Working with a newborn • 31 October 2008 • The SnowBlog
Working with a newborn
I've titled this post deliberately so that people who type the phrase into google find this post - because that's what I was doing a few months back. I spoke to very few people in pregnancy who thought I could manage to work as well as look after a newborn. Well, we're nearly a month in and I'm happy to report that you can, actually. A tiny bit of me is writing this to say yah boo sucks to those who were so convinced I wouldn't be able to cope, but there's a large part of me which wants to share this with other pregnant women concerned about juggling work and a baby. I found precious few references on the net to women who work and do full time childcare and wondered if I was being delusional. Hooray, not on this occasion.
True, I'm blessed with a colic-free, cheerful baby who sleeps and eats well but that, I think, is largely down to his relaxed home waterbirth. He didn't have a big dose of opiates, harsh fluorescent lights or rough-handed paediatricians to greet him on his entrance into our world. Of course, I would say that. Who knows the real reason for his chilledness - let's just say I'm very lucky.
Given that he's such a joy to be with, here's what I do:
- Strap him to me in a sling where he sleeps most of the day. This leaves two hands free to operate a computer / do paperwork and filing / pet the cats.
- Go to bed at 7.30 / 8pm. Yes, I know that is crazy early. But it gives me an extra few hours' kip to make up for the night feeds, so in the daytime I'm not tired.
- Work from home. This would be a lot less of a rosy story if I actually had to commute. Shudder.
- Work for myself. I can manage my own day without anyone breathing down my neck asking what I'm doing.
- Expect a teatime mini-meltdown, which seems to be his MO, and get everything done by then.
Er, that's it. Not being sleep deprived and babywearing means it's business as usual, pretty much. In fact, I've probably been a little more productive as I've culled the number of hours I spend gazing at the internet, since I'm always aware that he could wake up at any time and need playing with/ his ears nibbling / gazing at.
In mid November I have my first day where I need to be in an office, so I'll let you know how that goes. I fully expect comments gleefully saying 'ooh, it won't last'. But, for the moment, this is working out tremendously well.