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How to Survive Working from Home with an Infant

As the world adjusts to living during the COVID-19 crisis, many of us are now working at home. Those with an infant or young children at home face additional challenges. 

Working from home with a baby seems impossible, but there is an upside. Not having to commute into the office allows you to get in extra baby snuggles. But when it comes time to start your work for the day, how exactly are you supposed to get things done when your baby needs you almost constantly?

While no system is perfect, there are a few things to keep in mind as you navigate this new reality. 

  • Ask for and accept help. Are there grandparents or aunts and uncles who have been dying for some extra baby time? Now is the time to take them up on their offer to help (if everyone is quarantining properly) , whenever that time may be. 
  • Be flexible with your hours. Working 9-5 might not be possible right now, so try to be as flexible as you can. Confirm with your manager and HR if you’re required to work a traditional schedule. If you don’t and you have help from 7-10am, take it and try to get as much done as you can in that time frame. Need to prioritize the baby in the afternoon? Schedule some time to sit down with your computer after the baby goes down for the night to knock out the really important projects. 
  • Time block your day. Sit down the night before or first thing in the morning and map out what your day will look like. Factor in deadlines, when you have help, and nap times. Try to stick with this plan the best you can.
  • Be honest. Talk to your boss and coworkers about the constraints you may have and provide a plan for how you will navigate the challenges. If you need to be offline from 1-2 p.m., make sure your team is aware so they aren’t trying to reach you. Make sure they know when you will be available and that you will be sure to connect when you’re back.
  • Limit meetings. You only have so much time in a day. If someone schedules an hour-long meeting that is not time sensitive and will prevent you from getting something important accomplished, ask if that meeting can be rescheduled or condensed. 
  • Take advantage of naps. Naptime is a blessing. While it may be tempting to use that time to empty the dishwasher, try to resist the urge. Sit down at your computer and start working through your to-do list.
  • Be realistic. You have two very important jobs right now and it is important to find as much balance as possible. Identify what your key priorities are and work on accomplishing them. Many modern work environments are focused on quality of work, rather than the amount of time spent in the (virtual) office. Try to embrace this mindset.

Remember, be kind to yourself and count your small victories. One of those victories may include advancing your education from the comfort of your own home. Peirce College is a leader in providing affordable, flexible undergraduate and graduate degree programs that are offered 100% online - an ideal format for busy adults who do not have the time to attend class on campus. Learn more about the Peirce difference.  

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