After having a baby, mothers will likely feel pressure to put their careers on hold. This isn’t the only option, though! Many women decide to return to work soon after birth, either by taking time off or switching to flexible hours or part-time schedules. However, many new moms struggle with finding the right balance between work and life as they deal with new responsibilities at home and at work. Here are some suggestions for finding a balance between work and life as a new mom:
- Let go of your’ working mother’ guilts;
- Find other moms in your field: it helps to know you’re not alone;
- Focus on accomplishments, not tasks;
- Have an honest conversation with your boss;
- Share baby care duties with family members;
- Ensure you get quality sleep.
Let go of your’ working mother’ guilts
Getting that work-life balance right after having your first child can seem impossible. With all that’s on your plate, it’s tough to be anything but fully engaged with your baby, especially in those early weeks. However, finding time for yourself doesn’t have to take away from bonding with your little one. Letting go of guilt has to start with a commitment to stop blaming yourself for your choices. Identify the reasons behind your options and move forward.
It helps to know you’re not alone
It’s easy for working mothers to feel isolated because of social stigma, but it’s essential to know that you aren’t alone in struggling with work-life balance. Many women deal with similar issues, whether they are single or married; they either work full-time or part-time; they have kids who are school age or much younger.
It can help to know you aren’t alone—and that there are ways around some of your problems. For example, working moms can network by joining parenting groups or associations that will allow them to connect with other like-minded women. They may also find child care at their workplace (if available) very helpful in balancing their time commitments (and schedules).
Focus on accomplishments, not tasks
New moms are notorious for setting unrealistic goals for themselves—typically around chores or errands. But focusing on accomplishing tasks (or even finishing projects) is an exercise in futility since there’s no way you’ll be able to check them all off your list during nap time. So, don’t sweat it! Make sure you do things like eat healthy meals, relax with your partner (and/or friends), go out on dates (with each other), get enough sleep and set aside at least one day each week; that’s just for fun. These are things that will actually help you be more productive when you’re back at work full-time!
Have an honest conversation with your boss
While it might be hard to discuss how you’re feeling with your boss, getting what you need from your job is often necessary. Tell them about how difficult it is for you to juggle work while also caring for a newborn. If possible, suggest some flexibility or solutions that can help make things more manageable for you. Your boss probably wants nothing more than for you to be happy at work and may have suggestions of their own on how they could accommodate some of your needs. Remember: An open dialogue goes both ways!
Share baby care duties with family
Rather than trying to juggle everything solo, make an effort to share baby care duties with your partner and family. Remember, raising a child is a team sport—so make sure you include others in any way you can. The more hands-on- deck you have for day-to-day tasks, the easier your transition back into work will be—and it’s much easier for you to enjoy those precious moments as well! In fact, studies have shown that mothers who co-sleep with their babies are less stressed out by their jobs since they can maintain that all-important bond with their children.
Ensure you get quality sleep
The first step in finding that work-life balance is making sure you’re getting quality sleep. Otherwise, your body and mind will be operating at much lower levels than they were when you worked for yourself—not an ideal situation when returning to work. First, take inventory of how well you’re sleeping now compared with before your baby was born. If it has taken a hit, those hours back into play as soon as possible. Investing in an ideal mattress is also a good idea. No need to break the bank, but good sleep is also vital, especially for new moms – so make sure your bed is both supportive and comfortable.
Work from Home challenges
If you work from home, your employer may be flexible when it comes to when you need to take time off. Find ways to manage your office job so that your baby’s needs don’t interfere with your work. But what if you have an elder kid too? Kids nowadays have online classes, and the ones up to Grade 5 need a parent’s support to attend these classes, figure out the ever-changing syllabus and seek help finishing assignments. If your spouse or other family members share the workload with you, all of this will be a cakewalk.
A pat on your back!
Being a mom is a truly gratifying experience. Being responsible for another human being means juggling work with family, figuring out childcare, making sure that your children are healthy, all while trying to stay sane. Hope you loved these tips. Now, if you feel fully confident to give it a shot, why not give yourself that well deserved pat on the back!