Becoming a new parent is a big life adjustment. It’s a wake-up call the first few weeks, but soon you’ll start to get into a routine with your new baby where you will both feel confident. Until the time comes that you have to start working again…
Whether you’re returning to the office or working remotely with a baby by your side, making the transition back to work after parental leave is tricky. As many jobs are remote at least part-time now, a lot of new parents are in the same boat of having to juggle caring for their newborn and meeting the demands of their job while they’re at home. It’s not easy, but it is doable if you stay flexible and practice open communication with everyone involved. To give you a helping hand, I’ve rounded up some of the best tips to help you balance working at home with a baby.
Invest in Great Baby Gear
Really great baby gear will be a lifesaver when the going gets tough. For example, many babies find that a gently rocking baby swing or bassinet is incredibly soothing. Being able to watch over your little one and still get work done helps you feel bonded to them. I have the Fisherprice newborn to toddler chair for Morgana and also had it for Lucas. Some parents also like to use a baby sling or carrier to keep their baby close while being hands-free.
Let Go of Guilt
First things first: let go of the guilt of going back to work. Many parents feel nagging guilt when they start to spend less time with their baby and that guilt isn’t helping anyone. It’s probably only going to keep you from being productive, which will then cause more stress. Do yourself a favour and give yourself a pat on the back each morning. Let go of the guilt. Everything you are doing is for the well-being of your child and your hard work is what is going to provide a nice life for them.
Ask for Help
As a result of the guilt, many parents feel, they often take on too much at home. Trying to do it all will only leave you feeling burned out. It’s important to share responsibilities evenly with your partner and ask for help from outside parties, like the baby’s grandparents, your friends, and close neighbours. There is no shame in asking for help and it actually can benefit your baby to be exposed to different people and sights with your support. Infant socialisation is really important for their development.
For days when you know you have a ton of work on your plate, consider hiring a trustworthy babysitter to come for a few hours to watch your baby at home. Many parents even make this a recurring event, hiring a nanny for two or three afternoons a week to help with childcare. It’s a good idea to start looking into this type of childcare well in advance of when you will need them because it can take a while to find the right fit.
Prioritise Time for Yourself
When you put too many demands on yourself, it can leave you feeling stressed out, overworked, and tired. You won’t be able to feel completely relaxed when caring for your baby and stress can also lead to sickness, so you’re putting both your health and your baby’s at risk when you take on too much. While you might not feel like you have time for yourself, it’s important to make time every day to show yourself some gratitude. This might mean going for a run, meditating for five minutes, or watching your favourite tv series. Do something that calms you down so that you can feel recharged and happy.