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.