If there is one thing you learn to appreciate more than anything as a Mom who goes back to work, it’s time. Time is by far the most valuable thing you have and having a good work / life balance is important. There are a few things I do in order to be able to maximize time wherever I am.
Have a schedule: If anyone knows me, they know I am not the best planner. I will wait until the day before an event to figure out what to do, which is definitely a fault of mine.
Knowing this, the way I stay on top of myself is to have a planner and set my week / month ahead of time. I recently posted a picture on Instagram of my new planner and that thing is a life saver. I am old school and have an actual paper planner. (I love stationary and the smell / feel of paper!)
Anyway, planning out the week before allows me to have better time management skills. I wake up early on the weekends, brew myself a big cup of coffee and while Tom watches the baby, I brainstorm. I think of upcoming events, things I need to get done during the week, and even schedule family time. For some reason, having everything written down in a planner in my purse allows me to not have to worry because it’s all on paper. Another benefit of having a “hands on planner” is that when an idea pops up in my head, I can whip it out and jot down my thoughts. I always make sure when I buy planners, the week is organized with time segments and areas to take notes.
Do your best: I always say this but it’s so important to remember; don’t compare yourself to other people. Everyone has their own issues, some are just better at hiding it than others; let’s be realistic here.
I tell myself all the time to take deep breathes and remember I am doing my best. Because hey, at the end of the day if you truly feel like you are, what more can you do? I chose a profession I love and also couldn’t wait to be a Mommy. Should I have to give up one to really enjoy the other? I don’t think so. And neither should you.
Don’t forget to take time for yourself: There are days where work is just brutal, mentally and physically. Tom can even see it on my face when I walk in the door. He has no problem telling me to enjoy dinner, go upstairs, draw myself a bath, and relax. Things can get overwhelming at times and it is so important to take a minute for yourself. Because let’s face it, at the end of the day, if you aren’t feeling well you can’t help anyone else!
And for those that don’t have a significant other, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most people are actually surprised to see how much of a support system they have when they need it, family and friends combined. Working in Psychiatry I have seen people who feel very helpless and when things get tough, they are shocked to see how many people out there truly care.
I think pride is something we all battle with. We try to “tough it out” on our own or are afraid to be vulnerable. But then we are forgetting a crucial part of life, it isn’t meant to be spent alone, it’s meant to be shared. Don’t forget that!