Nothing can ever prepare you for motherhood
Working Mamma by Geni Dee
You can read every book on the planet about the subject, but nothing will ever prepare you for becoming a parent for the first time.
I was completely overwhelmed. I was happy, but I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. When the fog from continued sleep deprivation finally started to lift and I felt like I was getting a handle on things, my maternity leave was over and I had to go back to work.
I was only just figuring out motherhood, how was I supposed to manage my full-time job as well?
On the first day I dropped my baby off at day-care, I cried the whole way back to the office. It took me about a month to come to terms with the new normal, and to try and embrace my dual role of mother and professional.
If you would have asked me five years ago whether I would ever consider being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM), I probably would have laughed in your face. I was young and stupid then…
Although I would offer my left pinkie for more time with my baby, I have also learnt in the meantime that being a working mother definitely has its merits.
Motherhood has actually helped me to evolve the principles of time management and productivity in my professional career.
I now concentrate on getting as much done as possible in a day because you never know when the next round of teething is upon you, which renders you basically useless at work because of a lack of sleep. Or you don’t know when your baby will be sick and you need to take time off to take him or her to the doctor. So I try to use every second of the day at work as productively as I can. This has made me more focused and efficient.
Implementing a routine for my baby had also improved my organisational skills. Having a successful routine requires attention to detail and a lot of planning. This forces you to manage your time better.
Being able to go to work every day, also keeps me in touch with what’s happening in the world. Whilst on maternity leave I didn’t have much adult conversation with the result that when my husband got home in the evening, I literally would not stop talking.
At work I have likeminded people to share ideas with, although I think I have to work on the way I tell stories about being a mother. I realised the other day that I might spend way too much time describing my infant’s bodily functions in very vivid detail to my colleagues.
I couldn’t understand the look of shock and horror on their faces until I grasped that I had been doing a 20 minute soliloquy on my baby’s bowel movements. I guess I should not be surprised that my invitation to Friday after-work drinks was revoked.
So maybe I haven’t completely figured out that illusive work-life balance, yet.