Mom next to a baby with laptop on her lap

Working From Home While Fostering Babies: Tips for Success

Fostering little ones is both challenging and rewarding. Babies and toddlers require an immense amount of your time and energy. Remote work gives you the flexibility to provide care for a child while still earning a living, but it also comes with unique challenges.

 

It may seem impossible to balance your work obligations with your foster child's needs. However, you can nurture a child while achieving your professional goals with some planning and tips.

 

Visit Little Teether for unique teething toys and accessories that are safe for your child!

 

Connect With Support

Find others who have similar situations to you. Statistics show that more than half of all child maltreatment cases involve children under six. You gain many benefits when talking with people who understand being a foster parent or juggling work and baby schedules. You feel less alone, gain access to resources and information, learn tips and tricks, make friends and build new skills.

 

Design Your Space

Carefully plan your workspace to ensure productivity. Dedicating an area of your home for work tasks helps you focus. Ensure you have the tools to accomplish your jobs and stay organized. Keep your room neat and clutter-free to eliminate distractions. Set up a safe space for your little one to play nearby.

 

Schedule Your Day

Strategize for success by sticking to a schedule as much as possible. Get up early to accomplish tasks before your little one awakes and plan meetings or phone calls during nap time. Designate time to give your child undivided attention. Toddlers and babies thrive when they have a routine, and you will get more work done, too.

 

Provide Play Opportunities

Ensure your foster child has toys, books, and other forms of entertainment while you work. Allow them time to listen to music, watch a program or play an educational game. Rotate items every few days to give them something "new" to play. Consider swapping babysitting services with another parent or arranging for childcare on certain days of the week.

 

Structure Freelance Work

If you have a freelance career, it is up to you to stay on task, gain clients and collect payments. Use software and other online tools and resources to simplify processes. For example, you can ensure you get paid on time by creating a professional invoice system.

 

Earning a Business Degree to Improve Job Prospects

Earning an online business degree can dramatically increase your job prospects and benefit your career in countless ways. Through engaging coursework in subjects such as accounting, management, economics and marketing, an online business degree adds value to your skill set that can be leveraged for promotions or higher salaries at current job positions. This is a good option to consider for busy parents who prefer to learn at their own pace.

 

Create a Self-Care Plan

Attending to your needs can quickly go by the wayside if you do not incorporate them into your agenda. Neglecting self-care can adversely affect your mental health, making your work and parenting tasks more challenging.

 

Be diligent about getting enough sleep, eating nutritious food, and taking time to destress during the day. Take breaks outside with your child, practice deep breathing techniques, or call a friend for a quick chat. Designate specific days off each week and set boundaries with coworkers and clients, so you do not fall into a habit of working around the clock.

 

Set Yourself Up for Success

Caring for your foster child while working at home requires planning. Prioritize your workload to tackle essential items with a singular focus. Schedule deep work during times when you have minimal distractions. Turn off your phone, snooze notifications, and stay away from social media while you finish job tasks.

 

With strategies in place, working from home while fostering little ones can give you the best of both worlds. If you create a schedule, design your space, earn an online degree, and remain flexible when the plan goes out the window, you and your child will benefit.

 

Author: Emily Graham

Image via Pexels

10 Gift Ideas for Parents of Newborns

Recently, my husband and I welcomed twins to our family of four. It took three births, but I was finally able to voice some of the things that made sense to get as newborn parents. This is the result, 10 Gift Ideas for Parents of Newborns

Dinner...or breakfast (fresh baked bagels are a HIT here), or lunch, or coffee from Mom's favorite coffee shop (I'd pay for a Starbucks skinny iced peppermint mocha vanilla latte {hold the peppermint mocha because it can deplete milk supply} or iced right now). Gift cards for local delivery places (sadly, I only know of pizza in our town). Bonus points for freezer crock pot meals. More bonus points for home cooked meals ready to eat with no heating or takeout delivered fresh and ready. (Easter dinner was on the table the day we came home and I was SO thankful. I've also remembered how much I heart soup and salad.) Dinner at the hospital is another bonus...sadly, I had to turn this down due to diet monitoring for the girls' weight and my iron levels, so ask ahead before bringing one's favorite college meal (Mad Mex was honestly offered to us, you know that was hard to turn down) to the hospital. Can't do a whole meal? I scarfed down a nice cupcake or 2 along the way, too!

Newborn Photo Session Our hospital offers professional newborn shots, including a package of digital shots with the rights to print / share the photos. Consider a gift card for this if applicable (Bella Baby is the Magee photographer) or pick your / the parents' fave local photographer and schedule them for a session. (I've been told 48 hours to 10 days old is ideal. I totally missed the boat on an at home session and am admittedly bummed out because I have no photos of all 6 of us in the squishy, comfortable stage I really wanted to remember...and no cheesy posed cheesecloth and headband shots like I wanted.)

Birth Announcements or Thank You Notes A gift card to an online retailer who does photo cards would be an awesome gift...even better if you help Mom create the birth announcement or if the site offers to ship for her. Thank you notes, in my mind, should be personalized as often as possible, but I think new parents get a pass on this one. I personally wrote all of ours so far...but could use some more cards (or a ride to the store), addressing help, stamps, and/or a trip to the post office. Trying to remember it all and thank in a timely fashion is tough!

A Phone Call or Visit This is powerful. I specifically remember calls from one of my aunts after all three births. (This most recent one included a 2nd call to support me through a tough time with the hospital staff.) She probably doesn't know it, but she was the only caller I had on the hospital phone with the twins' stay and integral in lifting my spirits at JUST THE RIGHT MOMENT after all three births. Our realtor (and friend) called us to congratulate us - some people are incredible at making the simplest actions mean the most. We had lots of precious visits from family and friends, all just the right length, during our hopsital stays, too. And visits at home have kept my sanity (especially with Greg going back to work) and helped with some of my other suggestions below.

Grocery Shopping I didn't think this one out before delivery, but our first grocery trip was going to be a daunting task. Two carts, each with a twin in a car seat. No way. Thankfully, I gave my list to a cousin and she handled the task then helped Greg put it all away. Huge time and energy saver. Maybe your local grocer has online ordering with curbside pickup -- offer to help make the order and do the pickup. Even better if there's a delivery service near you!

Cloth Diaper Prep We will be going to cloth once the girls we more "normal" (non runny newborn) movements. Our fluff stash is a mix of new and used cloth, and I opted to wait to prep until they were born. Not sure what I was waiting for, but the day is coming soon when we will switch and I have about 60 diapers that need love. If cloth diapers are your thing and a loved one is going this route, offer to help. Not doing cloth? Bring a pack of diapers (know this the size or bring a size 2 or wipes) when you visit. This takes care of a few awesome gifts at once (no store trip, diapers, and a visit).

Rides to Appointments Most new moms can't drive themselves for 2 weeks (I will be much longer at this point), and many dads don't get the time off. Both mom and baby likely will gave appointments in the weeks following coming home and may need a ride or company...or a.stop for a favorite coffee or milkshake. Personally, I've been glad Greg can go with me because my appointments haven't been fun; however, now that he's back to work, my schedule is going to be harder to manage. Bonus if you score a pedicure appointment for mom post doctor visit.

Want to see the other three ideas? Check out the rest of this post on lilburghers.com!