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Hi mamas,

Until a few weeks ago, I was a SAHM for the duration of my 1 year maternity leave. Once I got the hang of taking care of a baby, I spent the day cleaning up, cooking meals for DH and DSS, sewing diapers, and trying to see other SAHMs to avoid going insane. Then, out of the blue, a company I'd been courting last year got back in touch with me about a translation project they wanted me to do. It's a rather large document (100 pages) of French to English translation, and I only have until mid-January to complete the document.

Normally, I wouldn't have any problems doing that kind of work at home, but having a baby with me poses some problems. She used to be a very easy going kind of baby, and she was still very little so she didn't require that much stimulating. Unfortunately, she started teething around 3.5 months and hasn't really stopped since; it's made her very cranky, easily prone to crying fits, and very needy. Most of the day, she'll sit there whining, unless I'm right in front of her, singing a song, or massaging her, or playing with toys with her. I find she looks very bored a lot of times, as if she wishes she could stop sitting in her little bouncy chair or laying in her baby gym on her back. I've started reading baby books to her, but that requires me to be right there with her.

I can't really work during DD's naps b/c they are only 10-20 minutes, a few times a day.

My question is mostly for WAHMs who have other things they need to get done and who also have little ones at home. How do you get your work done? Do you let go of the house work in favor of other work or spending time with your LOs? What kind of stuff do you do with them to keep them happy while you work?

I'm really having a lot of trouble finding the right balance between working on my translation and "being there" for DD, educating her, stimulating her, etc etc. As a result, I've fallen behind on the work and it's making me panic.

Suggestions anyone?
 

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In all honesty? That's why I got a nanny. But my son was at a totally different stage.

To get through this project I would still suggest activating your support network as much as possible - your partner can take the baby a lot on weekends and evenings; do you have family or friends who can take the baby for walks? A fellow mum who would bring her baby over and watch both (and then you could trade off the other way?)

Because if memory serves me right, that phase when the baby is "waking up" from the newborn period but not all that able to get around is really challenging.

Can your partner take time off during the holidays so you can work?

You might well have to let housework go to meet your deadline.

More immediate suggestions: I remember setting up stations all around the house: swing, bouncy chair, one set of hanging toys, another set of hanging toys, the highchair, and so on. (I might be off on some of the ages/stages here; it's starting to be a blur!) The biggest hit was the bouncy chair with the toys. By "hit" I mean, worked for 10 minutes at a time. But because I had the stations I could rotate them around. It wasn't that fun though; I think it would be hard over a 6 week period.

Also, I'm a writer and when my son was littler I would sometimes work standing up (laptop on a dresser) with him in the sling and sway to music. But if I remember right he was a bit younger than your little one, who might not be into music - also, it was hard to concentrate.

The whole first two years, things change so quickly - it's hard to predict what will be doable. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Hopefully other people have other ideas for you.
 

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Quote:
My question is mostly for WAHMs who have other things they need to get done and who also have little ones at home. How do you get your work done?
I got childcare.

I think WAH without childcare for infants, toddlers and preschoolers is really really hard. Not impossible - nothing is impossible - but very stressful, especially if you are working on deadlines, have client meetings (even by phone when a kid screaming is definitely disruptive), or need uninterrupted time to focus.

The times when I didn't have childcare and I needed to work with an infant, things I did that worked okay (never for long enough, and never consistantly):

1. bouncy seats/swings

2. baby in sling/bjorn, me bouncing, laptop on the bar so I could work while standing up.

3. NAK (I moved my laptop and papers to a sofa and worked while baby was nursing/snoozing)

4. worked in the evenings when DH was home, and spent the days doing whatever I could during naptime.

5. videos (baby einstein can cause a kid to zone out for 30 minutes or more).

Also, you can try to get a mother's helper.
 

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-Get a big pillow that baby can lay on in your lap and nurse/play while you work.

-Get a laptop and set it up in bed so that the little one can sleep/play next to you while you work.

-Let go of some of the chores. If you have a deadline, it won't hurt to let some things go until you meet your deadline.

-My priorities are kids first, then paid work, then everything else. I make sure all of the kids have their needs met and then I work. My oldest was very needy and needed to be held by ME and nobody else. Having a helper just didn't work unless they were doing the cleaning and cooking.
 
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