Many wonder is it really possible to work from home with a baby or toddler? And if so, how do they make it possible?!
One person who made what many consider to be impossible, possible is Kelly Haston, Founder and Managing Director of Aspire Cambridge in addition to Internal Recruitment Manager for “geo”. Here Kelly provides an insight into how she copes with multitasking her business interests with her 9 month old baby Harper Amy, born on 29th March 2015.
Triumphs and failures helped clarify Kelly’s own routes to success through physically believing the embodiment of being POSSIBLE. “Such women are not urban myths, they are not PR fodder, they are you and me, we forged a path in our arenas to not only dominate but, to be the best and to do it on our own terms.” Says Kelly.
Is it really possible to work from home with a baby?
In short.. yes! Organisation, planning and preparation is key to the success of working mums.
Did you plan for maternity leave?
Yes, but why not have the best of both worlds! Balancing motherhood and maintaining a demanding career is tough, I won’t pretend it’s easy and that I’m Super-Mum but my daughter was born at a time that Aspire Cambridge was going through unprecedented and phenomenal growth so it was difficult to take to much time away from the business. Today, I maintain an organised schedule, I allow minimum distraction and remain focused whilst delegating any task that I can.
What is it like day-to-day working whilst parenting?
Relatively easy! I have adopted a ‘parent-led schedule’ which means that I set the daily agenda – typically a very specific timetable for when your baby eats, plays, and sleeps. Parents who operate on this kind of schedule rarely deviate from it. Many say that timing things (sometimes down to the minute) and being extremely consistent helps their baby regulate their internal clock and gives babies and toddlers the structure they needs to thrive. Experts who recommend specific parent-led schedules say these routines are based on years of observation of babies natural rhythms and are appropriate for their development at various ages. When babies days are very structured and predictable, advocates say, they fall into regular patterns more easily and sleep through the night sooner. Maybe this is why we have had 8 hours a night sleep from my daughter reaching 8 weeks old through to 12 hours a night since 4 months!
What have you learnt?
Working from home can definitely give you a better peace of mind as a new mum. But, be prepared to work STRANGE hours. I’m often online between 2am and 6am before my daughter wakes up.
What advice would you give others?
- Get a hands free device for your phone. It is easiest to make/take calls when walking around the house and bouncing baby to sleep.
- Be open and honest about the fact that you just had a baby (to clients, suppliers, etc). People tend to be very understanding and supportive.
- Don’t count on your memory! Keep a to-do or follow-up list for every task that comes up. You will often be interrupted during tasks and may not remember what you were doing when you are free again.
- Learn to work in short blocks of time while your baby is playing in a swing, napping or sleeping at night.
- Arrange a play area near your desk complete with blankets and toys so you can keep your baby assumed, at least while you answer a few emails or draft a letter.
- Try not to see your changing standards as a loss of control. Rather, take the change as your attempt to go with the flow and adjust to a new situation.
- Most importantly, set realistic goals. You’ll need to ease into working under these new circumstances. Don’t try to write a presentation when you’re most likely good for just a few paragraphs. Agree to make that deadline in three weeks, not one. Everyone will be better off.
Contact us …
If you would like to find out more about Aspire Cambridge and how we Attract > Engage > Retain, call the recruitment and HR team today on 01223 855440. Whether you’re looking for new vacancies, candidates or to retain your workforce, we’d love to talk to you.