Transitioning Back to WorkSep 28, 2021 ● By Becky Squyer
By: Becky Squyer
Nothing is permanent. I would often utter those three words to myself when in the midst of a transition with the kids. Whether it was finding the right daycare for us, figuring out how to be able to stay awake during 40 weekly work hours, or remembering that I needed to eat a meal and drink some water. Nothing is permanent.
The transition from new mom to working mom can be so terrifyingly muddy. I’m not sure when the title ‘New Mom’ even wears off because I personally feel like moms strip themselves of it far too soon. I knew one thing for certain with baby #2, and that was that it was paramount that I set real boundaries with work and care for myself enough to stick to them. Things like pumping every three hours, eating lunch, leaving at 4:30pm daily – normal things that are extremely challenging for me. I struggle greatly with work interruption and battle daily with perfectionism, anxiety, and efficiency verse output. I did not give myself these boundaries when we had our first daughter six years ago and many of my motherly goals, like breastfeeding, failed much sooner than I’d hoped.
I don’t believe in a work-life balance. I believe that figuring out what is best for the day is what creates the balance. My family dynamic is unique and believing in some sort of measurement scale for that unicorn balance would be silly of us. My husband is in the bar/restaurant/event industry, and I am retail. We are home together at the same time on Sunday and Monday nights and that’s really it. I know that after bedtime, I prepare everything for the next morning and clean up the house so that I can go to sleep with a clear mind that is ready for a new day but, to flip the coin, I also give myself grace if I need to just go to bed and leave the dishes for tomorrow - no matter how much I hate it.
Give grace. Give yourself grace. Babies are beautiful, and challenging, and the separation when returning to work may or may not cause you actual pain to your core (both are acceptable). Be okay with losing yourself for a while because (yes, I’m going to say it) you will truly blink and the days will switch from being touched-out and needed every moment to hardly at all.
Photo Credit: Ashley Wegh Photography