Tips for working moms

9:59 AM

When I had my baby, I was very conflicted about going back to work. Conflicted, as in, it wasn't that I didn't want to work anymore. I love my job and have always wanted to stay employed. But for a short while, I wanted to just stay and hug my baby all day long, breastfeed whenever I could, and just sleep when the baby slept. I believe it is something every new mother goes through.I did that for four months, as the state of California/company allowed me to. I was lucky to have my mom who cooked for me. I loved those four months with S.

I took the time off, as I wanted to do justice to my work too. I can't be at work if I don't think I could dedicate myself to it fully. The break also gave me precious time with my baby, and made me realize I can work in an office and still enjoy motherhood. It made me want to go back to work happily. If that feeling changes, I will take a break.

This post may be useful to moms in similar scenarios as mine, with flexible hours, or work from home options. However, it is applicable to anyone who has a busy schedule. 

  1. Start your day early. You may start getting used to waking up earlier than before you were a mom. Some people just get up early. I was always a night owl, and got up late. But recently, I do find the day is off to a better start even if I get up a little earlier than usual.  Baby S wakes me up most days at 5 am, and if I'm lucky he may nap again till 7 am. I usually start work a little early by planning for the workday. I check my emails, check for important work that needs attention, prioritize my work tasks, and  make sure I set up to communicate with my team as applicable. A lot of my team members are across different cities and time zones, so I am able to use the earlier hours well to have communication as well. 
  2. Keep a checklist and follow through. The simple task of jotting down (or typing out) the list of to dos for the day helps keep one focused. It is very satisfying to check off a few things off the list at the end of the day, and setting realistic deadlines. 
  3. Take regular breaks. If you are in the office, a coffee break even for a few minutes is useful to let off steam, recharge batteries and socialize even for a few minutes. Try to keep the approach even if you work from home, you may take a break and spend some time with your little one, grab a coffee or snack, stay hydrated.  If you need to pump and your office provides you, make sure you time your meetings and take the required break. You are not doing anything wrong.
  4. Be efficient. In addition to taking a few breaks which helps you work with a fresh mindset, make sure you do plan to logoff in the evening and not return to work. This mindset sort of sets the path to work efficiently. 
  5. Plan for diversions. This includes things not in the checklist, but still important to get your job done. For instance, important meetings, responding to emails, documentation of work, all this takes up time even though it's not accounted for. Make sure you plan accordingly. 
  6. Avoid staying logged in and working late hours. Even if you do end up working late, that's fine, but plan to finish your work day like you would do if went to the office. It is usually very tempting to stay logged in, but one is usually not very efficient after about eight hours of work. The flexible option does help if there is important work that wasn't completed and won't take more than an hour or two. Somehow, after becoming a mother, I have actually become more efficient at my work than before. Maybe because I want to make sure I use every minute at work to work, so I can logoff and return 'home' to spend time with my baby, family, and nothing else. 
  7. If you need to work overtime at home, do it after the baby sleeps. I just find it so hard to focus on work in the evenings with my baby on my mind. The best way to unwind after work is to spend time with baby, and this is very important for his/her development, especially emotional development. I'm usually also in the 'done for the day' mind frame, and want to spend time with my little one.  Make sure you spend the time, do any household work that needs attention, cooking, etc. and then get back to work. And, don't work too late. I have broken this many a time, and have seen it affect my efficiency after a few days of burning out this way. 
  8. Enjoy the 'job' so you can do justice to it. It doesn't make sense to spend eight or more hours and be miserable. If you really hate your job, irrespective of whether you are a mom (or not), you should rethink your options. Maybe have a backup plan. But if you enjoy what you do, dedication, efficiency, and a lot of other traits come easily on the job. 
  9. Family always should come first. I know this is the last note I have instead of the first, but it's very important. This quote from former Scientist and President, Abdul Kalam is apt here -  'Love your job, but don’t love your company, because you may not know when your company stops loving you.' This post on his official Facebook page, also talks about his views on working late. The best companies to work for have emphasized this, and for good reason. 
I consider myself and baby S lucky, for he is under the care of his grandparents when I'm at office. My workplace is pretty family friendly, with flexible hours and work from home option, which helps as well. It did help that I was with the company long enough to feel comfortable even asking them for some of these options.

I have seen a lot of his milestones and am happy to see his growth and be with him. The days when I work from home, I usually sit in a different room and work. That way there is no distraction. I am usually very efficient more than ever at work. But, I'm on a timer that sets off every two hours - and most relatively new moms will know what I mean. Things are a little different when you have a small baby who needs you.

Everything revolves around the baby. Work is still important, but baby is more important. All that's needed is a little bit of planning so you can get the best of both worlds.

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About me

Welcome to Sleepy Mom Bliss, written by Amrita. I wanted a platform to share all my experiences, struggles and memories of being a mom.

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