Do you work at home with a baby or a kid? I did for a year while being the primary caregiver for our newborn. And it was awesome. And hard and weird too.
And of course, during those 12 months, I learned a few best practices that helped to make the experience fun for me, my kid, my wife, and I think the company I worked for too. At least, I mean, I never got fired anyway.
And today, in episode one of Dad Always Told Me, I’m going to share with you what those best practices are so that if you work from home with a kid or a baby, you can enjoy the experience, stay sane, do a great job, and plan for what’s next.
How to Listen to Dad Always Told Me
Seven Best Practices for Working From Home With a Baby
1) Nobody cares that you’ve got a kid. Don’t miss deadlines. Get your work done. Period.
2) Remember that you don’t have a job and a life and kids. You have a life that includes a job and kids. It’s all one big fun mess. So be okay with a schedule that isn’t always nine to five. Embrace the mid-day nature walks and the late-night work sessions.
3) Change your mindset about work time. Your goal is not to work for eight hours straight it’s to complete eight hours of work. So when it’s time, work! Be focused. Even if it’s only for 10 minutes.
4) You need to have a plan for the focused work time you get during the week. So make a list of important tasks each week and a smaller list of just a couple of items each day.
5) Show up to the dog and pony shows with bells on. That means when you’ve got important meetings, like a meeting with the boss, make sure you look good and are on time. And build up your bank of Goodwill by looking for easy opportunities to make your boss’s life easier or to go above and beyond.
6) Learn to accept a certain amount of chaos. Just accept it. Embrace it. Let the dishes sit in the sink for a bit. Never forget that being able to spend time with your kid during the day is an amazing gift.
7) Be honest with yourself about your ability to be a good parent and a good employee. Think ahead about what you can do if you need to change your situation. Plan now so you don’t make any panic moves if that situation changes.
Go to dadalwaystoldme.com and sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get a copy of this list and some of my favorite dad products, recipes, and frameworks to make something good out of the funny business of being a parent.
ABOUT THE PODCAST
Being a parent isn’t something you’re instantly good at. Instead, it’s a long process of learning how to mash together skills from other areas of your life—like your work and your hobbies—so you can do useful things for your family. Like learning to cook, fixing up the house, and setting good goals as a parent.
And that’s where Dad Always Told Me comes in.
Hosted by me, Josh Haroldson (@joshharoldson)—stay-at-home dad, problem-solver, freelancer, copywriter, chef, pro photographer, handyman, and everyday adventurer—each episode is a short (2-15 minute) exploration into the connections I’m finding between creativity, problem-solving, and the funny business that is life as a parent.
Of course, please, don’t take my advice too seriously. Or at all. This is meant to be a fun podcast that’s full of sweetness and light.
But, as Dads do, I’ll still try my best to share some easy—and possibly useful—tips, lessons, and frameworks you can apply right now to your life as a parent. You know, the kind of stuff I want to pass on to my kid so maybe one day he’ll say, “You know, Dad always told me…”
And remember. Don’t quit. Make it easy.