I don’t know about you, but many years ago when I had zero children, I looked at mom life and wondered how in the world I was going to manage. I mean I won a goldfish at a fair once that survived about a week. Yeah, I know, I wasn’t much to work with.
Fast forward to now, I have three beautiful and healthy children #blessed, a wonderful supportive and engaged husband/daddy, a career, and a blog.
Yes I like to keep busy.
At least once a day I get a ‘I don’t know how you do it’ or ‘you really have your hands full’ and even ‘do you even have time for you?’
Let me answer a few of those right quick before we get started;
I don’t know how you do it
This post on Columbia City Mom’s Blog ‘The Reality of the Working Mom‘ says it best, so I’d suggest reading it.
You really do have your hands full
Actually, no. My children are pretty self sufficient, and as for the baby, I wear her very often, so my hands are often f’ing empty.
Do you even have time for you?
If I said no, would you help me? If you’re not going to offer to fix the problem, why ask such a prodding question? But just to keep your mind at ease, I do. I make time. Life is about balance, so let’s get into that….
I am going to share some of my best secrets for balancing life
• With a baby
• With a baby and other kids
OK, so balancing life with a baby…
…hang on while I think back 5 years to when I had one baby to balance life with.
Tip 1. Bring baby with you
When they are little, I mean real little, bring them with. They are essentially the best accessory you’ll ever own. See my post about the best carriers for every stage to help you out here.
If you’re ever feeling down, put on whatever fits ( I mean whatever, let’s be honest, if you have a fresh baby with you, you could be wearing a garbage bag and people aren’t going to notice), go to target (or local store of choice) and walk around. Best to do it during the day when all the older women are out and about – you know the grandmas and GREAT grandmas that miss their grand/great-grand babies. Those women will oogle over your adorable baby and tell you how sweet he/she is, how beautiful and make you feel all bubbly inside that you made this. Instant mood booster.
Tip 2. Leave baby at home
I know, I am getting a little confusing here. But I am going to put a little plug in here about self care. You can’t be your best you, the best mom unless you take care of you. Time away will be hard, especially that first time, but take advice from Nike and just do it.
Tip 3. Open lines of communication with your employer/partner
If you’re going back to work, be realistic. DON’T GO BACK ON A MONDAY.
Trust me, just don’t do it.
Go back on a Wednesday. Why would you want to start a full week right away? This was literally the absolute BEST piece of advice I was given.
If you’re going to pump at work, make sure you tell them prior to your return so they can have something set up when you have your first day back (understanding your local and state laws regarding breastfeeding if you choose to breastfeed can be helpful in this conversation if they aren’t as well rehearsed on the subject).
You need a supportive employer just as you need supportive family and/or friends during this time, if they aren’t it’s time to say ‘bye felicia’ and move on.
If you aren’t going back to work (and even if you are) you need to be sure to be on the same page with your partner.
My husband and I are a tag team. We have a secret look that we can give when we need the other to step in. And when that look doesn’t work, words do. If you have a partner, make sure you are both holding each other up to the word. You are partners, act like it.
Unless you have a physic for a partner, sometimes you need to use words like
“Gerry, get the hell in here I can’t change another damn diaper”
Anyone have any tips for balancing life with one?