How to Work from Home with a Baby During the Coronavirus Pandemic
An executive VP shares her tips for balancing work and raising her infant amid a global crisis.
Being a new mom is an amazing challenge in and of itself. Since having my son nine months ago, I have experienced the high of a love like none other, the low of postpartum depression and every emotion in between. Once my maternity leave was over, and I got into the rhythm of working again and feeling comfortable and confident in his daycare, bam—here comes a pandemic.
Working with a newborn at home is definitely difficult. My son is not old enough to e-learn and requires attention from the moment he wakes up until he goes to sleep. Today I’m sharing a few tips on how my husband and I have found a working balance to keep everything moving.
1. Set a routine for yourself.
While it’s too soon to really get your infant on a structured timeline, if you are type A like I am, you will need a structure for yourself. Still set an alarm and shower before your little one wakes up. Take a few hours of normalcy after your child’s bedtime to vent with your girlfriends or enjoy a glass of wine.
2. Create a shared calendar with your significant other.
With a baby that cannot communicate its needs, it is so important that someone is always available. My husband and I have gotten into the routine of adding our meetings to each other’s Google calendars so that we are sure that, as much as possible, we are not overlapping in other priorities at any time.
3. Find new toys that entertain and are great for development at your infant’s age, introducing something new each week.
Our current favorites are the Skip Hop 3-Stage Activity Center, the Joovy Spoon Walker, the Fisher-Price Learning Cube and Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy and anything from Kido here in Chicago!
4. Expand the feedings and nighttime routine.
My daycare sends photos of my infant making works of art, learning music with live guitar lessons and doing yoga. And as the saying goes, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” I still find time for developmental lessons in the day-to-day, practicing pincer grasp during lunch, holding the bottle in the evening and more. Spend a little extra time together at each feeding break, and at night, read a few extra books and sing a few more songs.
5. Set out a balanced meal plan, even for an infant.
Do this if your child has started solids, to take care of what daycare traditionally provides. Make sure that they are exploring new textures and flavors.
6. On the weekends, turn “family time” into “personal time.”
We are all in an abundance of the former right now. Where you usually would carve out activities with the kids, get some alone-time R&R. Take that bubble bath, make that phone call and let your significant other handle your little one.
Above all, remember, this is cherished time that you won’t get back.
I feel lucky that I’ve been home for my son’s first words (“dada”—sigh), and for him to learn how to crawl—two things that otherwise he would have been at daycare for.
Written by Lianne Hedditch for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.