My story begins probably at the same place as yours: the day I had my first baby.
I remember my first pregnancy. I had no idea that my life was about to change. Thinking back, I was so naive! Work-life balance wasn’t even on the horizon for me. No one around me was talking about it and I assumed after the baby, I would go back to work and everything would be back to normal, except with a cutie pie baby.
I had no idea what I was in for….
After having my baby, I was in heaven. I loved being a Mom, puttering around the house, going for walks, and hanging out with my sweet baby. I didn’t want to go back to work, that’s for sure. The months I had off with my newborn were truly the best months of my life.
The thought of going back to work sent me to tears. I had many talks with my hubby about quitting. But I couldn’t quit. I also loved the part of me that solved problems at work, used my brain in creative ways, and earned a nice paycheck. (Yes, I’m proud that I earn a paycheck!)
I was torn and didn’t know what to do. To be honest, I fell into a deep depression.
Thank goodness for my friends and family during this time. I finally realized that my depression was caused by this torn feeling. I healed and came out of it and in the process I learned a lot.
I went back to work as planned but the first year almost killed me. I was exhausted. I missed my baby and I was sad.
Physically, I was a mess, too, since I was tired from going to the office and also pumping every spare minute to try to eek out enough milk for the next day. Being low on sleep doesn’t help anything, does it?
How common is this story, right? So many working Moms that I’ve talked to since that day feel that way. It’s true that some women can’t wait to go back to work because they find the first year is overwhelming, but so many other women feel sad and forever torn. We question ourselves and wonder if we did we did the right thing.
Although I can’t answer the question for you on whether or not you should continue to work after having a baby (that’s a personal decision that every family needs to make), I did learn some things on my journey.
I learned that:
- The first year is the hardest. Right?! During that first year, you think you’ll never survive. Then your baby becomes more and more independent and things do get easier. You get into a routine that works for you and your family and learn to adjust.
- Friends are awesome! Friends can help us get through anything. Their advice and support is invaluable.
- Habits are your other best friend. This is a theme throughout this site so you’ll hear this a lot as you browse, but great habits are truly the Super Power for any Mom, but especially the working Mom.
- Take care of yourself! It’s so easy to spend all of your energy taking care of the baby, the house, work, it goes on and on. I learned the hard way that if you don’t take care of your health (emotional and physical) you can’t handle your other responsibilities. When there’s nothing left in you and you feel empty, you cannot be the wonderful Mom, Wife, Employee, etc. that you envision. Only by taking care of yourself can you take care of others.
Why is it so Hard?
If you’re wondering why Work Life Balance is so hard and you live in the US, I want to assure you that the problem isn’t YOU. I believe that the problems is that our society doesn’t support us.
The United States is the only developed country in the world (along with Papua New Guinea) that doesn’t offer paid maternity leave. Seriously. Every other developed country in the world offers some form of paid maternity leave except the US.
Besides all the financial, emotional and health issues this causes, I believe this “oversight” has created a culture that doesn’t respect or assist working Moms.
One of the reasons I’ve created this site is to offer the support we all need and deserve.
Please subscribe to my mailing list so I can give you ongoing support and love. You are doing the hardest work of you life but also the most meaningful. You are raising children and contributing to the world. Is there anything more important?
P.S. Here are some fun tidbits about me:
- My favorite season is fall since I love to see the leaves change color.
- I’d rather go to museums than the beach.
- I live near Washington D.C. and almost never make it to the free museums right near me. LOL. Must change that!
- I watch almost no TV. (Who has time anymore?!)
- I actually have very curly hair hiding under the hat 🙂