Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Working Outside the Home

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I have had lots of requests from moms to share information on how to implement Babywise while working outside the home. Since I have no experience with that, I turned to my friend Bethany. Bethany even went so far as to create a blog for Moms who work outside the home! Be sure to check her out here: http://thegracefulmom.com/

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My husband and I both work full-time.  We have two energetic children, 3 years old and 18 months old.  Without Babywise, I cannot imagine how we would manage.  I think I appreciate it more even now than I did with a newborn.
We first heard about Babywise from my step-sister and my sister-in-law.  We witnessed firsthand the success that they had with their newborns, and it truly complimented our parenting style and philosophies.  To this day, we are strong advocates of sleep, routine, and first-time obedience.
I think the biggest things that makes it hard to incorporate Babywise as a working parent is that you are not always physically there to implement it.  I was quite naive about daycare and shocked to realize that much of the effort I put in during my 12 weeks of maternity leave could be lost in a matter of days.  I was also blown away by how hard it would be to return to work.
The best advice I can give to any working mother, especially if you are trying to incorporate Babywise principles, is to find a high quality childcare provider.  If you are not satisfied with your provider, you will probably be constantly torn and conflicted about working.  Changing childcare providers was probably one of the most important contributors to being at peace with returning to work.  It was not easy, and it took months to find another solution.  Ultimately, we hired our own sitter/nanny, and it is one of the best decisions we have made.
I have been blessed beyond belief to find nannies that are even better at incorporating Babywise than I am, in some aspects.  We have still been able to add structured Babywise activities, such as independent play.  My kids are with their sibling all day, and they get to nap in their own bed for a full nap every day.  That does not mean that my priorities have to be your priorities, by any means.  Daycare can also be very structured in the older toddler rooms, but I truly appreciate the control and the close interaction with my caregiver that we have. 
No matter which kind of caregiver you choose, make sure that you communicate closely and effectively.  I would encourage you to use some sort of daily log so that you still have an idea of your child's daily activities and meals.  Our log has even helped me determine whether diaper rashes are from a recent dirty diaper versus not being changed enough.  Talk often with your provider and be open to their suggestions as well.
Realize that you cannot do everything.  Chances are you will not be able to incorporate all of the Babywise principles.  We have not done blanket time consistently (or often at all).  We have had nannies that are better at routine and structured learning than others. 
No matter what, make the most of the time you have with your children.  Live in the present with the time you do have.  PLAY, and play HARD.  Know that it does get easier in many aspects.  Your baby will stay awake longer and often have very little trouble with separation anxiety.  Babywise has given us the routine and structure to keep us and our kids well-rested and happy. 

7 comments:

Kristin said...

Nice to hear from a working BW mamma like me! I agree it is more difficult to implement when another is caring for your child most of the day. I honestly don't know how it would have gone down for us if we sent our DD to a regular group daycare. Luckily, she splits her time with my mom and husband where I know more about and can better help direct her care. If she were in daycare I can see myself being uneasy or unsure about 'pushing' BW onto them and letting more things slide. Glad I didn't have to and actually feel lucky she has so many loving people caring for her.

jrjones5876 said...

Thanks for this post! I am a working mom too. Babywise works wonders for us. My mother-in-law kept both my little ones until 18 months then they started daycare. I haven't figured out how to do independent play so any suggestions would be great!

Nika said...

This is a great post! I am a working mom as well, and we are a BW family. We sent our boy to daycare when he was 10 weeks old (already on a well-established BW routine). My main and only request was that our "teacher" followed our schedule, and she absolutely did. So I do think a quality daycare is key! In fact, our daycare told us that they follow any routine that parents ask for, so this has worked for us. Being in daycare did not hinder our routine and we have had a great eater and sleeper all along.

Jake Phillips said...

Women are natural multi-taskers, and moms are the masters. This invaluable skill clearly gained from growing a family, plays oh so nicely into the constantly changing demands of working.

nyc moms

Jake Phillips said...

Women are natural multi-taskers, and moms are the masters. This invaluable skill clearly gained from growing a family, plays oh so nicely into the constantly changing demands of working.

nyc moms

Jake Phillips said...

Women are natural multi-taskers, and moms are the masters. This invaluable skill clearly gained from growing a family, plays oh so nicely into the constantly changing demands of working.

nyc moms

Jake Phillips said...

Women are natural multi-taskers, and moms are the masters. This invaluable skill clearly gained from growing a family, plays oh so nicely into the constantly changing demands of working.

nyc moms

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