Tips for Working Real Estate Moms

By
Commercial Real Estate Agent with Lebanon Property Management, Inc

My (first) child is now three months old and I am a working Mom.  I bring my son to work with me and occassionally work from home.  In addition, my office is a shared building in that there are two other businesses and a shared office manager in the same building.  That being said, crying-it-out is not an option.

The story of Eban (my son):  Eban was born six weeks early dispite my best efforts to eat right, not smoke or drink, exercise, and take my prenatal vitamins.  He weighed 4 lbs 10 oz and was very healthy for a preemie.  Even so, he had an 18 day NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) stay which is heartwrenching for any mom.  We quickly learned that Eban loved being held, swaddled, and rocked to sleep.  Although this kind of affection is perfect for the NICU, it did lead us to form some bad habits at home because we continued the trend.  Even now my son will wake 30-45 minutes after being put down into his crib and cannot fall asleep on his own, we still have to hold him to sleep...and if I want to sleep for more than 1 hour at a time we have to co-sleep.  Obviously these are not healthy sleep habits and we are working doublely hard to correct them now.  (we had the best intentions).

I offer this to you from what I've learned through trial and error, exhaustion (on both our parts), and tears (on both our parts).  I hope that this should find you before you should need it however, hopefully this could come when you need it most!

  1. Read a sleep book before you have the baby or as soon as practically possible, just like we ask our customers to do, it's a good idea to listen to the professionals.
  2. Plan to stay at home for the first three months, if possible.  This is especially important if you've had a preemie or if you choose to ease into sleep training.  Both instances seem to be two steps forward-one step back circumstances.  Also because babies really only begin to be able to hold enough food to sustain them for longer periods at this point, it's really hard to begin serious sleep training until this point anyway.
  3. Have a written plan before you start working - AND discuss it with your spouse or partner.  It's not just about the paycheck, if you are working from home you'll also need a clean workspace and the occasional uninterupted quiet so you can actually get something done.  A schedule is good for parents and baby!  Mine looks something like this:***Remember to keep your schedule flexible as the baby won't work on your time, only on his!***

6am Wakeup call (if baby doesn't beat the alarm

6-7 Get husband ready for work, get baby fed and changed - I make my lunch in the morning so I don't have to fuss later & can be more productive

7-8 Get baby and myself bathed, dressed and prepare milk for the next feeding

8-9 Baby's morning nap, when he goes down, I get to work! 

***Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize!***  Highlight this part of your day with a green highlighter - for $$$ -- whatever needs to get done first that is most likely to procure a paycheck including returning phone calls and emails so you know if there is any new items to add to the agenda as well. 

9-11 Second feeding, changing, playtime/walk - if baby is still awake by the end of this time, I use a front carrier to attach him to me & work on second priority items - returning phone calls, new leads, etc.

12 Naptime!  Lunchtime!  Since I've already prepared it, I eat at my computer & finish up any of the top two tier priority items.  

1pm Third feeding, changing, snuggling - Since I've already finished the high priority items, I am more relaxed and can focus on my baby for a bit.  Once he's comfortably playing or sleeping again I will work on maintenance items (recheck email, update website, blog, etc.)

 ***Having definite sections of your home/apartment for work, play, and sleep is sooooo important - for you and baby*** 

In the late afternoon and evening, focus on the household items that would otherwise distract you from working in the day.

Comments (7)

Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Amy, I had friends that had a Premie...It took their daughter a long time to acclimate to the real world after all the attention of a NICU Unit, She had her nights and days all mixed up.

 I couldnt imagine leaving the hospital with out my kids.. (both teens now)... You are right.. A schedule is EVERYTHING for kids, (adults too, I think it keeps us honest and moving in the right direction)

Nov 21, 2008 04:43 AM
Keisha Hosea- KASIHomes.com
KASI Homes - Chino Hills, CA
Real Estate Solutions For Real People

The life of a mom is filled every minute of the day. Best of luck to you and your family.

Nov 21, 2008 05:02 AM
Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio
Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro - Manalapan, NJ
Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate

Good luck Amy!

I thought it was tough being a working Realtor with a 13 year old and 7 year old at home.  It must be very difficult for you!   I hope you have a good support system!

 

 

Nov 21, 2008 05:24 AM
Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Seattle, WA
ActiveRain Ambassador

Amy,

My son was born six weeks early and weighed in at 5 pounds 5 ounces. He too had a NICU stay and we also had to leave the hospital without him. It was TOUGH! His NICU stay though was only 7 days.

I wish I had some advice to share, but by the grace of God our son has been sleeping through the night since he was 3 months old. There were a few cry-it-out sleep sessions in that time. We would just go into his room and soothe him in the crib. We wouldn't pick him up, we would just soothe him while he was still laying down and it worked for him. All babies are different though and you offer some great advice. Thanks!

(Now if someone could give me some advice on how to keep a 17 month old out of EVERYTHING and ANYTHING he can get his hands on. That's the advice I need now.)

That's not to say he didn't do plenty of what you see below :-)

 

 

Nov 21, 2008 06:50 AM
Amy Margolis
Lebanon Property Management, Inc - Lebanon, NH

Hi Everyone,

I apologize for not commenting right back, I only just realized that this is how you reply to someone's comments... :} 

Thank you so much for all of your support.  I will be chronicling the life and times of the working Mom series on a fairly regular basis, so please feel free to check back in with us from time to time. 

Best wishes and blessings to you and yours this holiday season!

Nov 26, 2008 05:35 AM
Monika McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area

Wow...it sounds like you have your hands very full. I'm glad your son is okay and home with you so you can all be together this holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 26, 2008 08:22 AM
geri wehry
RE/MAX Select R.E. - Covington, WA
your agent for life

Amy - I join you in the ranks of a premie.  My daughter weighed in at 4 lbs  6 oz and spent exactly two weeks in the ICU.  And the only reason she came home then was it was Christmas day and the doctor took pitty on me - she was not quite 5 lbs yet - the weight they wanted to release her. 

It is amzing how quickly time will pass and they will no longer be small, so enjoy it all while you can.  My "premie" baby girl turned 24 yesterday!  What a blessing she has been since the day she entered my life.  She has helped to mold and shape me into the person I am and forever I will cherish her and be thankful she is in my life. 

Best of luck to you and your family!

...geri

Dec 12, 2008 06:48 AM