I’m lucky to have a job that allows me to work from home while taking care of my daughter. My office is my living room. Sometimes my bathroom. Maybe standing up in my kitchen. But probably never at my desk.
Here are my not-so-serious (but maybe I’m being serious) tips for working from home with a baby.
- Grab an insulated coffee mug. Grab it 14 times with the intention of drinking the coffee inside. At 1pm when you finally take your first sip, the coffee might still be lukewarm. Score!
- Familiarize yourself with the mute button on your phone. All conference calls will be scheduled when your baby doesn’t need to eat (nothing shuts them up like a boob or bottle in their face, amiright?!) and is uninterested in every toy ever made. So, she is probably screaming and/or adorably but loudly babbling the entire time you are on the phone. The. Entire. Time. Click that glorious mute button early and often.
- Have a blazer on hand for video calls. Related to #2. Thank goodness I rarely (rarely) have to show my face to colleagues or clients but just in case, a blazer or cardigan covers a multitude of sins. By sins I mean spit up and the breakfast I spilled all over myself trying to eat said breakfast, breastfeed and type an email at the same time. Don’t worry about makeup or hair, just hope the connection is fuzzy (because it usually is). A bad connection is like good lighting, it evens everything out and makes you look well rested.
- Invest in a hands-free headset. Also related to #2. You do not have an extra hand to hold your phone, nor do you want to tangle yourself and your baby up in the cords of your ratty old headphones. Bonus: You will look really cool (read: Horrible and not cool at all.) with that blue-tooth thingy hanging out of your ear.
- Also invest in a wrap or baby carrier. As you may know, wearing your baby has many awesome benefits. The biggest benefit is that your baby might be happy for two seconds back-to-back and you will have two hands available to you at the same time. You heard me right, big spender. TWO hands. Take advantage of this embarrassment of riches and finally finish that three sentence email you’ve been trying to write for 4 hours.
- Keep books and toys within arms reach. So, everywhere. Try to make sure there is least one baby toy or book on every surface and in every drawer, box or bin in your house so you can be ready to distract your babe on a moment’s notice. Basically it should look like a baby store exploded in every room. Oh, you’ve already completed this step? Look at you, you little over achiever.
- Learn to eat everything with one hand. Using both hands at the same time is a thing of the past. Soup is definitely out of the question. So is eating anything at all, quite possibly.
- Nap time is go time. It’s a sprint, not a marathon, folks. You probably selfishly used valuable nap minutes to pee, eat and start a load of laundry. You now have approximately 42 minutes left to reply to 67 emails. Go go go!
- Toss your clock. There are no “business hours” here. There are just hours. Some of them might be for business. 9-5? Pfft. There are 24 perfectly good hours in every day. Use them….Actually, use most of them to sleep and hang out with your baby. Use a few of them to work.