How Many Hours per Day Should Full Time Working Moms Spend with Baby
Working as a mom is very hard. It is hard to find the balance to manage both your job/work as well as adequately parent your child with required love and attention. While moms working part time still find this a challenge, it is hardest for the moms who have to work full time.
Working full time denies you the time, energy and enthusiasm to participate fully in your child’s life. The best part of the day is spent at the office and the working mom still has to create and spend time with their baby after this. Therefore you may be spending too little time with your baby and hence may not connect or bond adequately.
However despite this challenge it is very important to spend some adequate time with your toddler daily. While there are so many factors that have to be considered, you should strive to spend at least 4 hours daily with your child.
As a parent, the number of hours that you spend with your child does not quite matter. Remember that eventually the quality of the time you spend with your child is more important than the amount of time.
2 hours quality time in the morning before reporting for work is better than 4 hours in the evening when you are all irritable, tired and worn out.
The time does not necessary has to be one long stretch. You can spread out across the day such as in the morning, noon and in the evening.
Strive for 1 to 2 hours in the morning as quality time just for connecting with your baby. If you are spending less than 30 minutes with your baby in the morning on weekdays, then it is too little. See how you can increase this or ensure that you compensate for this lost time.
In the evening strive for 2 to 3 hours as quality time just for connecting with your baby. If you are spending less than 2 hours with your baby in the evening on weekdays, then it is too little. See how you can increase this or ensure that you compensate for this lost time.
Best Time/Days to Spend Time/Bond with Baby when Working Full Time
1. Weekends are Perfect for Baby Bonding
Some times and days are better for spending with your child if you are a full time working mom. The best days that you can have adequate and non-interrupted time is during the weekends. Most full time working moms are not required to work on weekends.
You can hence get the whole days for the entire weekend just to bond and connect with your baby. The weekends are therefore the best days you can plan to spend with child. As such plan for mom-child time and activities such as play time, going out etc. during the weekends.
2. Use your Work Days off (PTO) for Baby
Off work days or Paid Time Off (PTO) are good for spending with your child. Your employer may give you some Paid Time Off (PTO) that you can use to give your child adequate and quality attention and time.
3. Spend Morning Hours with Baby
Other than weekends and time off, you can spend quality time with your child on specific times. Some of the best times you can spend with your child on weekdays are in the morning hours. If your baby is an early rise, you can take advantage and make a habit of spending some quality 1- 2 hours in the morning with your baby.
Morning hours are the best for spending and bonding with your baby because both of you are fresh and happier. You can hence manage to give your baby 1 – 2 hours of quality attention and care to your baby. At least one hour in the morning is adequate if you work full time.
If you have to leave early for work you can still make 30 minutes in the morning work by being consistent and planning ahead.
4. Use Evenings to Bond and Connect with Baby
Alternatively you can make your evening hours as solid time for spending with your baby. The time or hours after coming from the office or picking the kid from day and their bedtime is very adequate and important to spend as quality family time with your baby.
If you baby is not an early rise or you leave for work too early in the morning then the evening hours after work are perfect for bonding with your child.The evening hours are one of the best times you can spend with your baby as you can be involved in their evening routine. You can manage to bath, feed and put your baby to bed every day.
If you can manage to have dinner with your baby every day, it is one of the best times that you can spend with your child. Therefore making dinner time as family time is very important for full time working moms who are looking to create and spend more quality time with their children and family.
You can manage to get from 3-4 hours of the evening to spend from work. 4 hours of uninterrupted time in the evening is adequate and good quality time for connecting and bond with your child. However at least 2 hours is adequate.
Making this a tradition will ensure that you are giving your child the needed attention and time they require from you despite you working full time. All you need to do is decompress from work and switch off to home when off from the office.
5. Use Lunch Time as Baby Bonding Time
If you can manage, lunch time is also some good time that you can spend with your child. You should really take advantage of the lunch hour if you work close to your home.
Go home for lunch break every day. It is specially a good time if your baby is still breastfeeding as you get to breastfeed them at this time.
6. Connect with Baby During Daycare Drop off Or Pick Up
If your child is doing day-care, you can manage to have some quality time during the daycare drop off and pick up. If you have a long transit to daycare, it is one of the best time you can connect and bond with your baby.
During drop off, talk with your child about what they are looking forward to. During pick up, have them tell you about their day and what they were up to. The time together is quite quality as you can give uninterrupted attention to your child.
Simple Tips to Create Enough Time for Baby when Working Full Time
1. Have Work Boundaries
Creating and spending time with your baby as a full time working mom will depend on your ability to put work boundaries. Doing so will ensure that your work does not take time and energy that you have reserved for your baby
- Be strict on reporting hours and time for leaving office. Do not get to work early or leave late. Doing so takes away your precious morning hours and evening hours that you could have otherwise spent with your child.
- Say no to extra/uncompensated work. Do not take in more work than you are allocated. Always stick to your job description and politely say no to work that does not fall under your duties. Taking in more work takes your time and energy that you should be spending with your baby.
- Leave work at the office. Do not fall to the temptation of taking work home with you. If you do it means that you are still working while you should be spending this time with your baby. Ensure that whenever you are home you can give your babies purely uninterrupted time.
2. Practice Self-care to Fully Connect with Baby
If you will manage to give your child quality and adequate time and attention, you need to be in the right mind set. You need to take care of yourself so that you can care and give quality attention to your child.
You will not be able to connect and bond with your baby if you are very tired, irritable and sleepy all the time.
- Eat healthy balanced meals to give you energy and keep you healthy. You need to keep up with energy to work, play and match the energy of your baby.
- Exercise and keep fit for good physical and mental health. This way you can truly connect and bond with your baby whenever you have time.
- Have a hobby that gives you meaning and makes you happy. You need to create a life away from your job that gives you meaning whenever you are not working.
- Keep a supportive circle of friends and family around you. Being full time working mom is very demanding and exhausting. You need a support system that you can fall back on whenever you need help. Lacking this will make you irritable & unhappy and you may not enjoy the time you get to spend with your baby.
3. Make a Baby-Time Plan and Follow Through
You must ensure that you spend the most quality of time away from work with your family and baby. If you will manage to bond and connect with your baby as a mom while working full time, you must take full advantage and use of time. The best way you can give the baby full and uninterrupted attention is to plan for this time.
Create a plan of all time allocations that you intend to spend with your baby. It may include either early mornings before leaving for work or evening after coming from work or even both. Also include weekends and other days that you can spend with your baby.
Pick activities that you can do together with your child that will help you connect and bond. The activities will be determined by the age of your child and what they like doing. If your baby is an infant, you may not do much. If you have a toddler there are tons of both indoors and outdoor activities that you can do together.
Always ensure that you stick to the plan. While there many some unforeseen issues, try as much as possible to stick to do what you had planned out for yourself and your child.
4. Outsource Tasks to Save Time for Baby
If there are things that are taking up your time that you could use to spend with your child you need to get rid of them. You only have set hours of time and can only do so much. Avoid trying to do everything as this will take always take away time that you can use with your baby.
Create time by outsourcing things and services that take most of your time. It could include housekeeping, cooking, shopping, landscaping cleaning etc. Outsourcing these services leaves you with enough time to entertain and dedicate to your child.
You cannot give your child attention if you are trying to handle everything in your household. Outsource things that you don’t enjoy doing and are eating up time. Also do a time budget. Map out where your time goes. See if you can find shortcuts or combine things or tasks.