How A Pandemic Changes Your Work From Home Life

I’ve been a work-from-home-boss for years before the pandemic (hipster moment!) and the only thing that has changed my routine and business more was the birth of my child. Now with these two big players, my life as a boss has been flipped upside down, but in true mama fashion — I’m making it work!

With childcare bring ripped from my grasp — not just daycare but friends and family too! — my schedule and routine were thrown out the window, and I was stuck working during naptime again. That means that only behind-the-scenes work can be done, unless my husband has a day off. This worked out during the actual lockdown portion of the pandemic because my studio (indoors or out) was forced to shut down the in-person aspect, but once we got the go ahead to work physically-distanced appointments, it means I have to choose between spending time with my family or photographing someone else’s. It is such a hard decision to make, but ultimately I knew that in order to get my business through this mess, I needed to choose my business. Thankfully I get to spend all day, every day with my daughter (I am grateful, I swear!), and have a super supportive and understanding husband, and that I was even graced with the option to choose my business. MY business — this thing that I absolutely LOVE to do — needs my attention right now so that I get to enjoy everything later. This is all temporary — remember that!

So while my daughter sleeps — unpredictably on a good day, but she’s currently transition from two to one nap so it’s even more all over the place! — I tackle as many things on my business to do list as possible. Starting with things that absolutely require silence and no distracting baby, which means phone calls and video recording for social media. Some days I don’t get silence, so I focus on other tasks like retouching, print ordering, and social media captions. Blog posts like these usually get drafted during breastfeeding sessions or while she happily plays independently in her nursery and passive watching is good enough to make sure there are no accidental injuries, or let’s be real — in the bathroom! Hence why they (and social media) have been less frequent than when I was on a break from clients (thanks pandemic!).

I rely on hubby as childcare. That’s how it is these days because of the pandemic. When I need to travel to an outdoor client session, since they are usually in the evening, we get to enjoy an early dinner together as a family, and then he does the bedtime routine with her while I am out. It’s actually super great and I really like those days and wish there were many more in a week (and not just for the income — I truly enjoy them!). BUT for studio clients, I need the house empty for FOUR hours for the session, in addition to the prep time beforehand and the cleanup afterwards (which is now doubled because of pandemic terms, ugh!), so he needs to go out on adventures with her. With the pandemic, that leaves very few options — let alone the high odds of no nap for her! — so I haven’t offered them yet and have limited it to shorter administrative appointments.


stephanie de montigny SdeM handrawn initials ottawa blogger