Anyone who's a parent knows it is a full-time job -- but not many women can afford the luxury of quitting work when their baby comes. Survive the grind and enjoy time with your kids with these tips.
- TIP: Keep a single calendar with both personal and work appointments so you don't double up and have to cancel commitments.
- Step 1: Call your children to check in when you have the time, such as on a coffee break or during your lunch hour. Chatting with them, however brief, can help you stay connected and grounded.
- Step 2: Don't feel guilty for having to -- or wanting to -- work. Remember that going back to work after a maternity leave gets easier with time. Find time to take care of yourself and exercise -- even if it means you have to wake up before your kids to do it!
- FACT: The United States is the only industrialized country that doesn't mandate paid maternity leave.
- Step 3: Focus on work while you are at work and then leave your work at the door when you go home. This way you can be the best employee and mom you can be by living in the moment and not succumbing to a competing distraction.
- Step 4: Recognize that you may need outside help to enjoy time with your family. Consider paying for someone to deliver groceries, cut the lawn, or clean the house so you don't feel on the go all the time.
- Step 5: Go to bed early enough to enjoy a full night's rest of at least seven to eight hours. Sleep deprivation decreases your brainpower and your ability to cope so try to start each day as fully charged as you can be.
- Step 6: Decide with your spouse how to divide the childcare duties and home responsibilities so it does not all fall on you. Get your children's father involved right from the start with feeding and cleaning your infant so it becomes habit.
- TIP: Switch off nights tending to the little one while your partner gets a full night's rest when your baby is not sleeping through the night.
- Step 7: Search out quality, reliable childcare that you can afford in the long-term. If you can't rely upon your babysitter and trust that your children are safe, you won't be able to focus on work. Ask for recommendations and inquire about openings or waiting lists well in advance of childcare needs.