Life is getting a little crazy over here. I’ve officially accepted a new position with a fabulous company where, I hope to grow, learn new skills and improve myself professionally. Job hunting with a 4 month old plus maintaining a current busy job was no easy task. I am at the point in my career where I have enough experience (almost 10 years!) to know what I want, and know the type of environment I want to work in. I love my current gig – and have learned SO much about myself, my skills and my passions, but right now I need something I can really dig my heels into and find the work/life balance. Life is so fast, how I found time to get my resume ready, focus on jobs out there and interview took a lot of extra organization and care. It was important to me to be sure I made thoughtful decisions and weighed my options (and weighed and weighed). New moms – don’t be afraid to better yourself professionally, even when you feel like you’re too busy. I get that, but don’t forget that it’s okay to put yourself first and be picky!
I didn’t always know if I would be a working mom or a stay at home mom, but the older I got, it became more clear to me. I love Dane to the moon and back, but separation from him and interaction with adults is so vital to my mental health. I may get some flack for saying this, but I was ready to go back to work after maternity leave. I took eight weeks, and loved every (okay, not every) minute of those weeks. They were trying, and exhausting and I soaked in my stolen hours at the coffee shop when our family members would give us all a break. From then, it was more firm in my mind…working mom it is. I did learn however, that I needed a really strong balance. I have SO much respect for full time stay at home moms though – it is TOUGH, and you don’t get enough credit.
After years of working 9-5 and then shifting to a more flex schedule the past few years, I knew that I prefer the flex and luckily in my industry it is attainable. There are a few things that are vital to my happiness along the course of a day. 1. Time with my husband – real, solo, adult time – conversation, dinner, a glass of wine etc. 2. Playtime/snuggles with Dane (obviously) 3. Time for me – running errands – hello Target! Or a quick coffee, a pedicure or a simple walk around the block. 4. Rest – even just sitting on the couch and vegging out and trolling Instagram works for this. 5. Exercise (most days) – lately I’ve been incredibly stressed out and my back has really taken the brunt of it so I’ve been listening to my body and have given it a rest. Luckily, as some decisions have been firmed up, the tension in my shoulders is slowly easing up. I’m actively working on doing each of these things every single day… to keep the balance and keep the positive energy flowing.
Here’s an excerpt I wrote for a post my friend Amy put together aimed at working mamas going back after maternity leave. I cried writing it, and cry reading it again now. Her post is filled with amazing advice, and different perspectives from other strong, working moms. Check it out here, on her blog Balanced Ames:
“Be brave. Wake up each day and remember that you are smart, hardworking, and motivated. Take on each task and do your very best but know it’s okay to be distracted, and feel a little bit guilty. Your baby is in GREAT hands and is getting acclimated to the world apart from you (which is a good thing). Be kind to yourself. This is going to be hard – to focus, to balance, to remember things accurately, because there is so much more on your mind now. Keep trying – push yourself to stay organized, efficient and present. Accept help when it is offered. People know what you’re going through and typically want to help you, even more than you know. On the other hand, it’s also okay to enjoy being away, to re-center yourself and get a little “me” time. Relish in the exercise your brain is getting – a person can only handle so much baby talk and blowing spit bubbles. Your sweet little one will be there when you get home, and that smile that spreads across his face when he recognizes you will melt your heart over and over again. It is all worth it, and you can do it.”