WORK-LIFE BALANCE / MAY. 03, 2014
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How to Balance a Stressful Job And a Newborn

New moms are used to juggling all kinds of things. They'll have; a diaper bag around one wrist, their tea in their left hand, a book in their right hand, and laundry resting on their hip. Yes, new moms are most certainly masterminds when it comes to multitasking.

When it comes to their career, it becomes a little more challenging. Not only would most moms prefer to stay home with their baby, their head is now split between two responsibilities. A career can be stressful enough; a newborn can make any mom feel overwhelmed. It is all about balance. Take a deep breath new moms, and moms to be; there's hope. You can enjoy your beautiful new addition, as well as stay on top of your career.

Here are some valuable tips to balance work and a newborn:

Focus on the Present

Caring for your newborn while balancing a career can be challenging. The best thing you can do is focus on the task you are presently working on. I know this is easier said than done, but you will be much more productive if you do so.

While you're at home with your baby, try to not think about work. While you're at home with your newborn, concentrate on the beautiful life you've created. When you do go back to work, the same rule applies. You will be leaving your baby in someone's care that you trust. Although it is natural to miss your baby, focus on the present. Get your work tasks completed just as you would've before you became pregnant. Realistically, if you complete all your work tasks while at work, you'll be less prone to have work cross your mind while you're at home.

Work With Your Employer

Everyone is in a different circumstance, so it is hard to generalise. Some places of employment allow you to tweak your position easier than others. If it would be possible to complete your work tasks from home, why not come up with a strategy?

Lay out a plan for your boss to look over. Keep in mind, this plan will have to benefit both parties. If it is possible that you can do your job efficiently at home, there's no reason why something cannot be worked out. Don't approach your boss and casually drop the idea; go into their office with a plan that is well thought out. No matter how close you are to your boss, they don't want to see hopes and ideas. Within your plan, tackle all the major points; how you'll keep up communication, what you'll be accomplishing, deadlines, hours and anything that would be a concern. Go into their office with all the concerns already addressed. They will be more prone to accept your plan if there aren't any holes in it.

Keep Your Networking Strong

When you have a baby, you don't drop off the face of the earth. Make sure you keep your contacts strong. Social networking and the internet has made networking easier than ever. Make sure that you're checking in with your contacts, stay in the loop.

If you're a business owner, stay in touch with your customers and clients. Keep your customer base strong. They'll more than likely be thrilled that you had a baby. If you stay in touch with your contacts, it will be easier to jump back into your business or career down the road. You may also feel better if you have a good sense of what's occurring while you tend to your newborn.

Focus On You Too

You may feel like you already don't have enough time for your baby and your job, but you need attention too. Don't feel guilty about taking half hour out of the day to focus on yourself. Have a cup of tea and read a book on your deck; there's no crime in that. If you are constantly focusing on everything but yourself, you'll find that your energy levels will deplete. Making time for yourself is crucial.

Utilise Help Around You

Let's face it; when you become pregnant, your parents are just as excited as you are. They jump into the grandparent role with pure excitement and joy. If there is a task that you need to complete one day, why not focus on the help that's at your disposal? Call your best friend, parent or sibling; I'm sure that they'll be pleased to watch your baby. You may want to spend all the time available with your baby, this is understandable. With that being said, don't be afraid to spread the love around a bit. Friends and family will be there for you, just ask.

Plan Ahead

If you are organised, you will not feel so overwhelmed. There are various areas within our life that could be planned a little more effectively. Making small changes can make a world of difference. For example; plan a few meals ahead. This seems insignificant, but it'll be one less thing to worry about. If you are making ten small changes, that equates to a world of difference. Designate time to check your work emails while your newborn naps. Don't be shy to call a friend and socialise a bit once you have put your newborn down at night. If you have planned a routine for yourself, you are bound to feel less stressed.

At the end of the day, your priorities and life change once you have had a baby. There is no doubt that changes will occur; it's what you do with those changes that will make the difference. Don't let stress get you down or overwhelmed. It's possible to balance both motherhood and your career.

Go about things the right way; plan, discuss your situation with your boss, stay healthy, take time for yourself, ask for help and stay in touch. Enjoy this new journey in your life, while you balance your career. It does not need to be one or the other. Work with your unique situation; you will find that you're enjoying your time, not focusing on needing more of it.  

Photo credit: The Guardian

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