How to Time Manage Work and a Baby for New Mothers
Hint, hint – it’s about priorities. For those new mamas who feel the end of maternity leave and the return of early morning wakeups and daily showers returning too quickly, these tips will help you prioritize what matters and let go of what doesn’t (hopefully).
1. Planning is key. Spend a bit of time thinking about what your new routine will look like and how you want your day to go. Intentionality is key to setting expectations and managing stress in a new situation. Prior to parenthood, the only person you had to worry about each morning was yourself. And maybe your significant other from time to time. But now there is someone else who needs your time and attention. In addition to getting yourself ready and to work on time, you have to change, feed and pack all the things for baby to thrive in a daycare setting.
As you go through your new morning routine, being able to anticipate what is to come and what needs to happen in order to get everyone out the door on time and with what they need will ensure a smooth start to the day ahead. And remember, the first few days and even weeks will be a period of adjustment for everyone. Give yourself a break, accept that you might be running behind but know that you and baby will ultimately find your groove, and the morning routine will only get easier.
2. Outsource when and what you can. Parenthood is a role that requires wearing many hats but with less available time to accomplish all the things that once felt easy. From meal planning and prep to cleaning the house, there are many tasks that often take a backseat to the new and most important member of the family.
The good news – many of these tasks can be outsourced. For those who want home-cooked meals without the hassle of planning a grocery shopping, services like Hello Fresh include all the ingredients for a restaurant-quality meal. With a bit of prep work, dinner is served in no time. Pairs perfectly with a glass of wine after a long day. The same is true for cleaning. While a package can’t be waiting on your doorstep, there is a never-ending list of cleaning services that can assist in this area so you just have to find the one that fits your budget and needs.
3. Know your priorities. Parenting is a game of choice. Making choices between how and where you spend your time, what can be left undone and what matters most. Knowing what you want to give your time to ensures that you are focusing your time and energy on the things and people that you value. For many parents, quality time with their child trumps clean dishes and perfectly folded laundry. When you know your priorities, managing your time gets easier because it’s no longer a choice between this and that. It’s a choice amongst only the things that matter most. And in that case, there is no wrong decision.
Returning to work after having a baby requires a period of adjustment. As you fine-tune your priorities and find a new rhythm, managing your time will get easier. Just know that change takes time so remember to give yourself and your little one a break as you find your new normal. And know that you are setting an amazing example for your child about what it means to wear many hats. You are not defined by only one role, and you can be the best at each role that matters to you.