There is no magic formula for managing work and motherhood. There are thousands of women who have done it successfully, women who have faced this challenge and achieved victory. Working while caring for a newborn can have a negative impact on your mental health. You are not alone; mothers all over the world are concerned about their mental health and work-life balance after having a child. Take a deep breath and consider using these tips to improve mental health while juggling work and a newborn.
Of course, there are advantages. Some working mothers discover that they are good parents because of their jobs, not despite them. According to research, the best mothers are happy, competent, socially connected, and supported which are most easily attained by staying at work. However, conversion from maternity leave to the office requires, well, work.
The Importance of Balancing the Work-Life
In an interconnected world where work and home boundaries mix easily, handling our work-life to the best of our abilities is especially important and more often difficult. A balanced life enables you to enjoy and maximize all aspects of your life, not just work. Family, friends, hobbies, health, me-time, and any other priorities all become equal. A properly balanced life allows you to be productive in your professional life while still having time and energy to focus on and enjoy your personal life.
That’s why so many solutions revolve around time management, productivity hacks, and developing a more flexible work schedule. All of these solutions revolve around time (managing it, being more productive with it, and having more time at home.
1. Try to Make your Morning Easy
Create and stick to a consistent morning routine for you, your baby, and other family members. That way, you will know exactly what you need to do before you leave the house for your drive to work or start working from home.
Packing lunches and snacks, preparing bottles, laying out everyone’s clothes, getting your baby’s diaper bag ready, showering, and so on can all be done the night before. Mornings will go more comfortably if you practice and get as much done in advance as possible.
2. Create a List of Priorities
Rather than concentrating on everything that needs to be done in the near future, prioritize the actions that need the most attention. Make a list of three to four tasks you want to finish that day and cross them off as you finish them. This act brings you joy because it confirms your ability to do multiple things in a day, both at home and at work.
Routines can be beneficial to both you and your baby. A fairly consistent routine can help to bring order to the otherwise chaotic world of parenthood. As you get to know your baby and what works best for them and you, try to stick to a consistent schedule from day to day.
Consider what is important to you or what you would like to include in each day. This can include family time, exercise, hobbies, sufficient sleep, and anything else that is important to you. It is sometimes necessary to become more organized and learn to better manage your time. Set up systems and processes at home (and at work) that allow you to complete all of your tasks while still making time for other activities.
3. Get to Know the Environment Where You Work
The best way to prepare for a successful post-baby career is to join a company that welcomes new moms. Make pregnancy policies a set of criteria for evaluating future employers. You avoid surprises and save yourself from disappointment this way. If you already have a job that you enjoy, learn about the working culture as it relates to children.
4. Take Care of your Mental Health
Sleep deprivation and new baby stress can make you more vulnerable to common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Returning to work can be stressful, so it’s critical to protect your mental health and improve your stress management skills during this critical time. It’s also important to recognize that stay-at-home mothers face unique challenges. Women who stay at home with young children often feel more isolated and self-conscious, and they are at a higher risk of depression.
Some mental health first aid advice:
Speak with others about how you’re feeling about returning to work and being a parent.
Try to get as much sleep as possible.
Try to schedule some “me time” to recharge and reconnect with yourself and your purpose.
Ease into work gradually and avoid putting yourself under too much stress in the first few weeks and months.
5. Maintain your Own Style
Every woman has the right to choose her own child-rearing style and to set priorities when there are conflicts between work and home. Balance or equal distribution is one of the definitions of balance. Discovering a style that works for you, your child, and your life in general, and being satisfied with it regardless of the latest childcare trend, is an important part of finding a comfortable balance between career and baby.
6. Find Out What Your Baby Requires.
Not all babies are the same. They all have their own needs, desires, and wishes – even when they’re only a few weeks old. This is why learning what your newborn requires is the first step toward successfully balancing your career and your baby.
Pay attention to their sleeping habits, feeding schedule, buying toys for newborn babies, and bowel movements, as these will determine what they do at different times of the day and how much free time you will have to work. These things take effort and practice, so be patient and don’t expect everything to fit right away. You will be able to predict your child’s behavior or at least try to organize your work accordingly as you learn more about it and get to know it better.
7. Take Some Time to Relax
You may want to spend the majority of your time away from work with your family. Even so, it’s critical to set aside some time for yourself. Fully charging your batteries and relaxing can help you succeed as a working mom. The important step toward achieving a work-life balance is to ensure sufficient sleep. Otherwise, your body and mind will be operating at much lower levels than when you worked for yourself—not a good situation to be in when you return to work.
Analyze how well you sleep now in comparison to before your baby was born. If it has suffered a setback, put those hours back into play as soon as possible. Purchasing a suitable mattress is also a good idea. There’s no need to spend a fortune, but good sleep is essential, especially for new mothers, so make sure your room is comfortable.
8. Establish a Support System
When family conflicts arise at work, join forces with coworkers who can support you — and vice versa. When you need to work late at home, join trusted friends and loved ones to help with child care or household responsibilities. It’s easy to become overwhelmed while attempting to balance work-from-home and parenting responsibilities. But, in order to be the best parent you can be and do your great job, you must also make time for yourself.
9. Work Efficiently and Quickly.
Avoid taking a quick break to read through social networking sites, especially if you work in an office or a similar setting. When you’re on break, relax with a cup of coffee or a snack; when you’re not on break, avoid personal distractions. If you give your job your undivided attention when you’re there, the parents will have more time in the evening to spend with your family.
Similarly, you may wish to complete work while your child is engaged in play. Of course, this is not the time to do deep work because you may be disturbed. Consider it a win if you can push in quick bursts of work while your baby’s attention is diverted.
10. Maintain your Focus
Many working parents discover that, despite having far more to do, they are more efficient and productive than ever. The key here is to stay focused and manage your time wisely. Consider making a to-do list for each day and stick to it, even if it means pointlessly checking your email or running to the store when you could simply order online. That way, you have more time to do what you really want to do: get things done so you can snuggle up with your adorable baby.
Being a parent is a truly rewarding experience. Being responsible for another person requires juggling work and family, figuring out childcare, ensuring your children’s health, and trying to stay sensible. I hope you enjoyed these suggestions. Now, if you’re confident enough to give this a try, give yourself a well-deserved boost of confidence. Managing your baby and your work is complicated, but nothing can stop you from becoming the best working mom in the world if you love your job and your baby.