I have been lucky enough to have a position and manager who is extremely supportive of work-life balance. Being a mother of three herself, she understands that priorities change when you have a baby. This August will mark my 3 year anniversary of working from home. My first 10 months post maternity leave I worked exclusively from home and then decided to return to the office 2 days per week. 60% of my work schedule for the last two years has remained from home. Is it challenging? Sometimes. Have I hidden in the basement while on conference calls so no one can hear my crying toddler and barking dog while I spoke? You betcha! But in all honesty, nothing compares to being able to reach over and pick up your infant to nurse on demand or just kiss her when ever you feel like it.
So what has been my secret to making the work from home schedule work? The secret is flexibility. Not just physical flexibility, but mental flexibility. If you are used to working in an office 9-5, you have likely created a general, daily routine. Do not expect to be able to follow this routine when working from home. Rather, you should remain “loose and flowing”. Seriously, repeat this to yourself 10 times… loose and flowing.
There will be some moments of the day when you will want to
quit, use the TV as a babysitter, but you will also find chunks of time where your toddler is busy and engaged and you actually get TONS of work done.
After working from home through the baby years and into the toddler years, I have set up a schedule that gives our day the structure that my toddler craves.
Here are some real-life photos of keeping my toddler busy so I can call into a meeting, work on a project, or just respond to emails.
Do you work from home? What activities do you do when you need to focus? Please leave a comment below.