A Road Map for New and Expecting Moms Navigating Remote Work
We all know pregnancy and early childhood comes with changes, but we don’t expect the world around us to change quite this much in the meantime. And yet, it has. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed nearly every aspect of our daily lives in one way or another. Baby’s Best Start is dedicated to helping new and expecting moms handle everything life throws at them, no matter the degree of upheaval.
For many people, the sudden switch to remote work has been a major part of this new world. If you’ve been out of work since the pandemic and now you’re ready to get started, there’s a good chance you’ll be settling back in from home. Although working from home can be a big transition, it’s actually a great fit for parents with little ones, as well as those expecting. Here’s a look at some of the reasons why, and how to make the most of them:
When you’re pregnant (or recently were) a poorly fitting pair of pants can ruin your day. Some professional maternity pants are great for providing plenty of room for expanding bellies and gently cradling our post-pregnancy bodies and others...aren’t. Fortunately, when you work from home, you’re only really required to dress professionally from the waist up.
Take advantage and wear your favorite sweatpants, leggings, or PJ’s on your bottom half. Wearing comfy clothes is one remote privilege you should take full advantage of for as long as you need. A mental health note, however - once you no longer need your stretchy pants, think critically about whether or not you enjoy wearing them. Parents notes getting out of maternity clothes and back into your non-pregnant style can be an important psychological tool for adjusting moms. There’s no right answer here, just stay aware.
Pumping and Feeding Empowerment
We all know offices are supposed to provide safe, private areas to use your breast pump, but some mothers still wind up in utility closets - or worse, bathrooms. Working from home empowers you to pump - and even feed - on your terms. This can be an absolute lifesaver for some moms, who stress about the transition from home to work and how it will impact their breastfeeding journey.
One pro tip, however - be careful about pumping on meetings you think you won’t have to participate in. You never know when your knowledge might suddenly matter and you’ll be asked to turn your mic and camera on. You might be able to say your camera is malfunctioning, but there will be no explaining away the woosh-woosh-woosh coming through in your audio.
Regain Lost Time
Finally, remote work offers a gift new and expecting parents can’t get enough of - time. Quantified Communications points out that we don’t often think about how much of our lives is lost in commuting, but even a modest thirty minute drive into work means an hour of each workday spent on the road. When you work from home, you get that time back. It’s more time spent with your partner and your little ones; more time to knock out what needs done; more time to unwind at the end of the day.
Depending on your company and your role, you may even be able to inject some flexibility into your schedule. If you’re comfortable working in the evenings, for example, you can spend your mornings with your little ones and safe money on childcare. This can also be great for expecting moms, whose energy levels might not wax and wane in tandem with the traditional 9-5 work day.
Health and Safety
Finally, we’d be remiss not to acknowledge that remote work does reduce your risk of coming into contact with COVID-19. Although children tend to fare well with the virus, it does come with a little extra risk for babies under one. Moreover, we still don’t know what kind of impacts it has on babies in utero. Remote work empowers you to take only the risks you’re comfortable with.
In a time marked by transitions, adding a whole new one onto your plate can feel like a Herculean task. Remember, however, that there are a lot of positives to the situation. Remote work might just be the perfect fit for your family right now: embrace it.
Turn to Baby’s Best Start for more information and advice as you travel this miraculous journey.
- Joyce Wilson
Photo Credit: Pexels