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Calling All Working Moms!

As I approach my return to work after being off on maternity leave for 9 weeks, I have realized that although I’m ready to get back into my normal routine with my newborn now included in it, making it my “new normal”, I am also feeling really rusty on how to go about daily life as working mom.

This isn’t my first rodeo. I also have a daughter who is almost 3. I had to do this very thing back when she was an infant. Somehow I got back into the swing of things and life resumed, although altered to accommodate the brand new person I’d added to it. We figured each other out, developed a groove and grew with each other and our family.

This time around, I feel more nervous than the first time, however.

Not only am I working a completely different job, but I am also going to be trying to get to work on time after the middle of the night feedings with my infant and an unpredictable 3-year-old on top of it. While my 3-year-old does sleep through the night, she still has her moments where she’ll call out to me to help her use the potty or to get her a drink of water. I’ll have to wake up earlier, try to get myself ready for the day and out the door by a certain time so that I’m not late, which is easy enough, but it’s easier said than done with two small children who will also need things in that minuscule time frame I’ll have each weekday morning. My husband will be home to help, as he was the first time around, but now my 3-year-old also has to be up and ready for preschool. We all have places to go and people to see, with a ticking clock ever present in the background, not letting us forget it’s there.

After work I’ll need to adjust to making dinner, taking care of the house and doing bedtime routines by myself for the most part, due to my husband’s work schedule being opposite mine. It’s daunting and when I try to project into the future and envision how things will be with my new baby added to it, I see myself as a “mombie”, going through the motions like a sleep-deprived robot.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m nervous about doing this all over again. What I’d love to get out of this post is (obviously) not to GIVE tips, but to RECEIVE them from all you working moms out there who have some words of wisdom you may want to share. Give me bullet points. Give me a top 5 list of best practices. Give me anything that helped you when you had to do this all over again. How did you cope? How did you get back to normal? How did you find yourself again?

I appreciate anything I can get and I’m excited to read your offerings. Thank you so much in advance!

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6 Responses to Calling All Working Moms!

  1. Kary Ellen Berger January 26, 2018 at 11:19 am #

    – Go back slowly, if that’s possible. If not, don’t beat yourself up that everything won’t be “back to normal right away.” You will get a new normal.
    – Calendars, planners etc.. help me keep track of the kids’ drop-off/pick-up times and I write it down for every day (even though you’d think I would remember most days, it’s nice to have that reminder!)
    – If you get back and nothing seems to be going well or “normal” after a while, look for options that give you a better work/family life.
    – Have time for yourself. After my littles go to bed, I take 10-30 minutes just for me time. And if the dishes don’t get done that night, I know I’ll do them the next day. 🙂

    • dustykalback January 27, 2018 at 9:50 pm #

      Thank you so much for your feedback! If anything, I’ve at least tried to tweak things to make my home/work life easier by now changing my schedule to where I work from home permanently a couple days a week. It’s brand new, but I think it’s really going to help. It’s been pretty crazy adjusting back to work. It’s mostly internal stress, but it’s definitely there nonetheless!

  2. Kathryn Dowell January 27, 2018 at 9:37 pm #

    Great conversation! I only went back to work (and school) once. After the second I stayed home but I will share what I can.
    I was able to breastfeed my first born for 17 months mostly from my knowledge of my rights. I had some difficulty w my employer (not my school at all, thankfully) but my persistence and my insistence allowed me to have a great nursing relationship. Equip yourself w knowledge!

    • dustykalback January 27, 2018 at 9:52 pm #

      Ugh, breastfeeding. That needs to be a whole separate post for me. It was such a love/hate relationship. I loved it because I knew all the great things it was providing to my babies, but it hated me! I stopped before I went back to work. It was just what worked best for me. But in general, yes, equipping myself with knowledge is wonderful advice. Knowing my resources, etc. Thank you!

  3. Vicky February 2, 2018 at 1:16 pm #

    If you don’t already make crock pot meals, I highly recommend it. It’s so nice to come home to a warm meal that is ready to eat! The hardest adjustment for me was the dinner time juggle. Baby was wanting to nurse and my toddler was on the verge of being hangry. I didn’t always have 30 minutes to whip something up so a crock pot was a life saver for me.
    Good luck!

  4. malloryskidmore
    malloryskidmore February 4, 2018 at 9:43 am #

    I definitely don’t have it all figured out as a full-time working mom, but one thing that helps us so much is meal planning/prepping as much as possible on the weekends. This makes our weeknight evenings a little less chaotic.

    I also try my best to leave things like chores until after my daughter goes to bed. This one is really hard for my type-A personality, but I figure the laundry will still be there, and I’d rather spend the extra time with her.

    Mom guilt is next to impossible to avoid, no matter what your working situation is. Some days I feel like I totally kill it, and other days, I feel like it totally kills me!

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