New Mom in the Workplace
Before I was a mom, most of my weekday life took place between 8 am and 8 pm. Before 8 a, you could find me in a leisurely way – getting out of bed, watching The Today Show, browsing Instagram and occasionally on a conference call from home before the work day started.
Now that maternity leave has ended, I feel like I’m competing in a multi-sport athletic competition before 8 am most days. I am in and out of the shower, lobbing on a bit of makeup to cover my tired (so tired!) eyes, making breakfast and lunch so I have some semblance of health while at work, nursing my newborn, pumping while doing dishes and attempting to be dressed before our nanny arrives for the day.
At night, after bedtime for our kiddo, it’s “game on” to attempt to get ahead of the next day – running a quick errand, a load of laundry, email responses to long lost friends, a grocery list of necessities, online shopping for things I wish I could try on at a store (a luxury of past times!) or even just making the bed is a win in my book.
When I talk about my new pre/post-work schedule with my friends who have older (or multiple!) kids that are a bit older, they nod and smile in a sympathetic fashion. I’m giving them a play by play and anticipating a gold medal or a trophy, but what I’m only starting to realize is that there are women all over doing so much to keep their families running at full steam, in addition to heading into the office to fulfill career hopes, dreams and requirements. I appreciate that within my circle of family and friends who have chosen to pursue an outside-the-home career and family, I’m not hearing “I told you so” when I talk about it being tough, but instead I am encouraged and reminded that everyone seems to figure out how to make it work for them.
In so many ways, parenting can feel competitive and hard, but it is refreshing to learn that there are so many working moms doing all of this stuff it in a way that works for their families – and even better yet, there is a community of sharing around how to make this new time in life a bit easier. Mom hacks for week night meals, Facebook groups, phone apps in categories I never knew existed, offers to share babysitters, and sites like this one are proof that there are so many women working to lift each other up and be supportive.
Now that I’m a working mom, I may have to wake up earlier and do a lot more stuff in a lot less time, but I have the opportunity to show my daughter that it is possible if she wants to be a working mom in the future, and I have the benefit of wisdom and support from all my working mom friends.