January 23rd. My first day back at work. After 24 weeks of lovely maternity leave, I returned to work ready to start finding my way in the midst of this working mom transition. I got an email today for the P2P (Peer to Peer) Series topic for this month at work and the pic above was attached. If this wasn’t spot on the mark! I know every mom’s path is different, but I definitely wanted to share some tips for getting back in this thang and playing the career mom game.
(1) If possible, start in the middle of the week.
I made my start date a Wednesday because I knew a short week was going to be better than a full week. Man! Friday came and ya girl was Tied! Three days of work and I was in need of the weekend. Returning to a short week gives you a little break before you have to ramp it up and make it through five days straight. Trust me, after being off work taking care of a child, you will thank me later for that abbreviated time you had to get up to speed and talk to coworkers while answering that same question over and over “OMG did you cry leaving your baby today?” lol
(2) Take a break from social media.
I knew getting back in the groove of work and trying to make time to love on my child and husband while keeping up my blog, fitness, and extracurricular activities was going to be difficult. I know when I was on leave, I consumed myself with TV, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat when my son was sleep or when I couldn’t sleep at night. So for me, I wanted to cut out the distractions so I could focus on career growth and development and self focus and care. I’m telling yall, it feels so great to be present in the moment and not think about posting what you are doing or thinking. Also, you aren’t sitting there comparing your snapback (or lack there of) with women who don’t even look like they had a kid. Honey! Comparison is SOOOO the thief of joy! Which leads me to #3!
(3) Be happy with whatever weight you haven’t lost or pudge you haven’t been able to shake.
I had my son and then got consumed with losing the weight. I have to get back in the gym. I am over being overweight. I hate this extra flab and bounce when I walk. Going back to work, you can grow to be self conscious and psyche yourself out when it comes to people seeing you for the first time post childbirth. What outfit should I wear to hide how big I am? What are they going to think when they see me? Lawd this dress shows my pudge…Chile STOP IT! Love the skin you are in. Embrace that flab and give yourself time. It’s been 6 months and I still have soreness from my C Section. This is reality!
(4) Be sure to incorporate time for yourself.
I know I mentioned self focus and care earlier, but being intentional about making time for it is crucial. You can get so boggled down with work and pleasing others that you forget about the most important person YOU! Make time to work out (This is still a struggle for me yall. Lettuce pray!). Schedule a nail or a hair appointment. Get a massage. Make a mall run. Eat a meal alone or do brunch with your girls. There has to be a balance of some sort for your sanity. And I know for me I block my calendar/schedule with me time so that it is known this is a “non-negotiable” for me. You have to set boundaries so that it is respected and understood that you will not compromise on certain aspects/things in life. I learned this early on before I became a mother, but when you become one, you REALLY see just how important it is. Believe me!
(5) Still have fun being a mom!
Working a 9-5 can make life go from 0 to 100 real quick. Don’t get so wrapped up in wearing all your hats that you don’t remember to enjoy the one that got you here…The MOM HAT! I still make time everyday to play with Mason, feed him and cuddle before bed. The weekends are for hanging out and doing things as a family. I never want my son to feel like I’m not “there.” Holding him or playing in his hair at night while putting him to sleep just gives me so much purpose in life. I have grown to have the perspective of “I am doing all this for you. Working so that you can have all your little heart desires.”
Hope these tips help with getting you ready for that day of returning to work and leaving the little one.