We had our first child, a little girl, in 2014 when we were still somewhat “spry” as 34 and 35 year-olds. Four years later, we had our son, and I don’t know if it’s the effect of being 4 years older or the fact that we were 4 years out of practice, or the fact that we both have assumed more responsibility at work, we are worn out! My wife is staying home from the office for 13 weeks to serve as the primary caregiver for our son but is still responding to supervisor and client correspondence. I’m still working full-time, unable to escape the inevitability of my team or our partners requesting my presence in meetings and events. Even though the ‘operational tempo’ has been fast without a lot of sleep in caring for him, we’ve been able to maintain a good balance between caregiving and work. Here’s how we’ve done it in the first three months.
Coffee! Yes, of course that’s a given but when you’re waking up at 3am and little man doesn’t want to go back to sleep so you start start on work projects on your laptop using one hand and rocking or cradling him in the other, good, strong coffee is an absolute must. I recommend ordering Black Rifle Coffee Company which can easily be ordered and shipped for free within 2 days (including weekends!) on Amazon Prime. Besides being incredible coffee, Black Rifle is also a veteran-owned business so I never pass up a chance to buy veteran first!
At first we did the typical both wake up in response to baby crying or grunting or moving or well, making any sort of noise while in the Halo swivel bassinet next to our bed. After learning that you want to start training your newborn to sleep in their crib as early as possible from our first child, we moved him out of our room and out of the bassinet to his crib within two weeks and employed a remote Motorola baby monitor to respond to feeding time. Another lesson learned from our daughter that we used with our newborn son was replacing the standard issue crib mattress with a much more comfortable Graco crib mattress plus a simple bed wedge underneath to elevate him for better burping after feeding. You can find most of these items on Amazon, by the way, and having Amazon Prime was a savior this time around as our son came earlier than anticipated, leaving us less time to prepare the amenities in his room, to include having to buy a new changing table last minute.
In terms of keeping up with work, I rely on a variety of tools to help my ensure my foggy new Dad memory doesn’t fail me in meeting deadlines or maintaining productivity. For example, I use Evernote to track all of my important projects, meeting notes, ideas, strategic plans, and all of my hopes and dreams.
Speaking of my foggy new Dad memory, we rely on the Google Home app and assistant to help us add items to our grocery shopping list, find out the weather forecast, and traffic jams in the mornings.
Ok, back to Evernote. It’s a dynamic app that allows you to type notes, save links and articles, take pictures of hand-written notes from meetings – which allows for keyword search ability even if your handwriting is bad like mine. The premium subscription isn’t much at all and totally worth the peace of mind. At NextOp, we are proud Google Apps for Small Business users meaning Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Calendar all help us drive our business and allows us to access everything on-the-go from the road recruiting veterans into industry careers. Productivity reigns when you don’t have to wait for antiquated systems to download your email, sync your calendars or queue your calendar when you’re operating such a fast-paced, lean team of amazing people.
So, whether you’re a new mom or dad seeking some solutions on how to stay productive as a valuable teammate while also ensuring you’re meeting the needs of your newborn baby, there are tons of products and apps out there to try out. Send us some of the items you’ve used and had success with so we can share them with our community!
I hope you are off to a great 2019 and cheers to sleep in between baby and work!