I’ve been back to work for just over six weeks and am still really struggling with how to find the balance between work, home, motherhood, my relationship, social events and time for me. I have always been a multi-tasker – unafraid to take on many projects at once, and somehow able to complete them all and do them relatively well. My mom has always told me that I “burn the candle at both ends” – but it’s just my nature, and it has always worked for me. At this stage though, I’m really having to work at keeping myself on track – maybe it’s the lack of solid sleep, or the perpetually messy (for my liking) house… but life has seemed to wind up so tight and it’s spinning on it’s head. My keys for success are below, and I would love to hear if you have any tips or tricks on transitioning back to work after becoming a mom for the first (or second or third) time.
- My Main Focus is to Remain Focused – This directly relates to making sure I’m on top of my duties at work. One of the beautiful things about my job is that I am able to work ahead from time to time. This is KEY for me right now. Yesterday I had the option of working ahead, or taking the afternoon to lay in the sun (believe me, it was hard to choose because it was gorgeous out, D was at daycare and Casey was at the office – so I had alone time and it would have been pure bliss). I gave myself a pep talk, and chose to work my ass off for 4 hours to get ahead with some of my clients. I couldn’t be more happy with the decision, because starting Monday off on the right foot feels so good.
- Either You Run the Day or the Day Runs You – This is all about managing time. Right now I’m lucky to wear many hats: employee, wife, sister, friend, and most importantly mom. I cherish my time with Dane, because it is SO special and he is changing a mile a minute, it’s hard to keep up! In order to enjoy the time I have with him after work and before he’s snoozing – I need to keep my eye on the clock and be efficient with the time I have. Most of the time I’d rather just lay on the couch than do the dishes or fold the load of laundry, but the reality is a clean house makes me a happy person. (Sometimes it’s OKAY to choose the couch).
- If you Have Time to Facebook, You Can Make Time to Workout – Over the past few years, exercise has been such an important part of my happiness. Lately, life has honestly been moving so quickly, it’s all I can do to just get a walk in with Dane after work. I need to work harder to make time for exercise. After a long day of work, and then playing with Dane when we get home, my brain honestly hurts and I’m totally guilty of melting into the couch after we put D down to bed. Sometimes I zone so far out that I lose track of the time I spend watching mindless TV and trolling Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest. I could just as easily watch the same TV show from the treadmill in the basement, or pop in my favorite Turbofire DVD for thirty minutes. One day at a time… I will get better at this!
- The First Duty of Love is to Listen – With this whirlwind going on around us, it’s really important to keep the communication strong between Casey and myself. We’re really in sync with our parenting styles, and both contribute so much. We have a lot of really honest talks about life – money – kids – our marriage and families. I know that we have such a successful marriage because we are both so open with each other, and it is a true partnership.
- Let Go and Forgive Yourself – This is maybe the most meaningful mantra I’ve used over and over the past 14 weeks. Let’s be really honest – I’m a brand new mom, and I (generally) have no idea what I’m doing. Sure, many things come from instinct and I love my little guy something fierce. But I make mistakes and fumble and wonder if I’m doing things wrong. At the end of the day though, when we’re laying in bed watching Dane sleep like a little angel on the monitor – I know he’s full, safe, healthy and SO loved, and I tell myself we’re doing the best job we can.