3 practical ways to manage a full-time job and a baby at home

PHOTO: Pexels

Your maternity leave is about to end and you are experiencing a roller coaster of emotions.

While you are excited to get back to work, there is also a feeling of sadness and guilt about leaving your baby back home.

This is how most working mums feel when they have to leave their baby and go back to work. After all, juggling the responsibilities of a full-time job and raising a child is no mean feat!

A Reddit user-mum to a nine-year-old and two-year-old-is going through the same motions.

She wants to head back to work but is unable to take the leap of faith and has decided to turn to her friends online for help.

Mum of two asks for tips for working mums with babies: How do you do it all? 

The mum of two posted on Reddit that she is amazed looking at full-time working parents. She admired their energy to get up early in the morning, get ready, and then prepare their kids for school or daycare.

This is usually followed by them dropping their kids at their respective places and finally heading to work in a presentable manner.

She says that while she understands a lot depends on how well one can organise things, she also wonders how parents manage when their kids given them a sleepless night.

"What happens if the kid has a major crying fit while you went to drop him or her and you got late to work?" asked the mum.

The user further wanted to know how parents managed a sick kid while having to attend work.

The mum shared that her husband isn't able to help, because of his own work.

"At this point, is it even worth it to go back to work? Daycare fees for the toddler and daycare fees for after school care for the elder one," she wondered.

She added that she is in awe of the dexterity of full-time working parents and their skill to juggle multiple things at once. At the same time, she is equally confused about what to do with her career at this juncture.

"Work is way less exhausting than parenting," says other parents 

full time working mom
PHOTO: Pexels

A user commented, "Work is less mentally exhausting than parenting for me, so I'm less burnt out doing these things than I would be if I were at home all day."

A mum of five kids noted," If our kids get to school on time, it's a success. What they wear or if they brushed their hair/teeth is not even a concern lately. They have to be at school at 7:30am."

A pregnant mum shared that working full-time from home helped her to manage both her kids and work smoothly.

She wrote, "I'm pregnant with my fourth and work full-time. BUT I work from home and my schedule is flexible. That makes a huge difference."

Another parent chimed in to say, "We have three grandparents living within a five-minute drive. Two living next door so we can just pass the kids over the fence in the morning. I don't know how this would work without my parents and my MIL."

While it may seem absolutely impossible to raise kids and handle a full-time job, you will soon learn how to navigate between the two worlds like a pro.

No doubt, it will be challenging, but that's where proper planning comes into play.

Here are some smart and simple tips for working mums with babies that'll help keep things going.

Three essential tips for working mums with babies 

Make a bedtime routine

You need to establish a bedtime routine. It should be at the same time every night. This will help your baby identify his or her body clock and will make it easier for you to put them to bed.

Here's a trick: Don't make the baby sleep for long hours in the afternoon. Instruct your help or the caretaker accordingly.

Also, some babies may not sleep well at the daycare, which can lead to an overtired baby and can lead to frequent night wake up calls.

So try to keep a tab on the amount of sleep baby gets during the day. Remember, a good night's sleep is important not only for the baby but also for you!

Make simple meal plans

There is no doubt that you will come home tired after a long day at work. Naturally, you don't want to spend hours in the kitchen making dinner for the entire family.

Here's the trick. You can simplify your meal plans by following just three simple steps.

Plan your menu: You can sit down over the weekend to plan your menu for the week. You can check with your kids and the family on what they may need through the week and chart everything down accordingly.

Prepare over the weekend: Cut the vegetables and then put them inside zip-lock pouches and freeze them.

So, when you are cooking during the week, all you have to do is thaw the frozen veggies. For your baby, you can prepare the purees ahead of time and store them in ice cube trays to be thawed or warmed as necessary.

Make finger foods: On the days when you are tired and have no meal preparation, you can prepare healthy finger foods. For instance hard-boiled eggs with sliced cheese pieces or a bowl of yummy fruit salad!

These simple meal tips will minimise your daily preparation time and give you more time to cuddle your little one after work.

These tips will also ensure a healthy dinner on the table, without you having to spend hours in the kitchen.

Get a good caregiver

Whether you opt for a nanny or a daycare facility, spend some time finding good childcare support. Do your research well, get recommendations, and interview the candidates thoroughly.

Give a prior list of dos and don'ts to them and communicate often and well with your nanny throughout the day.

Don't forget to conduct surprise checks, for instance, drop by unannounced if you have a babysitter at home.

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Sometimes, even the most carefully laid out plan may fall through, so be ready with a backup plan.

For instance, if your child's nanny is not able to come to work due to an emergency, be ready with a plan B.

For instance, prepare a list of reliable babysitters near your home who can come and attend your baby for a few days. Do your research beforehand to save yourself from the last minute hassles.

Don't forget to sneak in cuddle time with your baby. While you may not spend all the day with your little one, these moments will help to bond with them.

Next time, when you step out to work, try to keep the mum guilt away and don't forget to put on that smile and confidence on your step. You're doing great!

This article was first published in theAsianparent.