After having a baby, you will find yourself in a world of new and often overwhelming responsibilities. You may feel like the nurse part has gone out the window as you try to navigate this new life filled with spit-up and dirty diapers. But taking care of your child is very important and it’s time to show that exhausted mommy mask who’s boss!
Take a deep breath and read on… those 10 tips should help make hard time easier on you!
1. Prepare for the day ahead
Try planning out your day in the morning before you start it. Figure out what time you need to wake up, what time will you leave for work, what items are on your grocery list and pick a healthy meal plan for the week. This way you won’t be caught off guard with an hour left before bedtime wondering how come dinner hadn’t been started yet! Being prepared is half the battle when it comes to being a busy mom so set priorities and stick to them.
2. Maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine
Even the healthiest mom needs an occasional cheat day. That’s okay! You don’t have to be perfect! Just remember that if you are feeling rundown, your kids will follow suit. Exercise is important for everyone so even 20 minutes a day of walking can do wonders for both your heart and your mental state. And while you are at it, try cooking healthier meals with fresh ingredients instead of grabbing take-out or junk food.
3. Your body changes after pregnancy – let it heal!
You spent 9 months growing that tiny human inside of you (and maybe even screaming at him/her) now is the time to take care of yourself. After giving birth, you will be full of energy and feel like you can clean the house, do laundry and cook dinner all at once. Don’t let that last more than a day or two! Your body needs time to rest so take care of your growing baby and yourself by taking some extra time off if you need it.
4. Remember your children may require more when they gets older
This can be one of the hardest lessons for a new mom to learn. As an older sister myself, I understand the importance of being needed by your younger siblings. They are cute and adorable but they can’t help you with calculus homework or getting ready for prom. But kids grow up fast and before you know it your baby will be running around on her own two feet looking to YOU for guidance. You have an opportunity here that few people in this world get so give yourself some credit!
5. Get a babysitter to watch the kids
You are exhausted, swollen, and covered in spit-up. But even though you’ve been up for the past 24 hours straight, there is no reason to neglect yourself! Try taking a hot shower or treat yourself with a long bubble bath while someone else takes care of your kids. You can’t be what your kids need if you don’t have time to take care of yourself.
6. Try not to compare yourself with other moms
Every mother and family is different and every baby’s needs will vary. Just because your next door neighbor has a stay-at-home mom who spends hours each day caring for her children doesn’t mean you should feel like a bad mother if you work outside the home. And just because your best friend happens to be able to breastfeed until age 4 doesn’t mean it’s what’s best for your family! Parenting is an art form that takes time and patience; don’t beat yourself up when things aren’t perfect!
7. Your partner is a good dad
I’ve been lucky to have had a supportive partner during both pregnancies and births. Dads are the unsung heroes when it comes to parenting. They do not get enough credit for all of their hard work! Although they may feel uncomfortable around your tiny little infant, once that baby grows into a preschooler he/she will be so excited to spend daddy-daughter time with him! So relax mommy, wipe those tears away and let your man take care of his family.
8. Spend quality time with your children when you can
It’s hard to fit in quality time when you have a newborn and a full-time job! But it can be done. Try taking your little one out for dinner after work once every week or so. And if you are able, trade babysitting with another mom friend so both of you can get some well-deserved “me” time. Even the smallest things – like reading them a bedtime story or playing peekaboo at the park – will give you memories that last forever.
9. Be flexible with work hours when possible
For most jobs you won’t be able to request “maternity leave” but asking for a flexible schedule is sometimes doable. If your manager is understanding, maybe working only 4 days a week instead of 5 will make it easier on you both! And if they aren’t willing to work with your needs, don’t feel pressure to quit just because you are also raising children. There are plenty of mom’s out there that balance full-time careers and motherhood without any problems so if you can manage it yourself why should it be their concern?
10. Find a balance between your job and family life
If you are lucky to have a job that allows it, try working from home one or two days a week. Or ask your boss about compressed work weeks so you can get an extra day off each month. These small adjustments might not seem like much but they will give you more time with your family and less time sitting in traffic!
And there you have it – 10 easy ways to survive being a working mom! If you follow these simple steps early on in motherhood, everything will be so much easier down the road!
Although becoming a parent is difficult at times, there are always ways to find balance in your life. It’s important that we take care of ourselves mentally and physically while also being there for our children. Good luck mommies – stay strong!