“It's not easy at times, but totally doable. For instance, I am currently writing this blog post sitting in my family room while my baby girl plays on her mat."
Congratulations! If you are reading this, you have successfully made it through 2020. What have you learned? What would you do differently? Has anything drastically changed for you now that 2021 is here? For myself, 2020 wasn't all bad. I had a baby, bought a house, renovated a house and got engaged. Some would say my partner and I are crazy, but we are both busy bodies and love to stay active anyway. Plus, having a baby was the best thing that could have happened to the both of us. I love being a mom and wouldn't change it for the world.
I have been in business for myself for three years now and have loved every second of it. I get to work with a wide range of clients, do what I love and also have the flexibility of setting my own schedule, while working from home. Something that definitely came in handy during the pandemic. However, I had no idea how I was going to manage my business once I had my daughter and what my new normal was going to look like. I recently spoke with a friend who is also a business owner and pregnant. We have chatted a couple of times now about our businesses and work/life/balance with a newborn. It's not easy at times, but totally doable. For instance, I am currently writing this blog post sitting in my family room while my baby girl plays on her mat.
I have decided to share some tips that have helped me navigate through this transition. If you are also a new mom working from home, own your own business, etc. my hope is that at least one of these tips will work for you as well.
1. Set a schedule (and stick to it!)
I don't recommend you jump back into it head first. Instead, ease back into work part-time if possible. It can be INSANELY overwhelming to go from changing diapers and feeding a baby to sitting at a desk all day doing focused work. For me, fulltime childcare isn't even an option right now so I had no choice but to work part time. If you do have to work fulltime for financial reasons, make sure you at least set aside some quality time to spend with the family in both the AM and PM hours. It is SO important to spend precious time with our little ones as they grow up so fast.
2. Be honest with your clients
If you have to reschedule meetings one day because your little one is sick, have to drop one client because it's just too much or find yourself wanting to focus on just one or two services rather than five or six at this time, it's OK. Be honest with your clients. At the end of the day, your health and wellbeing is most important and you have to take care of YOU also. Most people are understanding and if your clients really value you, they will work with you.
3. Revamp your space (and keep it tidy!)
Out with the old, in with the new! It's a new year and you deserve a fresh, clean working space. This is especially a good idea if you aren't used to working from home and are are suddenly forced to because of Covid-19. You have enough on your plate now. It's important to setup your work space in an area that is free from distractions, appealing to look at, comfortable, etc. It will also make you feel WAY better! I am six months postpartum and still experiencing some physical discomforts, so an ergonomic workspace is a top priority for me.
4. Don't be afraid to ask for help
I am not saying you have to go out and hire an assistant today, but don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Perhaps you have your little one in part-time care, yet have a tight deadline and need a few extra hours to finish it. Ask a friend/family member to watch the baby for a couple of extra hours, complete the task and you'll feel SO much better. I know for myself it effects my sleep if something is on my mind. I am very much a doer, so I have definitely used this tip a couple of times already. Trying to accomplish an important task with your baby sitting with you at your desk won't work for very long. Trust me.
5. Carve out time for you (including getting adequate zzz's)
You were in fulltime mom mode and now you're also balancing a workload. Make sure to still carve out time for you in the run of a week. This is in addition to getting enough rest, taking a hot shower, etc. Nothing annoys me more than when people say they took a hot shower to take care of themselves. Personal hygiene is a necessity. Choose something else instead - write in a journal, take a yoga class, watch your favorite movie, or something else you really enjoy. Your mind will thank you.