How to work from home with a baby
Hey Girl! When I found out I was pregnant with my now 18 month old, I nearly had a panic attack. We were not expecting to get pregnant. We were not mentally preparing to have a child. It was not in our plan!!!
Can anyone relate???
You see, I had a very promising corporate career. I actually was the main "bread winner" at the time… but I had ALWAYS dreamed of being able to stay home with my kids. Actually, I LONGED to live a life chasing my passions (I had many) and my kiddos… not climbing the corporate ladder. I’ve always known that just wasn’t for me!
But when I found out I was having a baby, I just knew I had to figure out how to stay home with my baby, but how?
I had a great business idea... I mean, I had been doing freelance graphic design for years. But the problem was I had not built it into a business that could actually sustain our family.
I knew I needed to figure out a way to build this hobby into a business that could keep food on the table AND let me spend more time with my baby.
So, I began scouring the internet trying to find ANY help or advice I could about HOW to work from home with a baby.
And you know what??? I found everything and nothing at the same time.
I mean, all I found over and over was “work while the baby naps”… “stay up late”… “get up early”… but on the other hand I kept hearing “make sure to nap while the baby naps!” from EVERYONE I knew!
Uh… but wait.
Never having had a baby before, I thought… “Hey, I’ve got 12 weeks of maternity leave so I’ll just build my business then! It’ll be like one long vacation!”
Girl… stop that thinking right now.
Here I am. 18 months and a business later to give you ALL the details. All the goods. You want to know how I have been building a business while raising a baby (now toddler)? You’re in the right place!
1. Go into this thing knowing that it is harder than it sounds. Way, way harder.
THE PROBLEM: Ok, so I don’t want to scare you away right off the bat. But first I want you to realize that raising a baby is a LOT of work. Starting a business is a LOT of work. If I had a dollar for every tear I cried over the last 18 months pertaining to business AND baby… well, I’d have a lot of dollars.
MYTH: Maternity leave is NOT like vacation! Well… ok… maybe it is like vacation from work, except you’re stuck 24/7 with a crying, pooping, beautiful bundle that brings on inside of you every single emotion in human history all at once. This beautiful bundle will not want to sleep when you’re tired. It WILL want to latch and nurse at the exact moment you heat up your food…
And while we’re on food, if you’re nursing, you will have to find a way to get around 3,000 calories (at least that’s what I was told to consume) into your body each day. How in the worldare you supposed to do this while NOT sleeping and NOT having TIME to eat… I’ll never know. So you may resort to homemade peanut butter and coconut oil snack bars or multiple avocados a day just to keep your sweet baby fed.
Also, nursing! It’s not supposed to hurt. It’s supposed to come naturally. HA! For me (and everyone else I know who nursed), nursing was the most painful thing for 3-6 straight weeks!
So, WHY do I tell you all this???? I want you to be fully aware that having a baby may be the most intense roller coaster of your lifetime. Starting your own business is its own roller coaster. So put it together… and you’ve got one heck of a journey ahead.
But here’s the thing. It’s TOTALLY possible! You just have to go into this knowing that there will be a lot of bumps in the road. There will be times you want to give up and go get a “normal” job. There will be times you just want to bury your head under the blankets with your sweet, sweet baby and stay there forever.
MY ADVICE: DISCOVER YOUR WHY. In these times, it’s SO important to remember WHY you started your business in the first place.
If you have not gotten really clear on the purpose of your business yet, STOP AND DO THAT NOW! Grab a piece of paper and think of all the personal reasons you want to start your business. These are the things that impact yourself and your family.
Maybe you want to make more income (write down the dollar amount!), maybe you want more time with your family (write down what that extra time looks like – long lunch time walks with the baby, only working 20 hours a week, etc.)… whatever your reason is… write it down now!
Now think of your business why. This is the reason you will share with the world. It’s what you want all of your potential clients to know. This is the impact you want to make in the world.
Do you want to change lives? Do you want to give generously to your community? Do you want to help ladies build businesses that will change their legacy forever? Get specific and write it down.
Once you know WHY you started your business and what drives you, keep this in your mind at all times. When you want to give up, remember your why. When you want to ditch working on your business that evening, remember your why. When you wonder why you are doing this hard, hard thing… remember your why!
2. Find time to work on your business.
THE PROBLEM: Ok, DUH. This one’s a no brainer, of course you need time to actually work your business! But this is your time to get creative. You WILL need to work on your business. But you will NEED sleep… trust me.
MY ADVICE: Let’s get creative on how you can work it all together. Maybe this means that every other day you nap with your baby and every other day you work your business during nap time. Maybe this means that you ask a family member or close friend to come watch your baby for 3-4 hours a week (this will at least get you started). Maybe this means that when your hubby gets home from work you work your business for an hour or two while he plays with the baby.
HINT: The first 3-4 months of your baby’s life, they will nurse and nurse and nurse AND they will usually fall asleep in the process. If I had realized HOW MUCH time I had while they slept while nursing, then I would have utilized that time and worked more while they nap-nursed.
Are you a 9-5 working momma?
I salute you. This is HARD work and you are doing all the things… caring for a baby, pumping at work, financially supporting your family, spending 40+ hours away from the new love of your life. WHEW. First, take a deep breath and recognize the amazing thing you are doing.
Now, think of how you can work a little time into your crazy day. Can you use your lunch break to work your business while you eat (and pump, right?). Can you use your break time to work? Can you get a few things done while you stir dinner on the stove? Can you ask your hubby to make dinner so you can work? Can you take an extra hour after the baby goes to bed to work your business?
There are ways to work tiny bits of time into your day and you CAN get more done than you think when you’re strategic and prioritized.
3. Hire (or ask for) help.
Ok, I understand that some of you literally have ZERO extra dollars in your budget. I totally get that. But if you do have a little extra money (or even some savings – remember, starting a business does require investment!), now is the time to think about how you can lighten your load to make room (and time) for your business.
THE PROBLEM: You are going to be SO overwhelmed with being a new momma, feeding a baby from your body, eating your body’s weight in fatty foods to make enough milk, loving on your family, and still making time for your hubby, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, making the food…. SERIOUSLY, ALL the things.
You’re going to be doing it all and it’s going to feel like it’s all on your shoulders. But the truth is that it doesn’t have to be this way.
MY ADVICE: There are people out there who would LOVE to help you. If you live by family or close friends, maybe there is someone who would be willing to help you out a few hours a week. This will go a LONG way in both your time and your sanity. Trust me… I’ve been there and done this. Asking for help is hard but it’s so worth it.
If you have a little wiggle room in the budget, this is a great time to invest in a house cleaner to come… even once a month. Or maybe you can buy pre-chopped fruits and veggies from the store so you can save 20-30 minutes at dinner time each night. Or maybe your local grocery store will do your shopping for you? Mine does (and delivers to your home!) and it’s a life saver. Or maybe you can buy meals from Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, or one of the other amazing food delivery services.
Childcare? Where I live, there are Parents Day Out programs where you can pick as many days per week as you want and the breakdown is under $6 per hour.
I’ve also heard of ladies using their gym membership with childcare and taking 30 minutes after their workout to hash out some work on their laptop while their kids are being cared for! It’s genius!
Whatever this looks like for you… allow yourself the grace to not have to do it all yourself. Plus, if you LOVE what you’re doing then your work doesn’t really feel like work, does it?? So give yourself a little grace and find ways to make your life a little easier. You deserve it!
Also, remember that you’re doing AMAZING things just by keeping this child alive and fed (however you feed!) 24 hours a day, right??
4. Remember that life is full of different seasons.
THE PROBLEM: You will get overwhelmed. You will want to give up. So remind yourself that this is a season of building. Your business and life won’t always be in the building stage. One day, you will be able to kick up your feet, enjoy a nice iced coffee, check your email to find new leads right in your inbox… but today you are building that business. Today you are getting visible. Today you are becoming an expert. Today you are wearing all the hats.
MY ADVICE: Remind yourself that this is a season. Write down what your “dream life” looks like and envision that. Don’t lose sight of that dream and keep pushing towards it. When you get overwhelmed, tired, and feel like giving up… give yourself a little break. Grab a drink, go on a walk, read a few chapters of a good book, take a shower (because you don’t get many of those as a new momma).
Whatever de-stressing looks like for you… make time for those things. Then get back at it and keep building, because one day you will get there and you will have that amazing dream business.
5. Don't neglect getting the support you need (this is SO easy to do).
THE PROBLEM: Girl, you are in a new phase in life where most things don’t make sense. You’re learning new things about life, babies, and love… and at the same time, trying to figure out how to build a business all on your own. Imagine trying to navigate a new city all by yourself without a road map… This is how you’ve been operating your business!
It's going to feel like you're doing it all alone.
MY ADVICE: It’s time to reach out and make some amazing LadyBoss connections. Get the support you need. Find people who can help you along the way and who GET what you're going through. (Want to join my free support group like this?? Join here.)
So here's what I do at Revitalize Branding, I help new female entrepreneurs (solopreneurs) navigate this crazy, overwhelming, online business world… AND I offer free strategy calls (as do many other amazing ladies)! I would love to help you make sense of the entrepreneur world and put some strategy behind your actions.
If you’re seriously ready to create the life and business of your dreams… then I can help you with that too.
- Are you ready to wake up each day with purpose and passion for your one, amazing life?
- Are you ready to snuggle that baby anytime you want WHILE making money from home?
- Are you ready to ditch hobby status and build a serious business that makes serious impact?
I can help you get there. This is what I do at Revitalize Branding! I help give you the design you need to LOOK amazing… the confidence you need to FEEL amazing… and the strategy you need to become the WORLD CHANGER you were made to be.
Have you built a business with a new baby? Do you have any amazing tips to share? Leave them in a comment below!
Always cheering you on,