Dad’s Guide to Working from Home with Babies

By Sharon Perkins, Stefan Korn, Scott Lancaster, Eric Mooij

You may decide to be a SAHD who works from home. If you’re used to working with a lot of people or in a busy environment, suddenly finding yourself at home with a child and a laptop to work with can be strange, lonely, and a little boring.

You may be tempted to make yourself a cup of coffee every ten minutes, or feel unmotivated because you don’t have a work environment around you to keep that energy going. If you’re not self-disciplined or motivated, chances are working from home is not going to be easy for you.

You can do things to stop yourself from going crazy or being so lonely that you invite the meter reader in for coffee:

  • Have a routine for you and your child, so you can slot work in around when she sleeps. Having a structured routine allows you to more easily make appointments, schedule phone calls, or take part in online meetings. If possible, be flexible to allow for those days when your child’s unsettled.
  • Don’t be too ambitious with what you can achieve. You’ll have days when you can’t get any work done and other days when your princess is a dream who sleeps for hours at a time. Overcommitting yourself to your boss will just stress you out and make your fathering life more difficult.
  • Give yourself a few hours each day to get out and about — go for a walk or attend a planned activity like playgroup or swimming lessons. Most of all, use that time to see other people!
  • If you have face-to-face meetings to attend, check ahead of time to see whether you can take your child, or arrange for a sitter, friend, or relative to cover for you.
  • Be enthusiastic about the work you’re doing. Otherwise, you have to ask yourself whether it’s worth the stress of trying to do your job and be a SAHD (which is also a full-time job).
  • Make a work space in your house that’s just for your work. By having your own work space, you don’t have to set up your gear every time you want to work. You’re more likely to settle into productive work if you don’t have to clear the breakfast dishes away from the dining table to work at it while baby is sleeping. When your child gets older, explain to him that this is daddy’s office and not an indoor playground.