Keeping Your Career and Your Sanity: 7 Tips for the New Mom

Twenty-four hours in a day just isn’t enough. Do working moms get circus training so they can juggle everything from parenting, to wife duties, to keeping up with social circles, to maintaining a career? Saving the world sounds more doable. If you’re a new mother with a similar struggle, here are strategies that can give you a bit of breathing room and some perspective while keeping it together.

by Marella Castro, 26 August 2017

Look guys, the Super Mom idea sounds awesome and all, but let’s not set unrealistic standards for working mothers, especially the first-timers. If you’re a new mom, you might say work-life balance isn’t real, and you’re probably right. Balance, if it does exist, looks a little different for every mom. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a senior executive, a work-from-home type, or a full-time homemaker. Every situation requires a unique configuration that suits YOUR lifestyle. If you don’t have the luxury of time, money, and support from your family, you’re going to have to make difficult choices between your baby and your work. Balance is not achieving perfection. It is not trying to do everything. It is paring down to the essentials of what you need, to be fulfilled (as an individual, a professional, and a parent). These pointers will help you achieve that.

1. Set Your Priorities
First on your list should be defining what’s most important to you and your family. As a career woman, you might be used to doing whatever it takes to position yourself for a promotion. Having a baby doesn’t mean you should give up on your career goals. It just means it might take you longer to get there. Choosing between proving yourself and losing precious time with your baby is never easy. You have to redefine what success means to you in your new role as a working mom. 

2. Manage Work Expectations 
Going back to the workplace after maternity leave is one of the hardest transitions to go through. Somehow your body has adjusted to motherhood but your environment has not. Talk to your employer about flexibility options and prepare to present alternative solutions to ensure productivity. Maintain focus while you’re at the office. Set a time limit when answering emails or making calls. Limit distractions like social media browsing and small talk during work hours.  

3. Enjoy Simple Pleasures

Go for “mommy and me” activities that don’t take up a lot of energy and preparation, like peaceful walks in the park, watching home movies or making them—keep an eye out for baby’s firsts! Leave the theme parks for when the little tyke is older to actually remember the experience. Catching up with friends and family is easier if you invite them to your place. They bring you food, you whip out the baby stories.

4. Round Up the Relatives

The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” shows the importance of the community in raising children. Your relatives will prove invaluable in dealing with chores, errands, and babysitting. Remember this saying when your pride gets in the way. All you need to do is ask. Lolos and lolas will use any excuse to see the baby anyway!

5. Listen to Your Body
Manage stress by meditating during your downtime. Boost your mood while on your daily commute by listening to audiobooks on topics you want to learn or novels you never got the time to read. Sleep deprivation is inevitable, so take power naps when you can. Being a zombie at work isn’t going to help you finish on time, and losing presence of mind around the baby is too much of a risk. Don’t be a martyr by trying to do everything by yourself. As a homemaker and a provider, the stakes are higher if you get sick. Know your limits and live to fight another day.

6. Outsource When You Can
Shop online. Hire a cleaning service. Get a yaya. Yes, it costs money. But a yaya can get you more sleep and help you in managing your new lifestyle. So if you can afford it, go for it. Ask within your network for reliable nannies and daycare centers. Look for those with a history of long-term commitment to families and always do a background check.

7. Tag Team with Your Other Half

Involve your partner every step of the way. Gone are the days when mothers did everything involving childcare and housework. Men need to get involved. While you are out dividing and conquering tasks, remember that you are also responsible for each other. Communicate your feelings, and be sensitive to subtle cues for when you need a break, before you lose your mind. Being cranky and miserable is a sure sign that you need a few minutes of alone time.