Knowing Your Own Limitations
One of the most important things in being a work at home mom with a new baby is understanding that you will have to work around the baby's schedule. Your new bundle of joy is not going to work around your schedule and you may as well accept this from the start. If you are married or partnered so that you can plan on having someone else there when you are working on an important project, this will be very beneficial. For the single moms, this is not nearly as easy. Some days you are simply not going to get as much done as you would like to. It is important that you use your time wisely.
Most babies will get into a routine of their own. Nap times will tend to be around the same time each day. For many new moms, it is important to get as much done as you can during those naps. Plan ahead and be prepared to work during play times and nap times. Have loads of toys that will occupy your baby's mind. Choosing age appropriate learning toys will keep them more involved for longer periods of time. Having a play pen or a baby gate that will help you keep the little one near you when you work will ensure that you are able to work and watch baby at the same time.
When All Else Fails
Having a back-up plan for those important projects and deadlines may be prudent. If you have a friend or family member who can serve as babysitter for a few hours on those particular days, it just may save your job from time to time. Just remember not to abuse that person by relying on them too much. Having more than one person available will also make sense. Obviously, you cannot rely on others every day of the week so it is very important to stick with routines when you can. There are going to be those times, however, that no amount of planning is going to help. When baby is sick or another sibling is sick (or any other crazy emergency that may come up) you simply cannot be in two places at once. Having back-ups in place is very important.
No one knows your baby like you do. Equally, no one knows your limitations as well as you do. Sleep deprivation is often the biggest thing that new parents complain about. Some babies will nap during the day but not sleep well at night. If you know this to be the case, you may be better off to take naps when your baby naps and plan on finishing your work at night if this is possible. Sleep may not be something that is easy to put on a schedule because, as we said before, the baby will be the one to set the schedule. New moms need their rest and should be very careful to get plenty of it. Remember that if you are exhausted you will have a hard time doing quality work, you'll be cranky and you'll have a very difficult time enjoying motherhood. Plan ahead, use routines to your advantage, have back-up plans and get your sleep!