Mama,  Working Mama

Life Balance and the Working Mama

Wondering how my transition back to working full-time is going?

Read on to find out!

 

Okay Mama,

I have been back to work for 3 whole months. I’ve started to write this post so many times, but have had difficulty trying to find the right words… But tonight, I am forcing myself to put words to my emotions… Maybe because my son turned 6-months today and I’m just super emotional…. Maybe because I’m weighed down from carrying around a variety of emotions and it feels like the time to release them…Either way, here it goes…

 

It’s been three months and one day since I’ve been back at work. I’ve had what feels like an eternity of days filled with training, appointments, driving, and paperwork and I AM TIRED…. I have three alarms to wake me up in the morning (I love my sleep y’all)..  By about 2pm at work, I start anxiously clock watching, counting down the minutes until I get to see my son. I find myself distracted and impatient throughout the day partly because I’m tired from our midnight nursing session and the other part just being back to work. Oh, AND pumping at work has become a chore that I would rather not complete and it doesn’t help that I’ve already gone through 3 breast pumps!!!

BUTTT….Picking up Breezy from childcare is the best part of my day!

In the evenings I rummage up some energy to play with Breezy and catch up with my hubby. It’s not uncommon for me to yawn between lines in stories I read to him. I let the dishes pile up because I’m too tired from the work day to clean. Laundry remains in baskets from the days before…Bottles and pump parts lay scattered on the kitchen counter waiting to be washed and sterilized…

Self-care? What is that? it’s something I only dream of.. a pedicure, hair-cut, heck… even some exercise would be nice. The amount of money I would pay for a full nights rest is shameful. When will I find the time for a dental appointment, eye exam, or reflexology massage. I keep saying I’m going to paint my nails but the polish has been collecting dust on my side table for months.

SMART Goals have been set towards weight loss, money management, Bible time, and studying for my IBCLC certification and yet, there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day, the week, or even the month to achieve any of them. EFFICIENCY is the name of the game and I am losing….

SO….How Am I Finding Balance? READ ON:

So far this post may sound awfully negative but there ARE times when I truthfully feel so discouraged… Working outside of the home makes it very difficult for me to have a healthy work-life balance. Mom-guilt is ALWAYS present! On the other side, there’s a desire to be a good, positive, and passionate employee. And yet,when my maternity leave ended .. I WAS DEVASTED!

I used to enjoy working, and I still do, but now, it’s just… different. I have never been one to find complete fulfillment in a job but I worked hard to earn my nursing degree and I really take pride in being a nurse. Taking care of my clients and their children is a joy of mine because I’m able to impart what I’ve learned to them in a helpful and positive way.

Well fortunately, in the past month, things have really started to fall into place! Our days are beginning to run smoother (except for this past week, when I was running around like crazy every morning)! Our little family is becoming a unit and it feels great! My hubby and I know what we’re supposed to be doing and communicate changes so that we’re on the same page. I even bought a wall calendar so that we can keep up with all of the events, outings, appointments and church activities.

Like anything, becoming parents just takes time.. time to settle in… I can tell that we are MORE confident in our roles and our new responsibilities. Having a family balance takes time and patience. Yea, there will be times and when you get frustrated on the days that you forget just how new everything is…I do. BUT, I’ve only been a mama for 6 months, and I have only been a working mama for half of that time.

 

 

I have grown so much since going back to work

 

Mamas, each day is a precious gift and we can’t squander our time away. Yes being a working mom is tough, but it’s also challenging in a way that promotes growth. I’ve become more resilient, more vocal about my needs, more in tune with my child and my marriage. I’m more MOTIVATED to be INTENTIONAL with my time. I’ve also been able to get honest with myself about my priorities, which has been a huge eyeopener.

I came to a place where I decided that I.. was going to run my day and NOT let my day run me. This means writing down what I want to accomplish in a day and getting to work! And even if I DON’T accomplish everything, at least I’ve gotten more done than if I hadn’t worked towards any goals. Doing “a little bit everyday” and not letting work pile up is a GOLDEN NUGGET of advice that a friend shared with me. And ya know, for such a long time I underestimated the benefit of waking up early. “You’d be surprised how much can get accomplished if you wake up even 30 minutes earlier” (another GOLDEN NUGGET of advice given by another mama :))

Other mamas have shared and set good examples for me on how to take care of your house, marriage, child, and self all without losing your mind and for that, I’m extremely GRATEFUL! I look to them for encouragement, advice, and inspiration. Starting this blog with my sister has opened up conversations with so many other mamas and I see that I am NOT alone in this transition to mamahood! If you feel like you’re struggling to work and spend quality time with your family just know that it takes time to find a rhythm that is right for your family… and that’s OK.. Be PATIENT with them and with YOU..

 

 

One thing that helped was making small changes like turning off the TV and reading or playing with Breezy.. It helped me feel more connected. Having a dedicated FAMILY NIGHT to catch up and talk about life has made a huge impact as well (if you don’t have this with your hubby, I suggest you try it!) Also, having a night time routine has helped my hubby and I spend some awesome quality time with our little man. Now, what works for my family may not work for yours but I do encourage you to sit down with your hubby and kiddos and decide how to create balance in your home. It takes trial and error to find a routine that works but I know you can do it mama!

Now I do want to share that working outside of the home is NOT bad at all and there are tons of positives like being able to have adult conversations throughout the day, earn an income, advance your career and gain experience, and help others! But whether you work outside of the home or not, understand that balance CAN be an issue…but it can also be resolved, established an maintained. My hope is that this post is a reminder that you’re NOT alone and that if you have to change your routine or schedule to make things work… It’s OKAY! Mamas are known for being flexible and adjusting to changes without missing a beat!

-XO

Morgan

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