As a team of working parents, we know the meaning of multi-tasking with great familiarity. During the 2014 calendar year, our team welcomed 3 new babies. Since then, we have all returned to work, hoping to strike the right balance between the workforce and motherhood. We feel particularly fortunate to work with a team who understands this tug of war and creates a supportive environment to be both.
Here are 10 realizations (not tips) for returning to the workforce after baby:
1.) Work/life balance – Some days are about sacrifice, whether that be at home or at work. As long as the pendulum doesn’t swing too right or too left, it’s a win.
2.) It takes a village – Lineup your childcare, whether that be a relative, babysitter, or daycare center. And, do a trial run a few days before you return to work.
3.) Ask for help – Be the best mom you can be, and let someone else worry about the other stuff. Anyone can clean a house, buy groceries, walk the dog, pickup dry cleaning – but you’re the only one who can be mom. Ask your partner or family member for help when you need it.
4.) Prep – Do as much as you can the night before. And it’s officially fall, which means the slow cooker is a saving grace.
5.) Make time for yourself – It’s the easiest thing to overlook, but one of the most important. Hone your ability to stay in touch with what you need. Often this skill falls away, along with personal time and space. Practice getting in the habit of asking yourself what you need in any given moment. The acronym HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired) can help you with that identification. Then attend to that need, as you can.
6.) Be engaged – it is so easy to get distracted, especially with technology. When you are at home with your kids, really — be there and enjoy them. When you are at work, be focused and productive. Time opens up when you can single-task.
7.) Say “no” – you can’t be all things and you can gain a great sense of freedom and relief when you stop trying to be. Prioritize. Some things will have to drop.
8.) Align yourself with other women – maintaining your friendships both pre-kids and post kids is so helpful. Sharing in the good days and laughing about the bad with likeminded people is huge.
9.) Work for a company that places value on family – going back to work is a shock to the system. But knowing that you are working for a company that supports family first is a big help. Whether this means sneaking away to pump or leaving at 4:30 p.m. on Friday to make it to your son’s basketball game.
10.) Wine helps – red, white or bubbly.
Ghost writers & contributors: Katie Kelty, Elizabeth Beauvais, Emily Pappas. Photo Credit: http://www.andrealynntaylor.com