Working from home has both challenges and rewards. If you’re trying to balance working from home with little ones in tote, it can be more on the challenging side, but not impossible. It’s actually quite easy to work from home and be a caregiver with the right tools and mindset. As a work-from-home mom, I know there are a few things I cannot live without. Here are my top must-haves:
Laptop. There is no way you can successfully work from home with an infant or toddler and be confined to a desktop in a home office or the corner of a spare room. You need to be flexible about where you work in the house and ready to move around periodically to give baby variety and new things to see. This might mean popping a squat on the floor while your little one plays on a mat nearby. Or you might be inclined to sit with baby in a recliner and place the laptop on a stand within reach.
Portable work station. As noted above, babies and toddlers should not be confined to one location all day long. They become restless and often very fussy. Moving around several times throughout the day helps keep them occupied and happy. If your job requires a number of gadgets and gizmos – beyond just a laptop – consider investing in a nice portable workstation.
Headset. Although you want to maintain a professional image, there will most likely be times when you need to take or make a call with the baby in your arms. It’s inevitable. That’s why I recommend getting a good headset for hands-free dialing and talking. You can also use a speaker or Skype, but using a headset keeps the background noise to a minimum.
On-call babysitter. For those VIP calls and meetings that cannot be disrupted by a crying infant or a toddler screaming “MOMMY!” while tugging on your pants, make sure to have a backup plan. Plan ahead if possible. At the very least have the names of several individuals on hand who you can call when in a bind or for a last-minute meeting.
Sling or carrier. Sometimes it is easier to stand up and get work done than it is to sit down when you’re also caring for an infant. According to several mom pals, one tactic that works well for them is placing their laptop on a counter and strapping their baby to their belly or back in a sling or carrier. The motion of moving around soothes the baby and they are still able to get some work done.
Are you a work-from-home mom? What is the one thing you cannot live without?