Looking ahead and freaking out

Just a few nights ago I was feeling this really anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach. You know, the feeling you get when you know something big is about to happen, like a trip or a job interview or a celebration. At first I couldn’t pin it down and it was making me nervous. Why is my tummy all full of butterflies?

A few moments of thinking and I realized what had me all tied up in knots. I’d just been looking at my calendar, organizing various social and personal obligations and I realized I’m just three short months away from going back to work. I know, three months is still a long time, for many it’s the total time they get to be home with their babies. But what has me all bent out of shape is how much stuff I have going on in the next three months. The craziness that will make the time fly by much faster than normal.

Outside of the month of December, which let’s face it, is always full of busy stuff, there is so much coming up that my head is spinning. The way I see it, my lazy (I say that loosely), responsibility free maternity leave days of hanging with the baby and my 3-year-old are almost over. I feel pretty anxious and sad about that. There is so much I have to wrap my head around to get ready to go back and I would prefer the last weeks to be about preparing for being a two-parent working family once again.

I recently enjoyed a one-hour session with Opti-Mom (on Twitter @optimom). Laurel is a personal coach that helps moms achieve balance and wellness in their lives so that they can better support and raise healthy families. When I met her I knew a chat was in order. I need to get myself together so that when I go back to work I’m in the best position possible to cope with managing various competing priorities. I’m not doing a great job of it while I’m off so you can imagine my worry for when I’m back to being out of the home more than 50 hours a week.

Laurel taught me that self care is key if I am going to be able to manage my various responsibilities. To focus on my marriage and husband second and my children third. This might not be what you’d expect, but it makes perfect sense. A happy mom is a happy family. I get this and I’m pretty good about focusing on myself. What I am not good at is focusing on myself without guilt. Guilt that there is always something more important that I should be doing when I am enjoying something I want to do.

So Laurel gave me homework. I think this is key, if it’s “homework” a new importance is immediately assigned to it. Over the coming weeks I will:

1. Establish my daily list of what I will do to ensure I am nurturing my mind, body and spirit.

2. Establish my daily list of what I will do at my workplace to ensure I am staying committed to nurturing my mind, body and spirt.

3. List of expectations (4 or 5) on getting my spouse grooved back into my returning to work and how he can best help to support the family.

4. Book one night per week as date night – we don’t have to leave the house but we have to have a night to just reconnect as a married couple. The rule is no discussions about the kids.

This all makes perfect sense and will be a priority as I move forward. If you are a working mom, what tricks do you use to manage it all? Tips and suggestions are always welcome and needed.

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16 thoughts on “Looking ahead and freaking out

  1. Denise Nielsen says:

    Don't freak out. I work FT with 3 kids (all in school this year which helps) – the key for me is being organized (not my strength). We pack bookbags for the next day before dinner; I get up early to make lunches and shower BEFORE the kids get up; I plan menus (with some easy flexible options) 2 weeks in advance and grocery shop/errand run at lunch and after work through the week. And we keep weekends free for family unwinding. It works for us. Good luck, and be kind to yourself (especially the first few weeks after you return.) Great suggestions from your coach!

  2. Denise Nielsen says:

    Don't freak out. I work FT with 3 kids (all in school this year which helps) – the key for me is being organized (not my strength). We pack bookbags for the next day before dinner; I get up early to make lunches and shower BEFORE the kids get up; I plan menus (with some easy flexible options) 2 weeks in advance and grocery shop/errand run at lunch and after work through the week. And we keep weekends free for family unwinding. It works for us. Good luck, and be kind to yourself (especially the first few weeks after you return.) Great suggestions from your coach!

  3. Denise Nielsen says:

    Don't freak out. I work FT with 3 kids (all in school this year which helps) – the key for me is being organized (not my strength). We pack bookbags for the next day before dinner; I get up early to make lunches and shower BEFORE the kids get up; I plan menus (with some easy flexible options) 2 weeks in advance and grocery shop/errand run at lunch and after work through the week. And we keep weekends free for family unwinding. It works for us. Good luck, and be kind to yourself (especially the first few weeks after you return.) Great suggestions from your coach!

  4. Denise Nielsen says:

    Don't freak out. I work FT with 3 kids (all in school this year which helps) – the key for me is being organized (not my strength). We pack bookbags for the next day before dinner; I get up early to make lunches and shower BEFORE the kids get up; I plan menus (with some easy flexible options) 2 weeks in advance and grocery shop/errand run at lunch and after work through the week. And we keep weekends free for family unwinding. It works for us. Good luck, and be kind to yourself (especially the first few weeks after you return.) Great suggestions from your coach!

  5. Christy says:

    This is a great post. I have a bit longer than you before I go back, but sounds like I may need to book a session as well. I like your homework and may steal it for myself. I'm finding after baby 2 that husband and I are hardly spending time together as a couple. Sorry, I don't have any tips, I sound exactly like you!

  6. Christy says:

    This is a great post. I have a bit longer than you before I go back, but sounds like I may need to book a session as well. I like your homework and may steal it for myself. I'm finding after baby 2 that husband and I are hardly spending time together as a couple. Sorry, I don't have any tips, I sound exactly like you!

  7. Christy says:

    This is a great post. I have a bit longer than you before I go back, but sounds like I may need to book a session as well. I like your homework and may steal it for myself. I'm finding after baby 2 that husband and I are hardly spending time together as a couple. Sorry, I don't have any tips, I sound exactly like you!

  8. Christy says:

    This is a great post. I have a bit longer than you before I go back, but sounds like I may need to book a session as well. I like your homework and may steal it for myself. I'm finding after baby 2 that husband and I are hardly spending time together as a couple. Sorry, I don't have any tips, I sound exactly like you!

  9. Sonya says:

    Great post. Found your blog through the lovely Christy above. I'm freaking out a bit too, going back to work in two months. I'm less worried this time after baby#2 because I know how hard it was the first time around!I think the key thing is *planning*. Meals, chores, outings, etc. And really, priorities will be a little different each week because it's not possible to do it all: spending quality time with hubby, and kids, and maintain a household! So one week you might spend less time with hubby, another week you'll spend less time with the kids, etc.You're off to a great start: the key to all of this is YOU.

  10. Sonya says:

    Great post. Found your blog through the lovely Christy above. I'm freaking out a bit too, going back to work in two months. I'm less worried this time after baby#2 because I know how hard it was the first time around!I think the key thing is *planning*. Meals, chores, outings, etc. And really, priorities will be a little different each week because it's not possible to do it all: spending quality time with hubby, and kids, and maintain a household! So one week you might spend less time with hubby, another week you'll spend less time with the kids, etc.You're off to a great start: the key to all of this is YOU.

  11. Sonya says:

    Great post. Found your blog through the lovely Christy above. I'm freaking out a bit too, going back to work in two months. I'm less worried this time after baby#2 because I know how hard it was the first time around!I think the key thing is *planning*. Meals, chores, outings, etc. And really, priorities will be a little different each week because it's not possible to do it all: spending quality time with hubby, and kids, and maintain a household! So one week you might spend less time with hubby, another week you'll spend less time with the kids, etc.You're off to a great start: the key to all of this is YOU.

  12. Sonya says:

    Great post. Found your blog through the lovely Christy above. I'm freaking out a bit too, going back to work in two months. I'm less worried this time after baby#2 because I know how hard it was the first time around!I think the key thing is *planning*. Meals, chores, outings, etc. And really, priorities will be a little different each week because it's not possible to do it all: spending quality time with hubby, and kids, and maintain a household! So one week you might spend less time with hubby, another week you'll spend less time with the kids, etc.You're off to a great start: the key to all of this is YOU.

  13. A Crafty Mom says:

    What a fabulous session that must have been!! And a great idea. I'm sure you'll do fantastic, I think it takes a bit of time for everyone to adjust, but if you do your homework as suggested, it looks like you'll really be on the right track (I think so many women going back to work get their priorities all mixed up). I may be back to check out your list again if I end up heading back to work soon!

  14. A Crafty Mom says:

    What a fabulous session that must have been!! And a great idea. I'm sure you'll do fantastic, I think it takes a bit of time for everyone to adjust, but if you do your homework as suggested, it looks like you'll really be on the right track (I think so many women going back to work get their priorities all mixed up). I may be back to check out your list again if I end up heading back to work soon!

  15. A Crafty Mom says:

    What a fabulous session that must have been!! And a great idea. I'm sure you'll do fantastic, I think it takes a bit of time for everyone to adjust, but if you do your homework as suggested, it looks like you'll really be on the right track (I think so many women going back to work get their priorities all mixed up). I may be back to check out your list again if I end up heading back to work soon!

  16. A Crafty Mom says:

    What a fabulous session that must have been!! And a great idea. I'm sure you'll do fantastic, I think it takes a bit of time for everyone to adjust, but if you do your homework as suggested, it looks like you'll really be on the right track (I think so many women going back to work get their priorities all mixed up). I may be back to check out your list again if I end up heading back to work soon!

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