Congratulations on your new baby! Bringing home the newest addition to your family can stir up so many feelings (thank you hormones) from joy and excitement to fatigue and stress. All of which are totally okay, by the way.
Maybe this isn’t your first baby and you’re already a pro swaddler, but if you’ve recently started a blog or work from home business, then you’re probably asking a lot more questions this time around than the standard “should my baby be spitting up this much?”
My point is parenting is hard and so is running a blog or freelance business. Put the two together and you’re bound to face some obstacles and serious stress. Whether this is your first baby or tenth and whether you’ve been blogging for a year or want to start, these tips are for you.
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Five weeks ago we brought home baby Emma and life has been a blur since. From losing my biggest client to watching our toddler throw tantrum after tantrum from jealousy, finding the motivation and time to get work in has been tough. Tough but definitely not impossible thanks to some key tools and tricks I use to maximize my time at home.
Wake Up Before Your Other Kids
If this is your first baby, this obviously does not apply to you. BUT, if you’ve got another little one running around AND a newborn, this could save your sanity. Trust me, I know you’re tired. I am too, I also know that it can be very hard to have a good day when the first thing you here in the morning is a toddler yelling and screaming.
Start your day off on a positive note by waking up before your toddler or older child. Even if it’s only 15 minutes, it will really help. Wash you face, grab a cup of coffee, journal, or whatever makes you feel good in the morning. I typically wake up shortly after the newborn does around 5 which gives me a couple of hours to workout, have coffee, shower, and check some emails before the day really even starts. This means by the time I drop my son off at daycare at 7, I’m already ready to work. I save so much time doing this one thing.
Wake Up With Baby
I kind of mentioned this already but it applies to the first time parents out there. If you can’t wake up before a toddler, wake up with your baby. I’m not talking about that 1 am feeding. I’m saying set a time you’re willing to be awake by and get up with your baby at the feeding closest to that time. For example, if my baby wakes up anytime after 4:30, I’m going to get up. You know your baby’s schedule better than anyone so pick a time that works for you.
Hydrate and Nourish
After I wake up, the first thing I do is grab a big glass of water and drink up. I tell myself I have to drink it before I can have my morning coffee and that, my friends, is great motivation! I like to have a light snack before or right after my workout (an apple is a great choice) and wait to have breakfast until after I drop my son off at daycare. Usually I have oatmeal because it’s great for milk production. Then, my mid-morning snack is a big 32 oz smoothie full of bananas, spinach, frozen berries, and whatever produce was on sale this week. By the way, if you happen to need a new blender (our old one just broke!), I just bought this one and absolutely love it!
I do my best to eat healthy and to stay hydrated throughout the day because it gives me energy and I don’t have to try so hard to stay in shape. It also gives my baby girl great nutrition. Right now, I’m trying to break up with sweets since I’m basically addicted and cut out other processed sugar. I really suggest you invest in a healthy diet so you can have the energy to be a mom, blogger, entrepreneur, wife, and whatever else your heart desires.
Set a Schedule
Don’t have a schedule? You probably feel like you’re always working you or like you never get anything done. Right? It has taken me such a long time to get on a good work schedule but I think I’ve finally figured it out. It feels so good! Scheduling work, breaks, workouts, family time, and “me time”, is really essential to avoiding burn out and fatigue.
Take Advantage of Nursing
Breastfeeding is a great way to bond with your baby but it’s also a great time to get some work done. Turns out, you can do both at the same time! This nursing pillow is probably the number one thing that keeps me blogging while having a newborn. It’s comfortable and sits at the perfect height so I can feed baby and type at the same time. I LOVE IT. I even use nursing as an excuse to get work done when my toddler is home. Since I’m already busy nursing, my toddler doesn’t try to close my laptop.
Your Baby is Your Best Accessory
If your baby is having a rough day, wear him or her! Standing desks are becoming popular anyway so why not take advantage of baby wearing and work from your kitchen counter. Remember, it’s only a phase. This is the wrap I use to wear baby.
Check Your Tech
You might be working more than you have to if you’re putting up with a slow computer, or scheduling social media manually. If you can, invest in better equipment and some automating services like Tailwind, Buffer, or Hootsuite. These apps will save you time and that means more time with your bundle of joy.
Don’t worry, just because you schedule social media doesn’t mean you’re some spammy bot that everyone will unfollow. You can still tweet out your latest epiphany in the middle of the day or go live on Facebook to make sure your followers know you are really there.
Make Time For Family
I mentioned this when I talked about setting a schedule but spending time with family isn’t just about avoiding burnout. It’s also about, well, family. Make time for you babies and your husbands and wives. They will never again be as young as they are right now. Schedule cuddle breaks throughout your work day with your newborn. Make time to build a Lego tower with your two-year-old without looking at your phone. They are what makes blogging and business so worth it. Let them know how much they mean to you everyday.
Get to Bed Early
My last tip is to get to bed early. If you have a toddler and a baby, you know you can’t always nap when the baby naps. Plus, this is a great time to get some work done. So, you should get to bed as soon as the kids are asleep for the night. Getting enough sleep keeps you sane and works wonders for your work ethic.
How are you balancing blogging or freelancing with your new baby? What’s the hardest part?
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