3 Tips to Balance Life as a First Time Working Mom
Pregnancy and the time around Kai's birth was a stressful one for my career. I talked a lot about the stress of being a full time working mama but I don't think I ever explained the circumstances to you guys. Today, I want to share why I returned back to work 5 week postpartum and 3 tips about balance I learned as a new working mama.
In my full time job, I am a physician liaison for a local group of vascular doctors. I actually took a huge leap of faith, at 6 months pregnant and decided to follow 2 of these amazing physicians to their brand new, start up practice. I gave up my short term disability policy and was no long eligible to sign up for a new policy with my new employer. At the time, Kevin was going through career transition to start a business himself. We made commitments to these huge career shifts at such a crazy time. Luckily we had the support of our families. I returned to work part time at 5 week postpartum and that was seriously the hardest transition of all. Sleep deprived, still pumping, most of all, my body was still healing. Now 2 years later, I can honestly say, if I could do it all over again, things would be different.
Balancing a career and motherhood is challenging enough. The first few months, I really struggled with emotional and hormonal changes. Here are 3 things I wish someone would have made me do as a new working mama.
Before we start, I want to give a HUGE shoutout to my long time side kick Lily Jade. Lily Jade makes incredible, high quality leather diaper bags that transition seamlessly with your every season and responsibility. I love the convenient diaper bag organizer inserts and that I can take it in and out effortlessly. The new line of Lifestyle Lily Jade Bags is a working mother's dream. I have used the Lori Tote in companion with the Daniel Crossbody for 6 months now. The Lori Lily Jade is big enough for travel and all my important documents. It converts from backpack to messenger carry in seconds. All Lily Jade bags are made with incredible leather that is durable and beautiful. The Daniel Lily Jade Bag has crazy amazing reviews. It actually fits my 13 inch Macbook laptop inside with plenty of room for a notebook or bottle or water. The Daniel also nests inside the Lori as the perfect companion bag. I have used the Lily Jade line throughout pregnancy, postpartum as diaper bag, travel bag, or computer bag. I just cannot give them enough raving reviews.
Now here are my top 3 tips to balance life as a working mom
1. Set Boundaries
As mothers and women, we sometimes aim to please. That was especially true in my earlier career. I always answered every email with an incredible sense of urgency. Sometimes, it can mean answering text messages at 10 o'clock at night because that's just what I perceived as good work ethics. Ideally, I think every new mother should be able to turn off their computer, allow themselves boundaries during maternity leave. I understand sometimes urgent matters require immediate attention but setting boundaries are healthy for your employer relationship. Things like, no contact after 5 or emails within 24 hours of receiving allows both parties to still be informed but clearly disengage. It is OKAY to have a new normal, a new set of rules you now abide by.
2. Rest Before Everything
Sleep is a funny thing. I honestly don't believe there is such a thing a too much sleep, especially for young, new, working moms. I developed a nap rotation with my hubby for those first few months of returning to work after maternity leave. I would come home and sleep for 1-2 hours to prepare my body for the all nighter parties Kai would throw. If there is nothing else you do, sleep will change your life! Illicit support from anyone who will come over. There is no shame in saying " I am completely exhausted and need help".
3. Make Time for Yourself and Your Partner
I feel like the first few months postpartum my husband and I were both zombies. Thank goodness for friends and family who insisted we leave Kai for a few hours to go to dinner or grab a drink. We had a date night routine every Saturday night. This helped me feel "normal" again and not just a working, milking slave to my new born. I realize we are very lucky to have family near by but it's so important to make time for self love and time for your partner. Even a night in, where you order date night food and build a fort together can be romantic and different. The point is, spoil yourself with attention and dedicated time to each other.
Of course, everyone's journey is unique. I honestly wish I followed some of these working mama tips in the early stages. Even now, finding balance is challenging in a different way. I just know that every day and every way we are getting better and better. Slide into my DM and let me know how I can lift you up! For more inspiration and a great community of support, follow the Lily Jade Instagram account. I just adore the women who stand for each other behind this amazing company!