Working Woman with a Newborn: How to Manage Your Time
Like most new moms, you’ll probably want to take a few weeks off to spend with your infant and set a routine. If you’re lucky, your little bundle of joy will be sleeping through the night by the time you’re ready to return to work. Unfortunately, this is not very common. It’s much more probable that you’ll be burning the midnight oil with feedings every couple of hours, then trying to juggle work and family life throughout the day (with only a fraction of the rest you need to function like a normal individual). Even if you have the luxury of working from home and setting your own schedule, it can still be difficult to juggle the demands of both your professional and personal life. But it can be done with some simple time management techniques.
You’ll want to start by roughing out a daily routine (don’t get cocky…write it in pencil). While it is well and good to try to be strict with your time management, you’re only going to stress yourself out if you insist on adhering to a strict schedule, so be prepared to change it up if things don’t work according to your plan. If you’ve been working in the real world for very long, you know that emergencies and exceptions are always popping up. And you should know that your baby doesn’t care a whit about your other obligations. If your child is hungry, soiled, or simply annoyed, he will let you know, and loudly, no matter how important your conference call is. So set a routine, but leave some wiggle room.
Even more important than laying out a basic schedule is organization. Without it, you are going to be lost. Some women make lists while others make labels (and a few even keep everything neatly stored in their brains). Whatever your method of attending to the details, you’re going to need to make sure that your environment and your life are kept fairly tidy among the piles of baby names books, toys, and other items. This can be greatly helped by having proper storage and a place for everything. For example, don’t use your purse or briefcase as a baby bag unless you want to reach for your laptop at a crucial meeting and end up with a handful of diapers instead. Keep clearly delineated spaces within your home and you’ll be able to function much more efficiently (baby stuff in the nursery, work stuff in the office, and so on).
Finally, don’t sweat the small stuff. You’re going to have to learn to let things go. Your baby will puke on you at least once a day, so keep a backup blouse handy if you’re heading to the office. You’re going to be late…a lot. And if the baby gets a fever on your date night, you’ll probably have to cancel. On the other hand, you’ll be willing to give up and stellar job and all the money in the world the first time your baby smiles at you, or says “mama”, or walks across the room and into your arms. So while managing your time can be difficult with an infant, it’s not an impossible task. And the rewards are well worth any amount of scheduling conflicts.
Breana Orland writes for MomsWhoThink where you can find amazing recipes, informative parenting articles, diet and nutrition advice, and much more.