Getting Real: The Ups and Downs of Working Full-time from Home (With a Baby and a Puppy)

Before I really begin, I’ll add in a disclaimer. I know I’m a bit crazy. Really. I fully admit that getting a puppy while raising an infant and working a full-time job is outrageous. No excuses, no justifications.

However.

I love my life.

Even in the moments where I’m broken down, wondering how I’m going to do it all, how I’m going to keep my sanity intact — I know how good I have it. I’m so very, very blessed.

So I thought I’d share a bit of how the days flow (and stumble) and some of my biggest reflections in all this chaos.

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6 am – Puppy whining from the kennel in the living room wakes me up. She is hungry more than anything else (grateful for her growing bladder size!) Puppy, Bo and I go for a walk around neighborhood for at least 30 minutes.

7 am – I make green smoothies for me and the husband, brew a strong pot of English Breakfast tea, pull out the laptop and dig into work until Anthony wakes up. Feed the little one, put him in the pack-n-play and get back to work.

9 or 10 am – I put the little one down for a nap, exercise puppy more in the front yard – work from front porch or living room so I can watch the dogs too. Maybe brew one more pot of tea.

noon-ish – Feed puppy lunch. Feed me lunch. Feed Anthony lunch. We’ll go on a nice long walk to tire out the puppy, baby (and mommy!). The sunshine and fresh air does wonders for me!

1 or 2 pm – Put Anthony down for nap, usually lock up puppy in crate for meetings or heads-down work sessions.

3 or 4 pm – Afternoon break for me – Lock up the Puppy and do a 30-minute workout and quick shower. (If I don’t lock her up, she crawls over me during every crunch or pushup.) Work a little more or, if Anthony wakes, I feed him and play with him a bit.

5 pm – Feed dogs dinner. More work time and rotating dogs in and out of the house as needed. Anthony sometimes goes down for another nap (this boy loves, and needs, his sleep).

7 or 8 pm – Husband gets home, dinner and family time. We’ll go for a nice long walk together too and aim to visit family who live close. Start bath, feed and play with Anthony.

9 pm – Puppy goes to sleep – the house is blessedly peaceful!

10 pm – Anthony goes down for the night. (We’ve tried getting him to sleep at an earlier bedtime — it didn’t quite work.) Sometimes I jump on and work a bit more if there’s a project I really want to wrap up.

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I have my laptop, paper calendar, a notebook, pens, 48-ounce Nalgene of water, 32-ounce Yeti full of tea and a baby monitor on me at all times throughout the house, out on the porch or in the front yard… and the craziness works for me.

Every moment counts. Facebook rarely happens except on my phone in the mornings and at nights. My husband and I usually require about two days to watch one 45-minute show. And I don’t sit down much when puppy and baby are awake.

But I’ve been way more active, way more healthy, way more productive than I ever have been.

  • I am working out almost every day. I haven’t done this in 8-9 years.
    I have been blogging weekly for more than a month now. I haven’t done this in 3-4 years.
    The house is perhaps less cluttered than it ever has been. Because puppy and baby seem to eat everything.
    I find myself living more in the moment. Because it’s all about taking a walk, feeding a baby, working in short bursts. These require focus.

Careful note here: There are certainly ups and downs to this. Some days are different and perhaps Anthony doesn’t want to play by himself or he gets out of his nap schedule and refuses to sleep. Still, this covers most days. And I also realize a lot of this will change when Anthony can no longer be contained by a pack-n-play or bouncer.

  • Here’s a bit of the uglier side:
    Laundry sometimes sits in the hamper, clean and unfolded, until we wear every piece and it all needs to be cleaned again.
  • My sink is continually full of (rinsed off) dirty dishes. I usually just pull the clean dishes from the dishwasher as I go.
    The chickens and backyard are woefully ignored. But they’re fine with that, as long as I feed em.
    My Roomba is the only thing that keeps the floor semi-clean. Roomba = seriously best invention ever.
    Dust… well… Let’s not really go there.
    I’m about three months behind on filing our miscellaneous paper stack, probably a month behind on paying at least one bill. But the lights are still on!
    I rely on Instacart, Amazon Prime Now and Amazon 2-day delivery for #allthethings.

And it’s okay. I love my life. I love my job and being part of a team that supports me on the days where Anthony might need to join in on a meeting because he wants to be held. I love the animals and flocks of beings that surround us. I love the random quirks in our house and the things that I need to work on in myself (like folding laundry within the same calendar month…)

Life is messy. Life is beautiful. Life is your own to shape.

More about Nicole

Community Champion at Buffer ~ writer ~ reader ~ urban homesteader ~ former rodeo queen ~ @nmillerbooks