Dear New Mom,
We might not know each other personally, but, like you, I have been a new mom and can relate to all the mixed emotions you are feeling right now.
The baby is finally here, and even though you’re bonding great, sleep has become a thing of the past. Your life has been turned upside down and revolves around changing poopy diapers, feeding, bathing and holding your little bundle of joy.
Just when you think you’ve gotten it all under control, it’s time to go back to work and your feeling anxious, guilty and worried all at the same time, right? It’s okay, we all feel the same way. Trust me; you are not alone on this! I remember how those first few days back in the office felt for me. There were butterflies in my stomach, and all I did was talk about my new child, I honestly do not remember being productive at all. I remember crying the entire ride to work and telling myself over and over again that I was making the right decision. My brain understood that, but my heart was far from believing it.
A little over a year ago, I wrote a blog post on the Back to Work Blues, where I talked about how conflicted I felt with my decision to be a working mother. What I didn’t do though, was give advise to all the new moms who are about to embark on the same journey as I have done twice now.
So, from one mom to another, I’m here today to offer you five key things to remember as you start this new chapter of life. These ideas helped me tremendously back then and still help me today:
We all felt that same guilt you are feeling right now about leaving our little bundles of joy and going back to work. We all questioned our decision over and over again. Trust me; it’s never an easy task to walk away from an adorable smile.
Stop being so hard on yourself. If you want to cry, go right ahead. Let it all out. The next couple of weeks will be hard… very hard but you got this! I mean come on! You just had a baby…life came out of your womb! You are strong, amazing and above all a WOMAN! You can do anything you put your mind to, and going back to work is one of them.
Okay, I know I said you are strong and can handle it all, but a little help never hurt anyone. This is not the time to let your pride take over. If your loved ones are offering a hand or two, be sure to take them up on it. You will need all the help you can get, especially in the first few weeks while both you and your baby are getting used to the new routine.
Are you pumping in the mornings or at night? Does your baby have a sleep routine yet? When are you cooking meals for the family? What day does the laundry get done? Don’t forget Date Night? Do you have Family nights? When will the grocery get done? How about cleaning the house, will it happen daily or weekly? So many things to do!!!
Create a schedule, something that works for everyone in your household and stick to it. It will help you stay organized and make your life so much easier. One thing that worked for my family was me changing my work schedule so I could spend more time in the afternoon at home with my children. Do what works best for you and your family!
Often as mothers, we are the last ones that get “taken care of.” I guess we get so busy attending to a million other things, that we forget to care for ourselves and that is NOT good. As mothers, we cannot give our best when we aren’t at our best.
I remember after giving birth to Novena, I thought I could do it all. We moved into a new house the day she was born and had tons of boxes to unload when I came home from the hospital. Although I had tons of family and friends ready to help, I wanted to do it myself and guess what happened? I tore one of my stitches and had to go back to the doctor’s office.
If you feel like you are going 100 miles an hour and need a break, take it! Don’t be afraid to call off from work when you need it or ask for help (remember it takes a village to raise a child).
Who will be watching your little bundle of joy while you are working? My little ones stayed home with a sitter, and one thing that helped me was FaceTiming them often and just seeing their faces. It brought me so much joy. There was something about seeing their happy little faces that brought me so much pleasure. It helped ease the pain of leaving them as well. If your baby will be going to a daycare or FaceTime is not an option, try working out other ways of seeing your baby whenever you feel the need.
Lastly, I want to remind you that you can have it ALL! You can be the best mom, have a fantastic career, have the perfect love life, and be the best partner. Never sell yourself short!
I hope this post helps you or someone you know. As always, I’d love to hear from you. How are you feeling about heading back to work? Feel free to leave your feedback in the comments section below.