It’s hard to believe that Noah is already 2 years, 4 months old! Where has the past 2 years gone?! One of my main goals when looking for a job/starting a blog was to make enough money to be able to work from home and be with my kids while they were young. Luckily with years of hard work, I’ve been able to make that happen. In my opinion they are only little for so long, so soaking up those early years is so important.
Now, working at home with a toddler isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. There are some really hard days, and then there are some great days. I’ve found that it’s all about balance, setting a schedule, multi-tasking, and having patience. There will be days when I don’t even brush my teeth or look in the mirror, but somehow I’m able to manage entertaining Noah, cleaning the house, taking Noah to the park, and getting a blog post written. I’ve found that I can actually get more things accomplished with less time, which has been such an interesting fact to learn after having a baby. I think this is mostly because you just don’t have time for the in between stuff like you used to, and you are just focusing on what’s important.
A lot of you have asked how I balance it all, so I thought it would be fun to write a blog post sharing some tips for working at home with a toddler. I’m by no means an expert, but I have definitely found a way to create structure amidst all of the chaos.
WORK DURING NAP OR DOWN TIME
Working during nap time has been one of my biggest life savers. On good days Noah will take a 2-3 hour nap, and I’m able to get laser focused during those times. Over the past week it seems that he has strayed away from naps (hoping this is just a quick stage!) Luckily he’s able to play safely in his bed for a little bit while I get some stuff done. We have the Nest Cam, so I’m able to pull that up on the iPad and watch him while I send out some emails on my computer.
As moms we tend to bust out our super-human capabilities and try to take on everything all at once. Honestly it’s a bit of a recipe for disaster, because I did it for the first year of Noah’s life, and it was extremley hard. I would be in tears most days because I felt like I was failing in some aspect of my life. Either I wasn’t getting my work done, the house was in shambles, I wasn’t getting any time out of the house, or I was feeling like a bad mom. It was not smart to think I could manage everything myself, and I needed to let go a little. Obviously Dylan is a huge help as a dad, but we needed to seek outside help if we both wanted to be successful in our careers and not go crazy. We hired a virtual assistant who helps with some of my blog work, and we hired someone to watch Noah two days a week. Doing these two things was the best idea ever. A huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders, and I was able to get things done without constantly being in a state of anxiety.
CREATE A FAMILY SCHEDULE
I typically work from home or out of a coffee shop in Austin. Dylan typically works from home, out of a coffee shop, or with his web developers for the new app he’s launching at WeWork in downtown Austin. We created a family schedule that makes it easy for us to be where we need to be when we need to be there, and also allows for some down time as a family. Dylan likes to work into the evenings, whereas I’m more of a morning person. We picked out certain days of the week that he wakes up with Noah, and certain days out of the week that I wake up with Noah. That way if one of us needs to stay up late to get work done, or if one of us wants to go out with friends in the evening, we know which mornings we will be taking the early shift.
PACK YOUR PATIENCE
There’s going to be those crazy days where your little one is sick, or extra needy. Shift your focus to them no matter how much you have to do. They are most important, and they deserve your full attention. Try your best to not let your to-do list haunt you throughout the day, and realize that you will eventually get things done. There’s many days during the week when I’m home with Noah and I barely have time to get on my computer. Those days can give me anxiety because I feel like I’m falling behind. What I’ve realized is that I’m always going to feel behind even when I’m not, and that I just need to take a deep breath and relax. If I have to stay up late to get things done that night, that’s just the way it is.
I hope that these tips were helpful for you. Life is about to get crazy again when baby girl arrives in early September, so I’m sure I will need an entire new list of tips for juggling a toddler, a newborn, and work. I’ll keep you updated on that when the time comes, ha! Thanks so much for stopping by friends, have a great day!