Being a first-time mom can be an incredibly exciting feeling. At the same time, you also can’t help but feel a bit anxious about how you can balance work with personal life — especially with an infant or toddler to take care of.
As a new parent, your mind and body undergo a number of changes and it can be challenging to achieve that elusive work-life balance. Here are a few suggestions to help you reach that goal.
Have an open conversation with your boss or superior
Your newborn or toddler will require a lot of quality time from you. That’s why it’s important to be upfront with your boss on the support that you need during this crucial time.
Ask if you can adopt a flexible work schedule (e.g. work from home on most days of the week) to make accommodate health appointments and quality time with your child. If you’re taking turns taking care of the child with your partner, specify which days or weeks you can give a hundred percent at work.
If your boss is also a parent, you can even ask for some advice on how they juggled work life with parenting.
Ultimately, the goal is to set the right expectation, and most likely, you’re boss — and even your colleagues — will understand where you’re coming from.
Invest in quality child care
There’s no shame in enlisting the help of child care services, especially if they have a good reputation and are sought after by many parents. You and your partner don’t have to shoulder everything yourselves.
Aside from doing your homework, ask fellow parents or family members for good recommendations. Highly seasoned parents are most likely able to recommend a good provider, whether you have an infant or a toddler.
That being said, hiring the services of a childcare provider or nanny is not an excuse to be complacent. Remember that support is only there to help you spend a portion of your time focused entirely on work.
At the end of the day, you still need to dedicate time and attention to develop a healthy relationship with your child.
Start saying no more often
If you haven’t figured out how to say no to certain requests, now is a good time to starting learning how. Time is a key and scarce resource when it comes to parenting. Thus, you should be wise on how you spend your time to ensure your child gets enough love and attention from you.
If you used to go out frequently with friends and colleagues after work, it may be best to adjust this habit. While there will be instances where you can commit to a few social gatherings, don’t feel guilty about missing out on most of them if it means spending quality time with your family.
Additionally, be more discerning when it comes to taking on major projects at work — especially ones that will require more time from your schedule. Again, start an open conversation with your co-workers and help them see things from your perspective.