Working From Home As a New Parent

Working from home has been a benefit I’ve always appreciated. Even prior to the pandemic, Webfor was a partially virtual office, working from home 2 days a week. So, I have ample experience working remotely. 

Then my wife and I had a baby (our first child, mind you). 

“It’ll be fine, I’ll just close the office door during the day,” I confidently told my wife prior to Oliver’s arrival. And I believed it’d be that easy — that my office door would act as a barrier to what was happening on the other side. I wasn’t totally wrong, but I certainly wasn’t totally right, either.

As a first-time dad who also works from home, I’m here to give you some tips and tricks to working from home with a baby!

Your Work Space

Ideally you have a room that is dedicated solely to work. However, I know first-hand that’s not always a possibility. In fact, my work space is a shared room with Oliver’s nursery. But that doesn’t mean I can’t make it feel like a solo work space. 

Ignore The “Other” Part of The Room

My desk area decorated with Funko Pops, a Tech Deck, and artwork

My desk faces a wall that I decorated with some drawings, signs, and a whiteboard that are just mine. I also have Funko Pops and a Tech Deck (IYKYK) on my desk; these are all things I’d have on my desk and cubicle walls if I were in an office, and it helps put me in the work zone when it comes time to clock in.

You Can Close The Door

While I often work with my door open, if I need to really be head down and focused with no distractions, I will close my door and put my earbuds in. Again, this is something I might do if I were in an office that helps me focus on the task at hand. 

My wife and I have discussed what it means when my door is closed — do not disturb. But if she really needs me, she can always pop the door open and I know that it’s something worth interrupting me for. 

Since my office door doesn’t lock, this might not be a reliable way to focus once Oliver’s walking and talking… 

Follow a Schedule

Here at Webfor, we have a pretty fluid schedule. As long as we’re prepared for any meetings we may have, and in those meetings of course, it doesn’t really matter when we’re “on the clock.” But I know that, at least for me, sticking to a schedule is super beneficial to my productivity, work/life balance, and overall mental health. 

Before my son joined our family, I typically worked 7am – 3:30pm each day. Since his arrival, though, I’ve worked more like 8:30am – 5pm. Some days it’s closer to a 9am start time and 7pm end time because I’m taking breaks to help care for him. But I never start work later than 9am and I rarely stay on the clock past 7pm. Even that loose schedule helps me stay focused during the day.

Take Your Breaks

My son napping on me while on a break

Not only is it a great way to give yourself a little refresh part way through the day, a break allows you to go say “hi” to your kiddo, maybe even get a snuggle in, and then happily return to work. It helps you still feel connected to them during the day and check in with your partner on how the day is going for them. Besides, who would pass up a midday snuggle??

The days that I actively take a quick 5 minute break every couple of hours to see Oliver and talk to my wife, I tend to get more work done. Why? Because I’m not sitting thinking about all the “what if’s” of not spending time with them. Instead, I’m focused on work, then get a little break and see that everything is going great while I work, and I can happily return to my job even more focused. 

One thing I want to implement is taking a walk with my son and wife a couple times a week, if not everyday. This is something several of my coworkers do with their partners and children, and I think it’s so sweet. Plus, a walk is a great way to regulate yourself after a tough meeting or struggling with a task for example. The vitamin D and fresh air is also great for your mental health, and the daylight helps your baby differentiate day from night (meaning they will get into a circadian rhythm more in line with yours. That can be read as: more night time sleep!). 

Working From Home With a Kid is Truly a Blessing

Even with the challenges, I can’t imagine working and having a baby any other way. I cherish everyday that I get to wake up and feed Oliver before starting work. I’m eternally grateful to be able to witness all of his “firsts” first-hand because I work from home. 

I hope other parents, especially new parents, working from home find these tips useful. Whether you have a room fully dedicated to your office space or not, no matter what your schedule looks like, and no matter how many (or few) breaks you get in each day, I hope you remember to slow down and take it all in once in a while. 

Getting to work from home is a huge benefit for me as an introvert, but it also gives me the chance to be even more involved and present with my son at every stage. I will never take that for granted!

I’m curious — what are your best tips and tricks for working from home with a kiddo?