It’s been 6 months into my new job (not so new anymore) and now I finally feel equipped to write on it. This blog is for all the moms who are looking at getting back to work after a break, especially ones who don’t have support at home to look after the baby. Nuclear families- pin this one up!
First of all, being a working mom is exhausting, but empowering. It’s all about planning, scheduling and manoeuvring. Life isn’t the same anymore. But hey, no surprises there!
I love my job, and I’m proud of building a foundation for my child to look up to; that while he is the centre of my universe, I don’t necessarily rotate around him all day. Much to the chagrin of many aunties who feel “hawww, she has left her child at day care to have fun by herself”. This post isn’t for them.
In the past 6 months both of us as parents have made adjustments in our life(&lifestyle). Here are few things that really work for us, and it’s still WIP:
- Prioritise and plan ahead
I usually already know in the night what I’m going to pack in my son’s daycare bag next day. From the clothes to the food items. It’s already thought through. What I don’t bother about on weekdays is folding laundry. I focus on putting things in their right place every night after the kid is asleep. That way I maintain my sanity on seeing a clean house when I wake up. :-) Win-win situation.
- Get additional pair of hands
Mornings are a relay race for us. From making breakfast for the family, to massaging my son, bathing and playing with him, I also love to dress up well for work. So how do I do it all? I got a house help whose job it is to just play with my son while I get ready. That way we don’t get worked up if he is not letting go of us. Over a course of time he has understood that mommy will play with me soon.
- Fill-in for each other
While one of the partners may have a more challenging work-life than the other, it’s important to offer help. Just the gesture itself works magic in an otherwise uninspired day. But also be the first one to take over. Don’t wait for the other person to ask for help. Seeing you they will also understand your need for space and time.
- Don’t carry work-stress home
The first glimpse of my child vanishes away all my work-related worries. I ensure that I don’t talk irritably at home after a hectic day. That lowers the spirit of everyone at home. While work is always revolving in my mind, when I’m at home I only attend to work that is absolutely necessary. This way the child doesn’t feel left out or insecure.
- Forget the guilt
I continued breastfeeding my child even when he is 16months old to ditch the guilt. But it’s exhausting to not have slept through the night since more than a year. Mommies, in the end you gotta do what you gotta do.
Honestly I feel the daycare does a better job of keeping my child mentally occupied than I can do all day by myself. They have many set of hands and professionals who know what is age-appropriate. Monkey-see-monkey-do: it’s amazing how much children can learn from other kids.
As for what others think about you and your career aspirations- that’s not for you to ponder. They’ll keep busy thinking of you and how you manage your life. Surprise them by your confidence and happiness in following your dreams.
- Make friends who understand you
Positive people add sparkle to your life. Having a group of girls who can help out and pitch in when needed is very important. They may or may not be working. But if they don’t help out when you need them to then maybe you need to do a reality-check of your friend-circle. Luckily I have a group of girls who are like family to me. They have always understood my challenges and help out even without asking. That’s the power of positivity.
- Do things you love
No need to change your entire life after having a child. Apart from work, you still need to focus on things that you love to do. For example, I love baking randomly. I paint when I feel an outburst of emotions. And I’m also busy writing a book these days (this might take longer than I think it would).
- Appreciate your partner
You have no idea how much this changes our attitude in life. From being a wife who is constantly complaining about what the husband isn’t doing right, I started seeing the positives in what he is doing. Just by changing my outlook, and expressing my appreciation in words, I started feeling happier and more empowered to balance work, life and baby.
In the end it’s all about teamwork! Plan holidays with family, dining out and chilling together on weekends. Not only will it have a great impact on your personal-life but also give you more impetus to perform better at work.