Balancing work and family life has never been easy, but with remote work becoming more prevalent, it’s more possible than ever for working moms to strike a healthy balance. However, new mothers often struggle with managing both mom life and work life while working from home. The transition from being a full-time caregiver to juggling newborn care and work can be daunting. In this long-form blog post, we will explore some tips and tricks that can help new mothers manage their professional and personal responsibilities while working remotely.
Set Realistic Boundaries
Separating work from personal life can be challenging when working remotely, but it’s crucial to achieving a healthy work-life balance. One of the best ways to do this is to establish clear boundaries. Set out clear working hours during which you’re available for work, and outside of those hours, make sure you’re present for your family and taking care of yourself.
Your employer will need to understand and respect these boundaries, but it’s essential to communicate them clearly from the beginning. Discuss your availability, your preferred mode of communication, and any other expectations or limitations you may have regarding your work schedule.
Create a Productive Workspace
Creating a conducive workspace can significantly impact productivity and your ability to balance both work and family life. Carve-out a designated work area, preferably a workspace that is outside of the rest of the household, where you can work free from distractions.
Ensure that your workspace is comfortable, well-lit, spacious, and has access to the resources you need to get your work done. Having these resources nearby will help you to multitask and save time on other household chores.
Remote work requires the use of technology tools, which can be beneficial for new mothers. Companies worldwide have adopted numerous remote work software that is designed to make remote work more efficient, fun, and productive.
Apps like Zoom, Skype, Trello, Asana, and Slack help remote workers to remain connected and collaborate efficiently with team members. As a new mom, you need to ensure that you’re using the right tools to enhance your work-life productivity.
Prioritize Your Tasks
Once you’ve identified your work schedule and created an effective workspace, it’s time to focus on your daily work tasks. To do this, you need to create a to-do list that’s prioritized in order of relevance to your work and family.
Begin each day by evaluating and organizing your list, prioritize high-value work first and employ a “chunking” method for task completion. For instance, if you’re required to attend virtual meetings, reserve these periods exclusively for work and schedule your baby’s naptime or feeding time appropriately.
Some work tasks will require your full attention, while others can be multitasked, for example, balancing a load of laundry with an administrative task.
It’s essential to delegate responsibilities both at home and work so that you can focus on crucial tasks. You don’t have to do it all on your own. For instance, if you have a partner or caregiver, you could alternate taking care of the baby.
Additionally, you could also consider outsourcing tasks such as house cleaning, laundry, or meal preparation.
Stay Connected With Your Colleagues
Working remotely, especially as a new mom, can be quite isolating, so staying connected with your colleagues, whether through instant messaging or video conferencing, can help break the monotony and maintain team spirit.
Moreover, regular conversations with your supervisors can ensure that you’re meeting your work expectations and that your remote work experience is indeed sustainable.
Take Care of Yourself First
It’s crucial to prioritize your well-being and mental health when working remotely, particularly as a new mother. Prioritize quality sleep; engage in daily physical exercise, and take time to de-stress and have fun. Dedicate some time away from work to recharge and reset for the next workday.
As tempting as it may be, multitasking can be highly inefficient and lead to decreased productivity when working from home. Try to focus on your work task at hand, however small or significant, without any interruptions.
Research shows that multitasking reduces the ability to concentrate, resulting in reduced accuracy, and it takes longer to complete complex tasks. Instead, dedicate a specific amount of time for each task, and ensure you complete the most important ones first.
Remote work offers you an opportunity to work from the comfort of your home with a flexible schedule, allowing you more time to spend with your family. However, it doesn’t mean that you should forget about your work obligations.
Take advantage of flexible schedules like starting work earlier or later, taking breaks to care for your baby’s needs and work at night when the baby is asleep. It’s essential to keep track of your work hours and ensure that you’re meeting the required timelines without compromising on the quality of work.
Communication is key to successful remote work, and it’s even more crucial when working as a new mother. Keep your supervisor or team informed of your schedule, baby’s feeding time, and when you’re available for meetings.
Regular communication will also help you manage your schedule and allow your team to plan reasonable expectations of your productivity while maintaining a supportive work environment.
Time-blocking is an effective time management technique that helps you stay organized and productive by setting specific times for work and family activities. It involves breaking down your day into different hourly blocks, and allocating time for specific work tasks and personal activities.
Time blocking helps you keep track of the time spent on different activities and avoid overworking, underworking, or neglecting critical tasks at home or work.
Organize Your Day
Organize your day by breaking down your tasks into daily, weekly or monthly goals. Use a journal or a digital organizer to keep track of upcoming deadlines, tasks that need to be done, and those that have been completed.
This technique will help you to stay focused when working remotely, and you will be able to balance your family needs and professional responsibilities better.
Take Advantage of Downtime
In between feeding, napping your baby or doing household chores, take advantage of these ‘downtime’ periods by catching up on emails, replying to messages, or sorting work documents.
These small pockets of time can lead to significant productivity gains that can help you manage your workload and frees up more time to focus on family and personal activities.
Use Your Networks
New mothers balancing family time and remote work can struggle to find someone to chat or to seek guidance. Fortunately, there are numerous networks, online groups, and forums that can provide much-needed support.
Take advantage of online resources like working mom groups on social media, remote work communities, and forums. These groups offer support and advice, and you’ll find them helpful, especially when navigating new working dynamics as a new mom.
Adjusting to remote working as a new mother will take time, effort, and discipline. There will be days when you’ll be overwhelmed, have an unproductive day or miss a deadline.
It’s important to be patient and maintain a positive attitude towards yourself and your progress. Celebrate small wins, experiment with new parenting and working techniques, and don’t forget to take care of yourself.
Balancing work and family life while working remotely is achievable; however, it requires discipline, consistency, patience and flexibility. Stay connected with your colleagues, prioritize your family and job, delegate your responsibilities and take care of yourself. With these effective tips and best practices, you can forge a sustainable remote work environment that blends both personal and professional responsibilities.