Going back to work, or starting a new venture after you’ve had a baby can be hugely daunting. Maternity leave, although with its own challenges to deal with, can seem like a walk in the park compared to juggling motherhood with work, and life, and everything else on top!
Here are our top seven tips for handling it all like a boss…
Ditch the guilt
Firstly, feeling guilty about choosing to work full time, part time or be a stay at home mum is a pointless endeavour. Every mum chooses their own path due to their own personal family, financial and career circumstances, and feeling bad about your choice won’t do anyone any good. So, let’s ditch the mum guilt for good – and let’s stop judging each other too.
Mums who work full time feel guilty about not seeing the kids as much, or missing out on school engagements, mums who stay at home feel guilty about not working, and mums who work part-time feel guilty about doing a half job at both. Ladies – this needs to stop!
Instead, accept your choice, celebrate how awesome you are, be positive and be the best you can be within whichever path you have chosen.
Self-care is important
Setting aside some time to care for yourself and feel happy is crucial to your family’s wellbeing. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so if being happy means having your nails done once a month, going for an evening swim or having a cocktail with the girls now and again, do it – and don’t feel bad about it. Mums have a lot to remember and our brains are usually like the much-depicted laptop with a million tabs open. Save some time for you and savour the little moments.
Work as a team
It can seem easier sometimes to try and handle everything yourself, but make sure dad is firmly involved and try and work as a team. If the baby has a late feed and wakes in the night too, take it in turns to shoulder these burdens and work together.
Share your diaries and sync your calendars, and make sure everything is noted down. It’s also worth mentioning that dad also needs some one on one time with the kids, so let him take the buggy out while you cover a few tasks, grab a coffee or even catch up on Corrie!
Being organised is the key to success and a much less stressy life. Buy a wall planner, get your phone diary going or buy a beautiful paper diary – whatever works for you. One great but simple idea is to sit down on a Sunday evening (with your partner if you have one) and plan out your week. Note down any appointments, deadlines and key dates, and get sorted for the week ahead.
Setting aside a few minutes every evening to set our clothes and school/ nursery bags for the next day, complete any tasks and have a tidy up will also help you to feel more confident about the day ahead, feel calmer before bed and sleep better.
Turn off the phone for family time
Constant pinging from your smart phone can increase anxiety and invade every moment of your life if you’re not careful. The “always on” culture may be useful in some ways, but one way to appreciate your family time and savour the moments with the little ones is to turn off your phone or switch off your notifications for a few hours, so you can properly relax and spend some quality time with the fam. It may seem like a small thing, but it definitely works and ensures that you are fully present for making marvellous memories!
Use exercise as “me time”
Exercise can increase endorphins, make your feel healthier and increase your fitness levels, so why not use fitness as your “me” time? Take up yoga with a friend, go for a run together and grab a latte on the way home, or take part in a fun clubbercise class once a week, and make some new buddies.
Using fitness as a way to chill out, grab some you time and connect with friends is a great idea, so if you can, incorporate a few sessions into your diary.
Learn to say no.
As women, saying no can seem like a big task sometimes! Mums are always inclined to help out, see friends and cram a million things into the already hectic schedule, and as Brits, we are (usually) very polite creatures! That said, learning to say no to social invites, requests from nursery or school to help out, and anything else which will make your life a crazy exhausted whirlwind can work wonders for your mental health, and allow you to give 100% to everything else. Say no and ditch the guilt (again!).