how you can make the most of your time.
2. Share the load
You and your partner might be both working from home and juggling childcare. So as much as possible, one of you could look after your baby while the other one works and vice versa. We share lots of tips on how to do this as a parenting team in our article here.
For single parents, do you have friends and family to lean on? Even just a Facetime with Grandma singing nursery rhymes can give you some time to focus.
3. Be flexible and prioritise
If there’s some work that you really need to concentrate on, you could explain that you’ll be able to do it better during nap time or in the evening when your baby is asleep.
Write down your tasks in order of priority. If you can, you try to save less critical work for a time like the weekend when your partner might be able to help out more. Here are some other practical tips from other working parents.
4. Work might become more fluid
If you're used to having set work hours in an office but your baby is at home for a while, you may find out a secret that your homeworking friends know all about – work doesn’t have any set limits. This can be good and bad.
You know how you were jealous that your friend got to go to the gym mid-morning? That’s because they’d started working at 6am to meet a deadline, or worked late the night before.
You might find you’re squeezing work in whenever you can. Which is lovely that you can hang out playing with your little one after their morning nap, but then not so good when you can’t have a glass of wine with dinner as you’ve got a report to finish.
5. The electronic babysitter
We all know who that is – the one who sits in the corner and entertains your baby at the touch of a button. Yes, the TV or tablet often comes into play in stressful work situations.
For your own sake, save it for when you really need it. If it’s on constantly you might just find it doesn’t have the desired effect when you have a crucial work call. See the arguments for and against screen time here.
Above all, don't put too much pressure on yourself to be everything to everyone. Set realistic goals with work and talk them through with your manager and team.
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