How to Keep your Balance and Sanity After Maternity Leave
A lot of people say they dread Monday morning. I’m not usually in that camp, but I will be next Monday. Next Monday!!! How is it here already? Where did those 12 weeks go? How can I leave her already? What if she doesn’t take her bottle? How on earth am I going to get out the door on time?
You see, next Monday, my second maternity leave ends and my life as a mom/parallelpreneur begins! My head is swirling, and my emotions threaten to come pouring out. The past 12 weeks were exhausting in the most glorious way. Lucky for me, adjusting to life as a Mom of two under two has been easier than being a first-time Mom, but that’s only because our second sleeps like a champ whereas her brother did not.
Now, as for next Monday, this is what I’m in for:
Tears, and lots of them.
A Stressful Sunday Night. I remember running around like a maniac at night because getting out of the house in the morning with little ones is no joke. I remember the stress of trying to prepare somewhat healthy meals, squeeze in some exercise, nurse an infant and sanitize bottles and pumps. Now add to the mix working on my new business and trying to make sure the world’s pickiest two year old eats something, and is in bed at a decent hour. Will I even have 5 minutes to sit and chat with my hubby or play with my son?
A physical and logistical challenge. Not only from running around Sunday night (see above) but honestly I don’t how many trips up and down the stairs it will take to get my toddler, my infant car seat, diaper bags, purse, laptop bag and breast pump into the car. Wait, am I forgetting something?
Exhaustion. Even with an 11-week old sleeping queen, I am tired. I know some people think maternity leave is nothing but snuggles and naps. What they don’t realize is that when you have two kids, it’s not so easy to sleep when the babies sleep. Not to mention, with my exciting new venture into entrepreneurship, my mind is going around the clock, so I’m pulling longer hours than usual. It’s exhilarating, but it is exhausting.
Anxiety. About leaving the two of them and feeling like I’m missing out. About telling my boss about my business. About having enough time. About being a good enough wife, mom, employee and entrepreneur.
All this said, I am lucky that I have done this before. And just like bringing baby #2 home was easier than the first time around, I’m hoping that ending maternity leave #2 will also be easier.
Here is the advice that I keep repeating to myself:
1. Acknowledge Your Emotions
There are going to be a lot of them, and it is okay and to be expected. Acknowledge them and accept them.
2. Practice Self Care
Keep exercising. You feel better when you do, and it actually does give you more energy. Plus, it will help you feel less guilty about those chocolate chip cookies.
4. Remember Balance Does Not Mean Perfect
Remember that wise dancer mompreneur’s advice when she said balance simply means not falling over. It is not perfection. Repeat this over and over because you are a perfectionist and you have to let this go.
5. Be Kind
To people in general of course, but most importantly be kind to yourself. You don’t have to be supermom. You are doing your best. You are enough!
6. Ask for Help; Especially at Night
You are blessed if you have a hands-on and supportive partner. Lean on him/her. Lean on your mother. Lean on the girls. And super important: if said emotions from point 1 are too much to handle, lean on professional support.
7. Be Present
When at work, be at work. When entrepreneur-ing, be an entrepreneur. Most importantly, when it’s time to be a wife or when it’s time to be Mami, be a wife and a mom. Put down the phone, stop worrying about clients and enjoy where you are. You will not get these beautiful days back, so be present and enjoy them.
There’s a Breathe app on the Apple Watch, and it’s super useful. Deep breaths really help.
Okay, I’ve got this. Or at least I think I do. Now, soak up baby snuggles and toddler giggles a little bit longer.
- How to Keep your Balance and Sanity After Maternity Leave - August 17, 2018