Back to Work Survival Guide
The Back to Work (from Home) Survival Guide for Work-at-Home Moms
Maternity leave is up and it's time to head back to the office. Lucky for you, you might still work from home so you don't have to go far. But while remote work makes it easier to juggle parenthood and work in some ways, pulling double-duty with a baby is no easy task.
How can new moms make it work? With lots of patience, realistic expectations, and these work-at-home mom survival tips from Hey, Milestone.
Make baby's schedule your schedule.
Sitting down from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. isn't happening with a baby at home. Instead of fighting to get work done on your schedule, adapt to the baby's schedule.
- Talk to your boss about flex hours, or part-time work
- Schedule meetings and do your most focused work while your baby naps.
- Take advantage of the time your baby is awake but calm for low-effort tasks.
- Use evenings and early mornings to get work done, but don't sacrifice sleep!
Design a baby-friendly office.
You'll be sharing space with your little one for the foreseeable future, so optimize the home office for both of your comfort. In addition to a baby-proofed space, this is what every work-at-home mom needs.
- A bassinet or mini-crib, white noise machine, and blackout curtains or tent for baby's sleeping nook.
- Baby care essentials, including diapering supplies, a baby bouncer, and more.
- A video conferencing headset for quiet work-from-home meetings. The best ones are wireless (so you're not tied to your desk) and noise-canceling (so your colleagues hear you, not the baby).
- Hands-free breastfeeding gear, including a baby carrier and hands-free breast pump or pumping bra.
- Hidden storage for all your baby and office gear. Look for simple solutions like cubbies and storage baskets that let you quickly stow clutter before a video call.
Revamp your WFH wardrobe.
You may be working from home, but it's still embarrassing to show up to a Zoom meeting with spit-up on your shirt or realize the only way you can breastfeed is to practically undress. Working moms deserve clothes that are functional and look and feel good on their postpartum bodies.
- Wrap tops, deep V-necks, drapey blouses, and zip-front sweatshirts are ideal for work-from-home moms who need to breastfeed on the clock.
- Leggings and lounge pants in dark colors like black and charcoal are comfortable, forgiving, and won't leave you afraid to stand up lest your colleagues see your Spongebob pajama pants.
- Need to accessorize? Dress up with an infinity scarf or shawl that doubles as a nursing cover and teething necklaces that both baby and mom will love.
- A nursing bra with clip-down cups or pull-aside access is the piece that ties your postpartum outfits together. Better yet, upgrade to a nursing and pumping bra so you can manage your supply with zero outfit changes.
Take care of yourself, too.
You've got a lot on your plate. Not only are you adjusting to this whole parenthood thing, but you may be new to remote work too. Keep your expectations in check, ditch the mom guilt, and remember to take care of yourself.
- Start your day right with a nutritious smoothie packed with protein, calcium, and iron. You can even toss in a scoop of collagen powder to give your hair, nails, and skin a boost.
- Keep your coffee hot, whether you're drinking it now or later, with a vacuum-insulated coffee mug or desktop mug warmer.
- Use a bento box to pre-portion snacks for the home office or splurge on a healthy snack subscription, like Graze, Vegancuts, or UrthBox.
- Stow a yoga mat in your office and take yoga breaks when your body and brain need a rest. A thick yoga mat offers the cushion your postpartum body needs to stretch comfortably.
- Hire a sitter when you know there's a busy day ahead. Some days, there's simply nothing better than an extra pair of hands.
Blending your personal and professional lives as a work-at-home mom can make it hard to feel like you're doing a good job in either role. But while it takes a few adjustments, remote work really does offer the best of both worlds to working moms.