Since Juliana was born, I have been desperately trying to figure out how to be productive working at home with her around. When I get a spurt of creativity, I would love to rush to my computer and start writing until I can no longer keep my eyelids open. Juliana has other things in mind for me.
Even though I absolutely love to play with her and go on our long walks, I really need to learn how to focus my extra energy on work. Where did my willpower go? I have yet to find the magical formula that others who work at home use, but I can tell you what does not work.
- Sit on the sofa with your laptop and the baby next to you with her toys. You will look at her more than your monitor.
- Sit your baby on your lap while you work at your desk. You will be oohing and aahing as she bashes in your keys, grabs your coffee mug, or tugs on your wires. She even knocked my laptop onto the floor twice! Thankfully, it was unharmed.
- Place the baby in her playpen in a different room. You will be wondering if she is okay and checking in on her every 2 minutes when you hear her making funny sounds. I did this once and realized it was completely ineffective.
- Have the baby sleep in a different room than where you are working. You will wonder if she is awake, how she is doing, and why she is sleeping so long.
- Have the baby sleep in the same room. You will try not to make any noise and keep looking at how cute she is while sleeping.
- Have your camera or phone nearby to snap photos. Once she does something cute, you will start focusing on taking pictures instead of your work. I lost entire mornings due to this!
- Situate her so that it is possible for her to keep dropping her toys out of reach. You will spend the entire time reaching to pick them up.
- Give her to your husband or significant other to take care of. Every few minutes he will call you into the room because she is doing something adorable or you will hear their laughing and want to join in.
- Give her a new toy at the beginning of the workday. Her excited face and curiosity will draw you away from what you are trying to focus on.
- Dress her in something adorable. This is guaranteed to distract you from work because you will not stop looking, photographing, and playing with her. Stick to basic, everyday pajamas and hide the princess dresses.
Yes, I have lost all willpower and self-control after she was born! I never thought it would be so hard to focus with her around. Some days are better than others – when I am extremely motivated and she is very preoccupied with her toys or sleeping. At least I can get some work done before she wakes up in the morning and during her naps. For instance, I took her out for a walk right before writing this post and she slept for about 15 minutes after returning. She has been awake in her stroller for the past 10 minutes and completely content playing with her hands and looking out the glass door.
I was able to get more done when she was a newborn because she was mostly interested in nursing and napping. Now if I try to nurse while on the computer, she stops until both hands are back in her eyesight. She wants to see everything that I do! When she begins to crawl or walk, I will really be in trouble. Oh well, at least she is my favorite distraction.
Are you productive at home with a baby? What are some do’s and don’ts that you found?