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5 tips for going back to work after maternity – Hello moms!
Just a few months back, I got the biggest promotion of my life – becoming a mother. A life-altering experience for a woman in several beautiful ways *ahem* I am not mentioning the complimentary rewards like smelly diapers, projectile pukes, dark circles and other such fun stuff. So yeah, after coming through those tormenting labour pains, came the ‘real’ test – the dilemma of handling the baby and a full-time job. No, I certainly don’t mean to make it sound bad. It’s a dilemma only till you can figure things out for you and the little one. So I did just that. Some do’s, some don’ts, and trying to put a schedule to my working days – yes it helped, but some days are just not easy. I wanted to write this blog for all you splendid moms out there who juggle a baby, your jobs and daily chores. Here’s an outlet of my learnings and hoping it helps you or someone you know make the transition to work easy.
1. Balance, balance, balance: I knew it was obviously going to take a while to balance my new role, but I did it more successfully when my daily routine was efficient and well organized. A few practice runs a week or so before helped, so I was back at the duty with ease. How I did that? For a week, I sat in a corner answering some emails, tucking away my son to another room – so that he gets habituated to being away from me for a few hours. Build-up was necessary, so that I didn’t suddenly jolt my baby’s separation anxiety. Plus it helped me focus clearly. My forever aim is to be present when am with my tot and when am at my desk. Balancing it all does seem tough initially but soon I was juggling away like a pro.
2. Get organized: As basic as it sounds, I made a daily to-do list. It helped in dividing tasks for work and for home, or tasks for me and tasks for my helper and partner. That way, I reduce the chances of missing out on vital things. Also makes it easier to identify what I need to do, what could wait — and what could be skipped. My time-table goes like – Sleep time, feed time, bath, play time, outdoor walk, reading time. And we split the activities based on who is available at that point. Some days are just not my days and any timetable merely goes nowhere, but on most days it helps me streamline the day beautifully. Time management at work became more important now than ever, I know of that cute smile I’ll go back to.
3. Rest is important: One of the biggest complaints I have (like many working moms) is exhaustion. While sacrificing the night sleep is a given with a crying tot in the house, I have decided to step up my game by not overloading the chores. I turn my back on the petty things – that laundry could be done tomorrow and that kitchen top could get cleaned later. As difficult as it may seem at times, I rest whenever I can and at nights hit the bed as soon my precious one does. Like one of my colleagues duly advised – emails can wait, sleep can’t!
4. Work smart: Before I went back, I explored what would suit me. Today, many organisations are supportive of new working mothers and hence offer suitable work styles – work from home, part-time, freelance etc. So I decided to pick the one that is most relevant to me and my baby. Whatsoever the work type, I have learnt to give the required, dedicated amount of time to my job and prioritize well in order to keep it systematic and simple for me.
5. Believe in your decision: There is no psychologically or emotionally stronger guilt than picking a job over your baby. All mothers go through this at some point in life. I observed that it takes a while to settle into a new routine. So I never gave up. I personally believe every mom is a supermom, but even superheroes need help at times. Talking to other working mums helped, and provided me with some valuable insights and ideas.
Most of all, I hold a positive attitude and choose to keep smiling, even if I’m splintering inside – worth it, because it always keeps the spirits up.
PS: There is no such thing as a perfect mother. We all are forever learning.
– Deepti Dilip, Marketing & Communications Head – Ashnik, Singapore
As the Marketing and Communications Head, Deepti oversees branding, marketing strategies and digital platforms at Ashnik for SEA and India. An ex-advertising soul with a passion for design and creativity, she’s constantly steering brand Ashnik to innovative podiums. She splits her time between a full-time gig at her job, lots of crazy hobbies and her new found role as a mother.