Working Mom: the BAB's Experience And 5 Tips to Get You Through the Work Day
Deciding to start a family can bring about a lot of questions and decisions for a new mom. Do I go back to work and become a working mom? Do I quit working and stay home with my baby? How much leave should I take? These decisions can be tough to make and with all the pregnancy hormones (so many hormones!), they can be pretty emotional. Delaya and I are both working moms that had to answer these tough questions. Here's how we did it.
My experience as a working mom is a little different than most. I took off for maternity leave from working at Chipotle when I was about six months pregnant. I had Jayla four months later with the intent to go back to work.
I never went back to work.
At least not for the first year. I ended up going back to school when she was about nine months and when she was about eleven months I took on extreme part-time work in an office at my school.
It was hard to go back to school and be away from her; even harder to spend extra time away at work. I felt like I missed a lot of things with her (but when I think of how much my husband misses, eh I’m doing pretty good). My decision to go back to being a working mom was made because I was getting bored as a stay-at-home mom. Even though I found my mom group and was going to school, I’ve always envisioned myself as a working mom. I still am, and I have a lot of projects going on at once. But I have the ultimate dream in mind; working mom with a ton of flexibility that makes it seem as though I am a SAHM.
So to work I went.
It was a big transition for the both of us. I missed Jayla and still do when I am at the office. I am still going to be a working mom, but as Hubby and I plan for more kids, it will be a stay-at-home job primarily. I will own my own elderly service business and run the blog from the comfort of my own home. If ever it’s busy season, I will consider having a sitter come to the house for a day (still not ready for Jay to go to school).
There were a couple good things through our transition period though. Jayla always stayed with family which was and still is a blessing. When I’d come home she is so excited to see me! She yells “Mommy” and wants everyone to see that I’m home. And despite sometimes being tired when I get home when she really wants to play, I still feel like I spend more than enough time with her and I feel I have my own sense of identity. I am still a good mother and wife all while doing and pursuing something I want to do for myself.
Making the decision to go back to work can be a tough one. Let’s face it, not everyone has a choice or the luxury to be able to stay home with their baby.
If you do find yourself having to make the transition back to work, here are two tips to help you out and so you can be a Rockin’ Working Mom:
1) Leave your child with someone you know, love, and trust
Worrying is practically thrown out of the window when you know and are ensured your child is in good hands. If your child has to go to daycare, just do your research. Be sure to visit your prospective daycare and feel comfortable with your chose. It is definitely not a decision that should be rushed. Receiving recommendations from people you know and love is a big help too.
2) Feeling a little blue being away from your offspring?
Make a phone call. I called even when Jayla was 9months to hear her babble over the phone. Jay could even say “hi” at that age which was fun. And don’t think I shied away from video chatting. It’s even my go to now! Hearing your baby over the phone or seeing them in a video will definitely keep those blues at bay. Be sure to give lots of cuddles when you get home no matter how tired you are. They are a breath of fresh air.
Never in my entire life have I wanted to be a stay at home mom.
I respect the mother's that do stay at home but I never wanted to be that.
I knew I would love my child to death but I wouldn't want to see them all day, everyday. I was raised with an in-home daycare so i was well versed in just how annoying kids can be. the crying, the moving, the constant need for attention... Spare me! Being home all day, talking to no one, cooking and cleaning? Nah dog. I mean, I do do that anyways but it's not a mandatory all day thing.
Fast forward to maternity leave and I was loving waking up at anytime of the day. And my anytime, I mean 8 or 9 am. Ava and I called all day. Little cleaning and cooking got done though because I didn't know how to handle everything just yet. I still worked part time on my side hustle's set-ups though. I barely worked on them, but I did none-the-less.
I ended up going back to work after my c-section 8 weeks time of leave was lifted because our maternity leave rights as a state are a joke. We couldn't manage on my disability pay anymore so it was time to clock back in.
I liked being back at work with adults and having actual conversations. Balancing work, being a new mother and taking care of my responsibilities was pretty tough (and still is) but I was okay with it.
I've been working for 5 months now and being a working mom isn't all that I thought it was cracked up to be. Well it is but I never took into account what I'd be missing by not staying at home.
Luckily, Ava has been with my mom while I work, so she's around family. I work a little above forty hours a week. That's a lot of time to miss from your child when you realize how fast these little things grow. I take her to my mom while she's sleep and I pick her up at about 6pm. We get about 3-5 hours to bond with each other before she goes to sleep for the night.
I often hold the child and question, how do they get so big so quickly?
I worry a little about missing her milestones. I want to be there when she takes her first steps or says her first word but the odd's aren't in my favor for that to happen.
Where before I was avid on not being a stay at home mom, I'll actually consider it now. I'd rather work at a part-time gig or have a sitter on call while working from home but anything that gets me more time with her and keeps this roof over our heads. But since I'm not afforded that luxury at this time, a working mom is what I shall stay.
What helps me get through the #workingmomlife is
3) Take advantage of the time you have.
We only get 24 hours in the day and 4-8 of those (depending on how lucky you are) are dedicated to sleeping and at least 10 of those are taken up by getting ready for work, commuting and actually working. Blah. You only have a small window of time to be with your child, so make it count. Come home and engulf yourself in them. Put down the phone, turn off the TV and make these 3-5 hours the best of their day.
Do I do this all the time? Not as often as I should because like every other millennial, I'm addicted to my phone, but I do actively try. Sometimes though, Doc McStuffins needs to be turned on for both our sanities.
4) Put pictures up in your depressing little cubicle.
While on maternity leave, I sent photos of Ava to my work friends who were excited about her arrival. When I returned to work, just about all of the pics I sent were put on my wall as a little gallery. It was really warming. I did take some of them down but I left up one of them with her laughing. When the day sucks or even if I'm just lost in my thoughts, if I catch a glimpse of that picture, it instantly makes me smile.
5) Learn to let things go.
This applies to work, to mothering, to wifing. You can be on that whole, "I am woman, hear me roar!" tip, but why? Girl you're human so be it. If you can't get X and Y done but you've got Z covered, celebrate your victory! It wasn't meant for X and Y to get done right now and that's perfectly ok.
This is something that's just now starting to hit home with me because of my perfectionism. I'd like to keep my sanity and not stress the small stuff, so I'm going to keep working on this.
We know sometimes there's no option when it comes to having to work. You may be in a situation where your pay check is a necessity. There's no judgement, believe me we get it. We're right there with you. All that matters is that your kids get your love and are provided for. The negative stigma to being a working mom is BS. You take care of you and yours and let that be it.