- You may feel like you aren’t giving 100% attention to your job or your baby at all times. THIS IS NORMAL. Even if your baby was at day care, you’d still be thinking about her while separated. To achieve a sense of balance, I try to spend a few minutes just playing with Charlotte several times each day and when she’s napping I work on my most important tasks. That way I am giving both my work and my daughter one-on-one attention at various points through the day.
- There will be days when you get a lot done and others when you don’t. I have found that making a list of my tasks helps a lot. Every morning, I write everything I have to do, even the smallest tasks, on a piece of paper and cross each item off as it is completed. For me, having the piece of paper right in front of me keeps me focused and seeing items crossed off makes me feel I accomplished something.
- Having a flexible work schedule makes it much easier. When Charlotte was younger, she didn’t mind being in the office all day, but now that she’s getting more mobile and social, I have found that she can handle being in the office for only about 5 hours before she has a meltdown. To make it easier on her (and on me and my coworkers), I have been leaving the office a few hours early and continue working from home while she naps in her crib. There have been many days when she needs my full attention, so on these days, I just stop working until my husband gets home and then start working again after dinner. There are also days when I have work deadlines and I can’t be distracted. On these days, my husband stays home or I ask a friend to babysit.
- Like we’ve mentioned many times, babies love routines. Establishing work-time routines may be beneficial for both you and your baby. For example, you can feed her in the same place each time, take a walk during lunch, and aim for naps at the same time each day. While you might not be able to stick to the routines 100% of the time, trying to keep some things the same will help your baby know what to expect, and can help you plan your day better.
- Keep duplicate baby gear in your office. If I had to lug around a play mat, bouncy chair, pack of diapers, blankets, toys, etc. back and forth from my car to the office, I’d probably have bigger biceps by now – but fortunately I don’t have to. I already have to carry Charlotte, her stroller, my work laptop and lunch, so I find that keeping extras stored under my desk limits the cumbersome lugging of baby gear each day.
- Last But NOT Least - Ask for help! Getting help from my coworkers makes my workday much smoother and it seems that there is always someone eager to hold or play with the baby.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Bringing Baby to Work (Part 2): Tips to Make it Work
In today’s post we conclude our series on bringing your baby to work. Last week, we provided a list of issues to address when deciding whether bringing your baby with you to work is right for your family. If after these considerations, bringing your child with you is the best option, then you will want to consider the following tips on how to balance the ever precarious see-saw of employment and parenting at the same time. As you may know, I was able to bring both of my daughters with me to work when they were infants. Today, we are sharing some tips from our experience of having my daughters in the office over the last 3 years.