Being able to work at home as a new mum or dad can sound like the perfect situation, right? You can contribute to the household income, still keep your career in tact, give your brain something to tackle besides nappy duty and all the while you can still be there for your little one.
In many ways, being a work at home parent is the ultimate dream. But that said, there are some hurdles to overcome while juggling a job and baby from home.
We spoke to new mum Emylee Williams, co-founder of Think Creative Collective
, a resource/career coaching company that helps creative types manage and grow their businesses through online courses, articles and daily aspirations. Emylee knows some days the struggle is real, but with the right tools and accessories- including her DockATot Deluxe
- she gets it done!
Emylee Williams of Think Creative Collective (pictured) relies on her DockATot to snuggle her new baby while she works on her laptop at home.
Being a work from home mum or dad can be challenging. What are your top 5 tips on how to make it work?
Emylee Williams: My top 5 tips for working at home with kids are:
- Find your productivity magic spot. We all know that we new parents have to take advantage of the chunks of time we end up getting to work. So know your productivity magic spot first. Do you work better in the morning? Do you need noise cancelling headphones? Do you need to hop over to a coffee shop for an hour? I know it's enticing to try and work in mini bursts throughout the day, but if you can use your magic hour to its fullest advantage you'll find you'll get more done in that timeframe.
- Batch similar tasks. And I'm not just talking writing, taking photos, client meetings, etc. I'm talking makeup ready tasks, tasks that require pants or a shower. I decided to bulk specific tasks that require me to be "ready" so I don't find myself having to spend time doing it everyday.
- Automate what you can. Now, more than ever, you don't have time to be doing minute tasks all day. Take a look at what you're spending your time on now and see what system or app you can set up to automate it. Think social media posts, blog scheduling, email responses, etc.
- Talk with your kids about the impact of your job. This might not work for babies who have no clue what you're saying, but for older kids this might just be what they need. If they can understand even a little bit that your job gives you pride, impacts others and makes you happy they might begin to understand "why" you're working (and leave you alone for a bit).
- Give yourself some grace. This is just a season no matter how crazy it might seem. If your kid is anything like mine, the second she gets a routine it changes. You're doing your best right now and everyday. You've got this!
How can mums or dads who work at home keep their productivity levels up and stay focused?
EW: The biggest thing that keeps my productivity up and my focus sharp is the ability to see my day and week at a glance. I personally use Trello For Business to manage my to-dos and big picture strategies for my business. I love its drag and drop features since there's hardly a day where I'm able to check EVERYTHING off my list.
One of the reasons mums work at home is to cut down on child care costs. What are some ways parents can still get work done while still watching the kids?
To keep childcare costs down I like to mix up my options throughout the week. If we're able to secure a nanny for a few hours during the week I know I can be hyper focused on my audience, schedule meetings and interviews. Other days we might have a grandparent come by so I can shower or just have some free hands. But most days I just need my daughter to be happy and safe so I can keep my mind on work. Our DockATot
truly lays the foundation of my daughter's day. It's the main item in my parenting toolkit that keeps her happy and calm. I also love the attachable Toy Arch
, it keeps her engaged for long stints and gives me handsfree time to get my work done.
As a work at home mum yourself, what have you found to be the biggest pros and cons?
EW: Being a work at home mum definitely has its ups and downs. My job gives me the freedom to take time to truly enjoy special moments with my daughter. Like when she wakes up grinning and chatty or when it's nice outside and we hang out on the deck. I can (most of the time) pause my day and enjoy those bursts or carry my laptop outside and multi-task. Of course this life comes with some difficulties as well. There are countless compromises on what can get done both in my business at at home. I have to decide everyday what's going to get my attention versus what's not.
We hope this interview has helped you think more about the advantages and costs to working from home with your baby. Final word of advice, be gentle on yourself, this life stage is precious and slowing down to enjoy it is a choice you won't regret.