Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Pro's and Con's of Working from Home (with a baby)

Before my little one came along, working from home was great. I had my own hours, my own space, and most importantly, I had no one to answer to, but myself. I loved it.

But the real reason, I started the business from home, was so I could stay home and look after the baby at the same time.

Well, that was the plan anyway. 

Little did I know, in hindsight that, would have been the ideal situation. I had visions of making all these beautiful cakes, whilst caring for my perfectly behaved child. 

Well, that was the short-lived dream I had anyway.

When the little one came along, I decided to take a break from doing my cakes full-time. I was going to do a few cakes here and there, until I could manage to do more. After being away in confinement and at my parents place in KL for 2 months, I had to fly back to Sydney with the little one to fulfil a few cake orders. 

It was very stressful and extremely exhausting, to say the least, but somehow the cakes went out, and the little one was well-fed and cared for. I, on the other hand, had no time to myself at all. 

It is also safe to say, that when baby is still eating, sleeping, and not very mobile, that is the very best time to be still working. Albeit, I wasn't getting enough sleep, but still the work could still get done, when baby was asleep.

As time went on, the baby grew more complicated, and more mobile, somewhere around 7 or 8 months old. J was a backward crawler (or Monsieur Worm, as hubby and I used to call him), which meant he was pushing his legs on his back, to move. From one end of the living room, he'd push himself right across, till he reached the sofa. And then, he'd whinge a bit, till I came over, and turn him around, so he could do the same, in the the other direction.

Work still continued, slowly but surely, but seeing that I was so busy from running the business as well as looking after the little one, my milk supply also dropped quite rapidly. I still managed to nurse J till he was 7 months, and then, I just couldn't produce enough. This I believe, was due to the lack of rest, lack of nutritrious foods, high stress levels, and basically not looking after myself. 

Around 10 months, J, started crawling - so that meant, I had to watch him like a hawk! He was still putting everything into his mouth and loved opening and closing things. It became harder and harder to work while he was awake, so that meant I had to work at lightning speed when he was asleep. Thankfully, he still had his 2 regular naps everyday, so I could arrange my work schedule based around his routine.

He's almost 2 years old today, started a playschool, and only naps once a day. I have since moved back home to KL, and it is only with my family's help, that I can still continue to work from home and care for J at the same time. 

My cake business is something that I love doing, and thankfully, I get to do this from home. Sure, I miss out on company social events, medical benefits, annual leave, sick leave, and all the rest of it, but, I get to stay home and watch my son grow everyday.

And that is something money can't buy.

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