Juggling a newborn with your writing isn’t going to be easy. I remember the first time I had to do it, and while she wasn’t a newborn when I went back to work, I did have to rearrange a few things to make it all work. This time, my daughter will only be a few months old when I return to work.
I thought I’d share some effective tips that I found worked really well last time. Hopefully they’ll help you with juggling writing and a newborn.
Set a Loose Schedule
Don’t overpack your day with work and clients. While you should do this anyway, when you have a newborn it’s even more important to avoid.
A newborn doesn’t stick to a schedule. One day she may be an angel and let you get through everything. Other days she may spend the whole time screaming the house down! I’ve had this and I’m not even back to work. My plans have been scuppered and I’ve had to do things late at night when I’d rather be sleeping.
If you have a loose schedule for your return, you know you have more time to get everything done.
That doesn’t mean you can miss deadlines. Sometimes you’ll find you’re working late at night to get everything done, but what else is new as a freelance writer?
Ask for Help
Never be afraid to ask people for help. You may have parents who live close by and can take the wee one from your hands for a few hours. I’m not one of those lucky ones.
Another option is to contact friends or hire a babysitter. My elder daughter goes to nursery three days a week and we’re considering putting the younger one in when it comes to me returning to work. It will all depend how things go.
Just don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s no point in struggling when you know you have friends around.
Be Willing to Move
No, you don’t need to move house! We did that with a newborn and it was a nightmare; never again.
I mean, be willing to move around the house. You may work better in your office, but your newborn may not like it. You may find the computer is the better option, but you can’t quite get your newborn’s favorite place to lie in there.
When I had my first daughter, I used the laptop and I’d move all around the house with her. She loved her bouncy chair, so the couch became a favorite place but we also had a futon. My newborn is too little for the bouncy chair, but it will become an option when she is a little older to see if it works the same. Right now, I’m able to move her Moses basket next to my computer and work from there.
Write When Baby Sleeps
Yes, you will usually be told to sleep when baby sleeps, but it’s not always possible. The world doesn’t stop and you need to find time to write.
I always used my elder daughter’s nap times as the perfect time to plough through work. It was quite and I wasn’t having to rock something with my foot. When she got to the point of being able to hold the bottle, I also used that time to write. I just made sure she was very close so I could get to her instantly if necessary.
You’ll find the best times for your newborn. Some will be happy playing on a playmat for an hour or so, and this could be your perfect time to write.
Don’t overwork yourself when it comes to juggling writing and a newborn. The last thing you want is to miss out some precious time with your child and be in a zombie state so you can’t write well. Using these effective tips should help you get started and see some success as a work at home mom or dad.