Oh the joys of being a new mommy: postnatal body, getting used to your baby, your baby getting used to you, no sleep and of course going back to work. I always knew working moms were special creatures but not until I had the experience myself did I realize that working moms are pretty much unicorns and superheroes.
I recently gave birth to my first baby in January and while I was basking in the glory of my precious little one I didn’t realize how much of a struggle it would be to go back to work after my maternity leave was up. When I say it was a struggle, I don’t mean in the traditional sense of being a single working mom having to juggle baby, career & everything in between. In the beginning my struggle was emotional more than anything because I missed my baby all day every day. This little person I had spent the last 9.5 months growing inside my body and 6 weeks of daily interaction, would now have to be put in the care of another person for most of the day so mommy could go to work and make money. I struggled with the idea of a stranger caring for my child, missing out on all those precious firsts, and accepting the fact that mommy and baby time would be diminished from all day to after work and on weekends. After I finally got over all this, the real life struggle set in.
As I briefly stated previously, I am a single mom who is also working. Although my daughter’s father has a very strong presence in her life; we aren’t together so he isn’t there to help out 24/7. Right after our daughter was born he was there to help out every day and when he got a new job he would come relieve me of mommy duties after work so I could do simple tasks that quickly became elusive with a newborn: showering, eating, etc. When I first returned to work we even had a solid pickup schedule where we alternated days to get her from daycare so things were going quite well. A few months after I went back to work, he got accepted into a Master’s program downtown so he no longer had evenings free and I really had to work my resources to make sure the baby got picked up from daycare on time every day. The road to getting a new schedule down was rocky but I finally have a pretty solid schedule.
Outside of having to alter the daily schedule, my job had crazy long hours so naturally I would be tired after work but still had to muster up the energy to have playtime with baby as well as get her bathed and to bed. Not easy. However, one thing I’ve learned as a new mom is that you have to cherish those moments you do get with your baby no matter how tired you are. It’s all about maximizing the time spent with your little one so you don’t feel cheated after not seeing them all day.
My journey as a new working mom had been both trying and rewarding. From early mornings to after work meetings (some of which I’ve had to have my daughter in tow for) I definitely could not have made it this far without the support of my family and friends. They have really been there for me and I appreciate that. It truly does take a whole village to raise a child.
In addition to being a co-founder of Women Exceeding, Maya is the co-founder of Classic City Chic. Her partner Sydney and she seek to inspire women to be fashionable while maintaining a budget.