Naysayers may assert that starting a new business at the same time you’re welcoming a new foster baby is that it’s timing at its worst. As with most things, it depends on perspective: To you, it may be great timing as you don’t have to worry about things like parental leave, full-time daycare for an infant, or trying to find a private spot in a corporate office to discreetly use a breast pump.
If you start your business at home, you can retain the necessary flexibility for you and your baby’s new needs. Whether you are doing business or baby tasks, you will have days when you are feeling like you are doing them through a fog of exhaustion as you also navigate sleeping schedules. That’s why it is important for you to pay attention to your health — in particular, what you eat. Prepare yourself nutritionally with tips from Foster Today to feed your mind, as well as your body, at a time when both will be simultaneously challenged.
While it’s true that your new baby’s schedule will take over everything, you are not completely at their whim and can make gentle tweaks — even early on — to get them settled into a routine that is more predictable than random. You should also do as much during the day with your baby either in your arms or in a carry sling to help them learn daytime patterns versus nighttime ones. This helps you schedule that conference call during one daytime nap, then use another nap for your own rejuvenating snooze. Plus, it will help you get more predictable nighttime sleep.
Don’t feel guilty about laying the groundwork for these routines early on. It isn’t about rigidity; it’s about finding more predictability. Remember that if your infant was in a daycare or child care center, staff would operate under more of a predictable routine out of necessity. Many infants thrive in that more structured environment.
While you’re considering the optimum, balanced schedule for your baby, look for software that makes it easier to run your business. For example, a payroll app for small business can simplify the payroll process. A mobile app like QuickBooks Payroll allows you to review and sign pay stubs, pay employees, and create payroll reminders right from your smartphone.
Baby space, business space
If you work from home, finding a space for your baby is easier than if you are starting your business in an out-of-office location. To prevent interrupting your baby’s nap times with ringing telephones or the hum of a printer, try to set up the nursery or sleep space a distance far enough from your office to keep that noise to a minimum.
A baby monitor can help you peek in on your baby without disturbing them — as long as you don’t totally rely on that technology. And if you think a separate sleeping area isn’t possible, evaluate your closet space. You may be able to do some decluttering and combine closet items, allowing you to convert a roomy closet into a cozy infant sleeping space.
If a distant space isn’t doable — either at home or in an out-of-home office — consider a “white noise” machine for the baby’s bedroom or an area in your office to mute your business clamor as much as possible. Be mindful to not use it so frequently that your infant relies on it to fall asleep.
Finally, don’t forget that you will need to take the occasional break from both your business and, yes, your foster baby. Take advantage of a partner’s presence to indulge in self-care, like a massage or a lunch out with a friend. Even hiring a sitter so that you have time to perform weekly meal prep is a healthy favor to yourself and your baby.
The new business and new baby “startup” is likely to be one of the most difficult challenges you’ll face — but also the most rewarding, especially if you remember to take care of yourself. The business and baby bottom line is that you don’t have to choose one or the other to be a success at both.