Work At Home Mom: How This Brooklyn Blogger/Recruiter Makes It Happen

We are continuing our series of speaking with real moms and their strategies, challenges and successes of going back to work after maternity leave. So often moms are faced with this transition without much support or ideas of how to make it work.

Today we are talking about some ideas and strategies fro the work at home mom. Whether you run your own business, freelance, or work for someone else- working from home is a really great option. BUT it can be SO tricky balancing baby care and getting work done. I know first hand, because I'm still in it and my baby will be a year in six short weeks!

Today I'm so excited to introduce to our readers to Hailey Andresen of the lifestyle blog Household Mag. Hailey is a Park Slope, Brooklyn based lifestyle blogger and recruiter who has a newborn son, Owen. I reached out to Hailey to ask her how it's going for her working from home and taking care of Owen. She had so much to share and lots of wonderful insight. Below is an excerpt from Hailey, including some great tips to share for mom's who are planning their work from home "Back-to-Work Plan".  ~Jen

My name is Hailey Andresen. I started Household Mag. when I moved from Phoenix to Brooklyn this past spring after finding out my husband and I were expecting our first baby. I had always dreamed of starting a lifestyle blog, and this just felt like the perfect place and time to do so. Through Household Mag. I have shared my pregnancy, my journey into motherhood, my love for food and New York, and bits and pieces of our life here. My days are spent taking care of my son, Owen Drew, working (I also have a job as a recruiter), running the blog, and enjoying downtime with my husband, Zack.

Since I work from home I thought it would be easy to jump right back in. I have to admit I was a little overzealous. I started working again only two weeks after Owen was born which was just four weeks ago now, but it is crazy how much has changed since then. Owen’s schedule has become more consistent and I have learned a whole lot about what it means to juggle taking care of a newborn, working and pursuing my creative outlet – I’m also supposed to shower, eat and connect with my husband, right? Yikes. It’s a lot. Some days it’s just too much and I’ve learned that that is okay too. I’ve developed a unique schedule for myself that is incredibly flexible, yet makes every effort to get shit done. Here is what I’ve come up with.

This schedule is based on feedings not on the clock, because as I know now babies don’t come out on a schedule – imagine that! Now Owen is already doing super great through the night. If you’re a new mom and you look at this and think what the hell – don’t! Every baby is different. Feel free to add to the number of feedings and adjust as necessary. I start my schedule with the first feeding of the day, even if that’s technically in the middle of the night. If the between feedings task doesn’t work after that particular feeding then I just move it to the next spot.

There’s a whole lot of baby loving that’s going on that’s not in the “schedule”. What’s in the schedule are things aside from caring for Owen that I want to accomplish through the day and night. What’s helpful for me, is that as long as I take care of the day my husband is really great about coming home and fixing dinner and picking up the slack/giving me time to get work done if it was a rough day. If you don’t have that support things tend to get a little tricky and I realize just how lucky I am to have that. But regardless, here it goes:

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My advice to any of you who are currently pregnant and starting to plan for your maternity leave/work from home leave is to be generous in the amount of time you take for yourself if that’s an option. Working from home, while it may seem easy, can be tough to juggle while you are learning the patterns of your new baby and adjusting to motherhood if it’s your first time.

Try to prepare yourself mentally to the idea that there are going to be days where you don’t get EVERYTHING done. I’m fortunate enough to have a recruiting position that is very flexible and understanding of my situation. Prioritize what is most important and base your schedule and task list off of that, but don’t start a schedule on day one. Owen is six weeks old this week and I am just feeling like we are getting in a good rhythm. That being said it could all go up in flames tomorrow so as much as a schedule can be helpful know that it isn’t make or break. Look at it as a guideline!

One other thing that has made my life easier while working from home: order your groceries for the week and have them delivered Sunday or early Monday this way you have your fuel right at home! I’m breast-feeding so this is crucial, and I imagine it would be whether or not you are doing the same.

Thank you Hailey for these awesome tips! There's so many things I love about how she's set up her work life and baby care, but for starters she recognizes that every baby is different. This is so TRUE. And babies change over time- so any schedule needs to be flexible. I also love how Hailey's feeding schedule is not based on the clock- but rather the general pacing and intervals of feedings.  Babies create their own cadence with their food needs.

Also, I love that she has partnered with her husband so that he's the Parent in Charge (PIC) in the evenings after work.  This is so important ladies! After a long day home with baby and doing work, this can be a crucial time for moms to re-charge, and it's also a special time for partner's to bond with their baby after being gone all day. An alternate variation would be to swap the PIC in the morning, rather than the evening.

You can follow Hailey on Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest: @householdmagny

or visit her blog:

Do you have any work from home tips for other moms? Please leave us a comment below and tell us how you make it happen!

Jen Mayer