Are you worried about balancing work with motherhood?
Being a working mom is tough. There always seems to be new challenges that we have to tackle. This post is to help all those working mamas out there because working while you want to be with your kids is tough. Especially when you are first returning from maternity leave. It can sometimes be difficult in finding balance in building your career and being with your children.
Returning from maternity leave is one of the biggest challenges moms face. A month before going back to work, I would have these constant anxiety attacks. I couldn’t handle the thought of not being near my baby. I even had a plan to go back to work long enough to get things settled and then I would quit being a stay at home Mom. But after getting through that rough first week, I found an answer I wasn’t expecting. I loved being at work and I began to feel a part of myself that I didn’t know I lost.
This guide is to support other working moms in finding the balance between being a mom and a career woman.
What does it mean to be a Working Mom?
There is this misconception is that all a working mom cares about is building her career and being an independent businesswoman. While even some of that may be true, that isn’t completely who we are. Many Working Moms wish they were able to either quit their job or find a way for that thing called work/life balance. It’s the constant challenge Working Moms are facing. One that we can overcome.
All it means to be a Working Mom is that you are a mother who provides for her family through her career.
It doesn’t mean we love our children any less.
It doesn’t mean we are choosing our careers over our children. I have been asked if I would prefer to be at home with the kids, which is always insulting. I love my children with my whole heart, so of course, I want to be with them. But I am also a woman who enjoys developing her career. I love that sense of accomplishment when I am the one who completed a difficult task or worked on a large project.
How to enjoy being a Working Mom?
It can take some time, but you will be able to find inner peace with your choice or situation.
First, you need to accept either all of these concepts or the ones that apply to you.
- It’s okay to enjoy working.
- It’s okay if you find yourself enjoying what feels like an adult environment. I didn’t realize how little social interactions I had until I returned to work.
- It is also okay for you to enjoy the time away from your kids. Having time for yourself that isn’t limited by a nap, feels amazing.
Second, to enjoy being a Working Mom, start by embracing the challenges at your work. For me, we had a client that needed an updated recycling permit. I have worked on other permits, but nothing this big or complicated. I jumped right in, even though I was asking my supervisor tons of questions. I found I really love managing projects.
On the other hand, if you don’t enjoy your job, begin the process of looking for a new one. At this point in my life, I just don’t really care for what I do. I love to work, so for the past two years, I have been trying to figure out what I want to do next. Don’t be afraid to look for something new, while maintaining what you already have.
Working Mom Tips for Success
- Find a balance between work and home. This tip is open for interpretation. If you are a career-driven Mom, then you may need to put a little more of your time into work. Therefore you should plan for the days you want to work extra hours. Try to make it so it isn’t every single day.
- Be willing to ask for help. This was and still is a hard one for me. I am that typical independent woman and that did not change after having kids. I like to think of myself as SuperMom some days. Don’t be afraid to turn to your partner, your family, or your friends if you find yourself stuck in a hole. It will happen way more than we like to admit.
- Don’t be afraid of the daycare (both private and commercial). I love my daycare and all the wonderful teachers within it. They have helped me so much with both of my children, that I know there is never enough I can do to repay them. I do recognize that the price can be an issue, but if you are able to and this can help you develop your career, then use all the tools available.
- Don’t be afraid to change your view. Sometimes we get stuck on this idea that there is only one correct way to do things. We want to be a part of this Mom world that is shown on the internet or television. For instance, you may have to supplement with formula, and if you do…it’s okay. I had to and in the beginning, I felt like a failure, but then it turned out to be one of the best choices we made.
Common Questions/FAQ About Working Moms
- How do you respond to blunt and potentially offensive questions?
- Breathe. Give yourself at least 5 seconds to allow your logical side to come out. For example, I have been asked multiple times: Why don’t you stay home with your kids? Don’t you love them? I hate hearing people say that as if I was choosing work over my children. After taking those 5 seconds, I would at least be able to respond as if I wasn’t this crazy emotional woman (sometimes I did though).
- Is it difficult to pump at work?
- It was for me. Not the pumping itself, but the process as a whole. I am an environmental consultant, so there were days I would be working in the field. On those days, it was impossible for me to pump and I was in so much pain by the end of the day. Also the amount of time it took to set up the pump, pump, and then clean the equipment was a lot. I felt like a dairy cow and I did not like it.
- Is it wrong to enjoy working, while my children are stuck in daycare?
- No. In fact, this might make you a better mother. I am someone who needs to feel productive with my days. While I was not sure about daycare at first, I found that I came to rely on the daycare teachers. Just make sure you find a daycare you are comfortable with.
- How do you balance work with motherhood?
- This is a tough one because each situation is different. The best answer I can give you is in three parts. First, you need to have open communication with your supervisor. Second, be with your child as much as you can. As in not constantly watching TV or looking at your phone all the time. Finally, plan vacations or stay-cations. Enjoy the time you have with your children while you are able to. As I am sure most of you have been told, they will be leaving the nest sooner than you know you know.
The Last Thing You Need to Know About Being a Working Mom
Being a Working Mom is not easy. There is a constant battle being waged within us. We are judged by many on what is expected of us. Be strong and know there is no one singular right way.
What have you lovely Moms done to conquer your first week back to work? Was it an easy transition or did you struggle? I would love to hear how you got through that first week in the comments below.
Happy Days –
Here is a great list of the essential items you need and those you can live without to build your maternity wardrobe.