Post contributed by 4CTechnologies consultant Jennifer Edwards
Being a new mom to a wonderful almost 8 month old, working full-time and being a mother is so hard to balance. I know when I was pregnant, I thought I would be supermom but once I returned to work, I realized that wasn’t quite the case. Over the past six months since I’ve returned to work, I’ve learned a couple of things that might help all new working parents adjust to their new life.
Don’t Feel Guilty
Don’t feel guilty about going back to work; most families need both parents to work. It’s ok to look forward to going back to work and returning to your normal routine. Showing your children that you work hard every day teaches them good work ethic and dedication. Something that I learned that makes going to work easier is when I get home, I spend the first five to ten minutes cuddling my little one and reconnecting with my family before doing anything else. I look forward to those first minutes with my family all day which is what gets me through the day at work.
When deciding on who will be watching your child while you are at work can be one of the hardest decisions to make. Talk with friends, family or coworkers to see if anyone has recommendations for child care. Visit a lot of different childcare/daycare facilities and review the pros and cons of each. You need to feel comfortable with the people who will be watching your little ones while you are at work. With the use of the great technology today, like text messaging and video chatting, this can help you get through the day without being with your little one. For example, one childcare worker at our daycare sends me pictures of my son and gives me updates throughout the day. That makes me feel better knowing that he is having a good day!
Stay Organized and Plan Ahead
One of the first things that I learned when going back to work after having my baby was that I needed to be organized and prepared for the next day. Pack everything you can the night before, so that in the mornings it can go as smoothly as possible. Pack lunches, bottles, bags, and clothes, everything you and your little ones need for the next day. This makes your mornings more enjoyable and less hectic. This allows you to spend as much time as possible with your children before heading out for the day. Also, plan ahead for dinners; make your dinner list on the weekend so that you have everything you need for that week. This makes coming home and starting dinner quicker and your evenings go easier with your children. Possibly purchase a slow cooker and start dinner before you leave for the day.
Every day, take five or ten minutes for yourself. Take a walk at lunch, listen to some music while driving home. Whatever you need to do to help keep you sane! To be the best parent you can be, you need to be the best YOU, you can be! Your children will be happier, if you are happy. Also think about your health, start or continue an exercise program, make sure you take care for yourself.
Take Time for Your Spouse
Before this wonderful little baby came into your life, it was just the two of you. Don’t forget that! You still need to make time for your spouse. Even if it’s only a couple of minutes a day to catch up on how their day was or to see what’s new. Sometimes this time doesn’t come until the kids are asleep, but just take a couple of minutes every day to reconnect with each other.
Overall, being a working parent takes a lot of hard work. Let’s face it, just being a parent takes a TON of work! Once you and your family get into a routine, everything will become easier. It’s tough at first, but it does get better. Just like when you brought home that little bundle of joy, the first couple of weeks are tough, but each week things get easier and you get more comfortable in your routine!