How to manage the baby-work balance

I’ve been easing back into a regular routine for the past three months, ever since the birth of my daughter.

I’m finding it exceedingly difficult.

Here’s my question: Can there be a balance between working from home and taking care of a baby?

I wish I knew the answer.

I have found that baby care threatens to overshadow working at home.  Try as I might to find balance during the day, the fact remains that I am her primary caregiver and her needs must be met.

But just because there’s no 50-50 balance doesn’t mean it’s impossible.  It IS possible to do both if you finagle things just a bit.  Here’s what I’m trying to do:

  1. Ask for help
    I used to find this really hard, but over time I’ve grown up.  A LOT.  And I’ve realized that everyone needs help now and then, even those of us who have a strong urge to go it alone.  I need help getting everything done, and I’m really fortunate that I have a supportive family and friends.  So I lean on that support network for watching baby when I have meetings or deadlines to hit.
  2. Rethink working hours
    I would absolutely LOVE to put in my work hours between 9 and 5, but that just isn’t going to happen at this stage in baby’s life.  I can do some, but not all.  So I try to think creatively.  When the kids are awake and active — household chores!  But I work on projects at night, early in the morning and on the weekends when the kids are asleep or otherwise occupied with Dad.   It’s quiet.  It lets me think.  Yes, I do lose out on a little sleep, but not so much that I suffer.
  3. Email is a mom’s best friend
    I try to do most of my communication via email, when it doesn’t matter if you answer at 2am.  Also, clients can’t hear the baby crying through email.  It’s awesome!   If I have to take calls, I try to schedule them when there’s little chance the baby will wake and start crying.

It’s not easy having a baby and trying to run a business, let alone work.  But I’m managing.  In the end, I love both of my jobs (mom and business owner), and I can’t imagine giving up either.

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