Every mom works 24/7, but if you’re also employed outside the home, you’ll need to think about how to manage both work and family. Whatever your reasons for returning to work, juggling a full-time job and family life can be challenging.
Making work WORK for you
Here’s how you can get closer to achieving that work-life balance:
- Find out about your employer’s flexi-time and leave policy, so you know what’s expected of you if you need to take time off to attend to your parenting responsibilities
- Make frantic mornings easier by packing lunches and laying out clothes the night before
- Use your lunch breaks wisely – get shopping done, express breast milk, or ask your boss if you can take a shorter break so you can leave earlier
- Cook double portions of every meal; freeze the extras so you can save some time later
- Stay connected – play games with your little one, bath together, to maximise the time you get together
- Nurture your relationship with your partner – you’re in this together!
- Carve ‘me time’ into the calendar – self-care is not selfish but an important part of being a good mom
Women often tend to feel guilty – mothers especially so! Even if you choose to work outside the home, it’s completely normal to have mixed feelings about this, and to worry about your baby’s care when you’re not around. This, combined with job and relationship demands and the daily stress of managing a home, could make you feel as though you simply can’t cope.
Here are five more strategies to help ease your burden:
- Choose your baby’s day care well, even if it costs a little more, and think of the caregiver as an ‘extra mother’, rather than someone competing for your baby’s affection.
- Don’t take work home with you; be fully available to your baby for the first hour at home – go for a walk or play games together to help you both relax and bond.
- Accept help from family, neighbours and friends – there’s no shame in admitting that it takes more than one person to raise a baby or make sure all the necessary chores are done.
- Bed-share or co-sleep with your baby! You’ll both sleep far better, and the close contact at night will make up for the separation in the day.
- Use a natural remedy to help keep you calm.