If there is one thing I’ve had to learn these last few years, it’s how to manage my business while raising THREE babies who are now toddlers. If you don’t know my story, we had twins plus one in just over a years time. The twins and the plus one are 16 months apart.
My twins are now 3 years old and little miss our “baby” is turning 2 this January. I’ve been running my design business since I was pregnant with the twins and I get asked frequently how on earth I do it?
So, I thought I’d write a post that includes all my best tips on how to manage your babies and your business at once.
I won’t lie, I’m not perfect and there are many days when it’s complete chaos but in these last few years, I’ve learned a thing or two about how I can keep the chaos to a minimum.
Don’t Expect Perfection
This is my number one tip. Don’t pressure yourself to do all the things you did before your little one(s) arrived!
Seriously, the first 6 months at least are going to be complete chaos. Don’t expect much of a predictable routine during this time.
Babies this young live on their own schedule and while you can encourage a routine that will allow you to get something done, don’t get discouraged if you plan to work during nap time but nap time doesn’t happen and you accomplish nothing.
Extend Delivery Time
No matter what type of business you run, I highly recommended you take the amount of time it used to take you to deliver your service and tack on a hella lot of extra time depending on your child’s age.
Do not set yourself up to be on a tight deadline and stressed to the max because the baby has been sick and you haven’t slept in days. This is no fun, trust me when I say this. ( I know from experience )
Give yourself extra time ALWAYS. I still do this even though my twins are now in preschool half the day four days a week.
It’s impossible to know when the baby is going to keep you up all night, not take a nap, come down with a cold, or have a sleep regression. My advice, play it safe, give yourself a timeline that you are comfortable with.
If you can afford it, I highly recommend getting some help. You don’t have to hire someone to be there 24/7 while you work but even 1-2 days a week for 4-6 hours will feel great!
If you do this, use this time wisely! Figure out the things that need your full attention and ONLY work on these things during this time.
For me, this time meant client work and meetings. The important things needed my uninterrupted time, attention, and focus
Once the baby is older and I mean consistently sleeping through the night older you might want to consider utilizing your mornings before the baby is up. I wake up every morning at 5 am.
Before the twins went to school I used this time to work on the important must get done “things” (and I still do if I’m running behind on schedule).
Now that the twins are in preschool I use this time to wake up, shower, read, and get ready for my day in silence!
PS: Don’t attempt this until your baby is sleeping through the night you will be a hot mess this is no joke.
You likely will find a routine that you think is working. You will get excited and feel like you got this entire running a business while raising a baby thing down your killing it! Then that awesome routine that you had will no longer be relevant because the baby has other ideas!
It’s okay, adjust your routine until you get back into one that works for both of you! Being flexible is so important!
Take Care Of Yourself!
This may be obvious, but it’s easier said than done! Making sure you shower, eat, sleep, and feel good is essential! If you aren’t feeling your best I doubt you will be putting out your best work and it will eventually catch up to you.
Not only will you be putting out shitty work but you will be a depressed crying mess, so take care of yourself. Make it top priority to make sure you
- Drink Water
- Take Time For YOU
- AND THEN THE WORK
If these needs are not met then take your next opportunity available to do whatever it is that you need to do to keep YOU happy and healthy!
Work From Your Phone
You know all those little things that must get done, yet it feels impossible to find time to actually sit down and do them? Blogging, Social Media, Emails, etc…
I’m just taking a wild guess, but I’m going to assume you have a smartphone, and if so, I’m here to tell you, there is so much you can do from your phone.
Right now I am sitting on my couch with all three toddlers, a cup of coffee, it’s 8:37 am, and I am writing the first draft of this post while they watch Mickey Mouse.
Almost every one of my blog posts starts out this way. It gets drafted in my “notes” app or Evernote, then once I’m ready to edit it, I move it to google docs.
Scheduling your social media is another “to do” that can be done from your phone.
Get creative and start thinking about what can be done “on the go”.
Stick To a Schedule & Routine
This is so important! You won’t be able to have a set routine right away but if you keep at it eventually the baby will adjust to the routine you encourage. This will allow you to one day have a somewhat predictable schedule.
I know I said to be flexible, but, balance is key here. While staying flexible you also need to maintain some sort of consistency by keeping certain parts of your day the same. For me, those are our wake up time, breakfast, lunch, nap time, dinner, and bedtime.
These things consistently happen at the same time or at least in the beginning I did my very best to keep these things the same until they all got the gist of what was going to happen next. I wasn’t able to figure this out all on my own though I read several books and one of my favorites was “Rhythms, Routines, & Schedules” (*afflink) By Rachel Norman and Lauren Tamm.
This book was a lifesaver and I loved how it included different routines and schedules to follow depending on how many kids you had, ages, etc…
Last but not least, let’s talk about nap time! Eventually baby will have a time that they consistently go down for a nap (if you’ve created a routine). Use this time exactly as if you’ve hired help!
Do the things that require your full uninterrupted attention and nothing else. Don’t check your email, write a blog post, or schedule social media during this time.
Use this time to power work through the important stuff. OR if you haven’t slept, ate, showered, then do those first because YOUR sanity and happiness are so important to you being able to focus and put out quality work.
Every day I wake up and attempt to get everything I need to do done. There are days though that do not go as planned. Actually, the last three workdays haven’t gone as planned for me due to the lovely Michigan weather and school snow days. I got nothing accomplished during the day.
I can pretty much tell immediately if I need to just throw my hands up and be a mom for the day or if they are going to let me multi-task.
On the days that I can’t get anything accomplished this is when their dad and I will work “opposite shifts.” Once dad comes home he takes over and I will power work until 8-9pm and get my three most important tasks done for the day. This is a lifesaver and if your child’s dad is in the picture ask for the help!
All three of the younger ones go to bed at 7 pm and not a minute later most nights. This is what we have been doing since they were little and encouraged from the time they were born.
Now that they are toddlers they gladly head upstairs and climb into bed for the night and sleep soundly until 6-7 am the next morning. Allowing me to get work done or if I have all my work done I get to relax and Netflix binge my night away so it’s a win-win either way.
I’m here to tell you working from home and being a mom is tough! You may feel like quitting at times! Especially when the baby is crying, you haven’t slept in what feels like years, and now you’re on the verge of missing an important deadline…
This is when it’s time to step away and focus on being a mom and nothing else!
If you find yourself feeling like this, it’s time to regroup and come back with a fresh mindset! I’m positive when you return you will feel 100x’s better, ready to take on the world, and you will pull it together just in time to get that client work sent out! After all, you’ve made sure to schedule in extra time so “life” can happen.
PS: I highly recommend getting baby into a good sleeping routine early! A good resource that I used was “The Baby Sleep Site”. The earlier you get started the better!