It often seems as though those newborn days fly by so fast, and it is common for new moms to emerge from maternity leave with a little anxiety about what it will be like returning to work. After all, you just barely started getting to sleep through the night again, and your former briefcase has now been replaced by your trusty diaper bag. While the truth is that returning to work will require some adjustments, the great news is that you have more options than ever before now that work-from-home jobs are experiencing a surge. As you prep for blending your role as a mom with that of a career woman, use these tips to seamlessly transition to life as a working parent.
Seek Your Family’s Support
Over the past several months, you have discovered that your family is far more supportive than you could ever imagine, but now it’s time to get serious about asking for their help again. If you have older children, talk to them about how your days will change once you have work responsibilities to tend to during the day. It is also important to talk to your partner about how home and baby care responsibilities will be distributed. This way, everyone is on the same page about any changes that need to be made, and you will have established an open atmosphere for communication for when problems do arise.
Find the Right At-Home Career
Technology has made it possible for many jobs to be done from home. First, you will need to decide upon the career you prefer. If you left a position that can be done from home, then you can start by talking to your supervisor to see if doing at least part of your work from home is an option. Sales and customer service careers can often be done from a home office, or you might try your hand at freelancing if you work in the creative arts field. As you search career options, keep a realistic mindset about how much you can actually do at home. For instance, you might want to avoid a job that requires telephone work if you lack a quiet office.
That go-getter attitude of yours will eventually land you that highly sought after promotion. However, now is not the time to stretch your self too far. Remember that you are still recovering from nine months of pregnancy and several more months of newborn care. You may even still be nursing or trying to get back into your normal routine. If possible, aim to begin your first several weeks on a part-time schedule to see how your new career blends into your family life. This allows you to have a little extra wiggle room for the learning curve that always comes with the first week or two on a new job.
Get Dressed For the Part
People often picture at-home workers as lounging around in their pajamas while they compile reports on their laptop at the kitchen table. However, this is far from the truth. After awhile, sitting around in your pajamas all day just starts to feel weird, and you will feel far more professional with a fresh set of clothes on and your hair brushed. Start your day right by getting dressed as you would for any other type of job. While you might be able to skip the heels, you should at least feel as though you could drop into the office if you needed to at any moment. Feeling put together will be reflected in the quality of your work and the confidence of your voice when you speak to your colleagues or clients.
Strike a Balanced Schedule
At home, you are not exposed to the same rhythms of working life as you would be in an office. This makes it far too easy to do things such as skip lunch or work overtime without realizing it. On the other hand, it is also common to get caught up in distractions such as surfing the internet and fail to meet your goals for productivity. Create a daily schedule that provides time for you to take regular breaks, and begin your day by organizing your tasks according to their priority. Then, review how the schedule worked at the end of the day, and stick to it once you find a routine that is effective for giving you the perfect balance between work and rest.
Plan For Child Care
While working from home does give you extra time with your new baby, it is important to realize that you must have help if you plan to work more than part-time. This is because trying to accomplish things such as a phone call or virtually impossible with your baby crying in the background. Since your natural instinct will be to tend to your baby’s needs before anything else, it is helpful to have someone there who can take over while you work. Whether you work during your partner’s off time or hire a nanny is up to you, but you will be far more productive if you know there is someone ready to check on those little whimpers you hear coming from the nursery.
Assess and Adjust As Needed
Starting a new job always involves a learning curve, and you will likely discover that some things do not work quite as well as you expected. For the first month, take a moment at the end of each week to think about what went well and what needs work. Then, make adjustments to your daily routine that improve your family’s quality of life such as re-delegating chores or extending your babysitter’s hours.
Returning to work is exciting, and you have finally found the perfect way to blend your family and career by choosing to work at home. Now, get out there and use these tips to find success and achieve that perfect work-life balance that gives you and your family a wonderful sense of happiness.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Faxage a leading company that provides Internet fax service for individuals and businesses.