When I go into a client’s home and I sometimes see a board of a ‘to do’ list, I get all excited and become interested in how she manages her time. I ask her how are you coping with your new baby/kids? She says, “to me I write everything down otherwise I will forget”. We then discuss her plans to go back to work.
Being a working mother because you have to can be challenging. You need to be able to manage the stresses of the unknown while ensuring your kids are growing up in a positive environment. I used to ask myself why did I go back to work so soon?
Why did I decide to work?
Since I was in secondary school I always said that I wanted to make sure I had a good career so that I wouldn’t have to rely on anyone if things went south. I was in the middle of developing my career but plans changed. After having my first child I was accepted into a course that I wanted to do for a long time which also meant I had to effectively go back to work when my baby was four months. But you know what I don’t regret it! My daughter is so amazing, clever and confident all at the same time.
NOTE: children can still develop positively with working parents!!!
An advice I kept close to my heart “when you get home to make sure you spend your time with your child and when she goes to bed you can do your work”. It sounds so basic but honestly if I didn’t receive that advice I don’t know if I would have done so automatically or maybe I would have tried to do work when I should be spending time with her. I was lucky enough to have understanding managers and colleagues who supported me. You would think that life would be good with all the support I had around me.
It wasn’t, not in my head. My head always felt like it was jam-packed full of things I wanted to do. I am a thinker and a dreamer so there was always so much activity in my head. I knew where I wanted to go but how to get there appeared as though the road was foggy. Bare in mind I was still within the first year of having my baby.
It wasn’t having a baby that weighed me down it was my hunger to have a successful career in what I really wanted to do and it seemed like it would stay a dream. However, I had to create a goal and a plan on how to get there.
How did I overcome anxiety and accomplish my goals?
Through all that I was able to purchase properties and start my own business. Looking back to what on earth was I thinking? I definitely was over thinking things and just needed patience.
I must have had or still have so much resilience. You have to be resilient because everything is NOT going to happen your way. Resilience was what kept me going – Where did I get this resilience? Sometimes you’re born with it sometimes you learn it. Being resilient is key! Things will happen and you need to know how to get up and deal with it.
My understanding in child development kept me going too – If I didn’t know what I knew about the brain development of a child it would have been so easy to let my issues affect my baby.
Here are some tips to help you to manage motherhood
- Understand the needs of your child and what promotes good or positive development. I am not just talking about loving your child and read a book. I mean have a deeper understanding of the effects on children this will help you to understand that childhood experiences are so important and have major effects on adulthood. Especially if you are not in the health or education field. It would be really good to attend workshops, classes or something to help you increase your knowledge about the importance of childhood.
- Create a support network: You need to know who will help you in times of need, in terms of childcare or emotional support. Yes, I am blessed to have my mother and mother in law but I do know a few others who have successfully built their own network of supporters using friends, family and occasionally (quality) childcare service. I would definitely suggest writing a list of people and beside their name writing down why they may be able to support you. Then talk to them one to one. If you are that close you should find it easy to talk to them.
- Take breaks: I had to do this regularly. I know you are properly eager to get to the other side but trust me when I say you will get there. Do something where you are not thinking about anything else and nothing on your mind. Let it go and have some me time! That takes me to my next point.
- Have a plan: Whatever it is you want to do, create a plan. Take note that your family life and work-life is integrated so take both sides into account when planning and don’t wear yourself out doing both. Purchase a diary or an organiser that you can refer to every day. Schedule time in at least once a week to review everything including your goals and how you will get there.
- Write everything down, use calendars invite others as required – Okay so this was a big issue for me. The more and more my head became jam-packed with things, the more I forgot things. I don’t know if it was ‘baby brains’ or because my mind usually wasn’t where my body was. Either way please write all appointments set a reminder for your to-do list and set reminders to relax or meet up with a friend.
Lastly, if you are suffering from postnatal depression please speak to your Health Visitor or GP. Don’t try to deal with it on your own. Get help!!!
Hope this helps any questions or comments please leave below or alternatively email Bosses ‘N’ Mums. Don’t forget to follow Bosses n Mums on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter.
Peace & Love