Dear New Mom,
Not too long ago, your world likely revolved around things like your husband, friends, family, career and perhaps some hobbies sprinkled in. You may have gone to happy hours with your girlfriends, worked long days when you needed to make a deadline and enjoyed date nights on a whim with your spouse.
Then, one day, everything changed. You left home and returned as a mom. Your world suddenly revolved 24/7 around an eight(ish) pound crying, cooing, good smelling, hungry, perfect little person.
You have spent the last few weeks or months focusing on nothing but this new member of your family. Happy hours and date nights take so much planning that they are likely few and far between.
There is one date, however, that may be looming over you.
Your return-to-work date.
You may have moments where you are screaming, “get me back to work and out of this house!” and others where you are crying at the thought of leaving your baby in the care of someone else.
I lose my breath a bit thinking back to those moments. I remember questioning if I was doing the right thing and the overwhelming feeling I had of how was I going to balance it all? I remember guilt rushing over me when I would feel excited about adding “working” to my title of “mom”. I knew I could do it. I just didn’t know how.
Lean on God and prayer to help you. I recall praying more than ever as a new mom.
Your first day back will arrive and you may have a flood of emotions throughout the day (and, to be honest perhaps the first few weeks). If you are nursing, you’ll find the mothers room, carve out time on your calendar and awkwardly make sure certain co-workers and perhaps your boss know the reason you disappear every three hours. You’ll show off pictures of your baby and try to settle back into your groove of being a working woman turned working mom. You will high-tail it out quicker than you ever have in order to get some quality time in with that baby.
Make the most of that time. It will help motivate, drive and inspire you to know you really can balance it. You will spend forever packing for the next day to ensure you don’t forget a pump part, or anything in the bag for the nanny/daycare/family member. You will collapse in exhaustion. You will feel proud of yourself. Allow yourself to feel that!
I am six years and two kids into this working mom “thing” and I still don’t have it totally figured out. Every day is different. Every stage presents different challenges. But day by day, you will make it work. You will be an inspiration to other women out there battling with trying to retain a career after becoming a mom. Make those women a part of your community. Lean on others to help you.
Pray some more.
I cannot promise you it will be easy. It’s not. But I don’t believe being a mom comes with any easy options. It’s hard work all around. I can say I truly believe you are about to embark on the most exciting, challenging and rewarding journey so far in your life.
You can do it, mama!