Working Mom Week 1: What I’ve Learned So Far

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  1. You can’t put a price tag on peace of mind. Whether you’re putting your infant in a creche or daycare center, or hiring in a nanny, the biggest, most important criteria you must never compromise on is your peace of mind. Peace of mind is knowing your child is safe and well. Peace of mind is resting well in the fact that whoever is with your little one those hours you are gone is feeding him right, changing him well, holding him gently, and treating him kindly. Peace of mind is priceless. So while my husband and I never advocate for frivolous spending, I will say this: hire a nanny/choose an establishment you can trust, and be ready to pay a just price for it too. (I will write a separate post about tips for finding and hiring good nannies — especially for expat moms!)
  2. [If you’re breastfeeding] Find a good courier! At the moment, the Go-Jek “GoDelivery” service has been a Godsend, and has enabled me to send fresh pumped milk home to my baby so we don’t need to tap the frozen reserve, and the nanny doesn’t need to resort to formula. (I will also write a separate post about tips for the breastfeeding working mom – so you can pump that milk and have it eaten too)
  3. Follow what I now call the “COOL RULE”: Be Clear, Be Open, Be Organized, Be Level-Headed
    1. Be Clear: Have a clear strategy for how you want to approach your first few weeks back as you get into the swing of things again and make this strategy known to everyone who might be affected – from your manager to your teammates, to your husband, make sure that you set expectations from the start.
    2. Be Open: Be prepared to be honest with your boss about the things and ways in which you want to be able to make it work coming back to your job while leaving your baby at home. It’s tough on most new moms coming back to the workforce, and not all managers or workplaces are understanding, but I still advocate for making it a point to be transparent and honest with your team and your boss as to what you are going through so they are aware.
    3. Be Organized: As with #1, don’t just have a clear strategy, have it written down somewhere. Have a system for getting back to work. Just like anything that takes practice and brain power and muscle memory, you will feel rusty at first. Make sure that you have a structure for how you intend to tackle the challenge of getting re-onboarded, as well as the projects that will fall on your lap as you do so. In my case, I kicked off my week with a one to one with my manager, and created a task list/plan of action with all the projects upcoming in order of urgency. This helped me determine who I needed to meet and when, and what teams and ideas/projects I needed to start expending the bulk of my energy getting reacquainted with ASAP.
    4. Be Level-Headed. The first few weeks, they say, are always tough and confusing and a bit of a whirlwind. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed and over-stressed. Keep a level-head about your situation, and in all things be kind and forgiving toward yourself. A fellow mom told me recently, “Don’t expect to know or remember everything right away. It takes at least the same amount of months you were away to feel normal again.” 
  4. Go at a realistic pace. Related to above, if you’re the over-achieving type, you’ll want to jump right into work full swing without thinking about how delicate a process being reintroduced to the work force can be. Just like starting in a whole new role, you’ll need to be re-onboarded, you’ll need to meet new people who’ve joined the teams you work with whom you haven’t met before, you’ll need to speak with those you handed over to and have everything handed back to you. All these things take time to digest, and rather than go from 0 to 60, try to be realistic about your own limitations and allow yourself the opportunity to adjust to life back at work. If you are able, take afternoons working from home. Use the first 2 days especially just to re-meet everyone, and find your own groove. If you’re breast feeding like I am, that means blocking off time for pumping, for example, and making sure it doesn’t interfere with work and meetings and vice versa.
  5. You gotta have faith, faith, faith! And lastly, as with all things, prayer gets you through it. It really does. So just keep the faith, and keep moving forward. Christ will give you strength.

 

5 thoughts on “Working Mom Week 1: What I’ve Learned So Far

  1. Pingback: 6 Tips for the Breastfeeding Working Mom – It's Just Better for Every Body

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