After taking some time off at the end of my pregnancy to focus on giving birth, then caring for my newborn, as well as going on our family trip to Switzerland, it’s finally back to work for me.
Getting into the groove of slipping into my work life again requires some discipline and effort. I mean, of course, I want to play and be with Kai all day long, but failing to balance my other responsibilities will cause me to burn out super quickly.
I think it’s quite common for young moms to feel overwhelmed going back to a routine that doesn’t just involve caring for your kids 24/7. But it doesn’t have to be! There are certain tips that you can follow so that this period of your life is easier. Here are the ones that worked for me in staying productive as a young mom.
Set a schedule for yourself.
This sounds so old-school, but it really works. Find a realistic schedule that you can make. This is a lot easier when your infant is a bit older and can sleep for longer periods of time. When baby naps, you can get stuff done. You can use an app, a planner, or a whiteboard to keep track of what you need to do; I find that writing things down really goes a long way in helping to remember tasks.
See where you can be flexible.
I’ve been attending brand events and doing some endorsement shoots now. Brand events don’t usually keep me out so late, so I can follow tip #1 and be home just in time to tuck the kids into bed. But for longer days, I prefer bringing Kai and his yaya along with me, and I’m glad the teams I work with are understanding. If you’re going back to full-time work, know that most offices should have a plan in place in case you don’t have someone to watch your baby for the day. Some of them have breastfeeding rooms and nurseries for moms, while others have daycare centers. There’s no reason for you to forego your career if there are ways to balance your responsibilities.
Try to abide by the 15-minute rule.
There are variations of this rule (sometimes 10 minutes or 20 minutes), but the premise is the same: if you find yourself with a list of things to do, get as much done as you can in 15 minutes then move on to the next task. In 15 minutes, I can help Zion put away his toys, or check my pantry for needed grocery items to make a shopping list, or clean up our bedroom a little bit.
Get family to pitch in and help.
The wonderful thing about Filipino families is that the bond is so tight! There’s always a lola, tita, or cousin who will gladly watch your kids while you accomplish other things. Zion is so close with his cousins and grandparents that I know I won’t have to worry about letting him spend some time with them for an afternoon or two. Part of staying productive as a young mom is having some downtime that you can enjoy by yourself or with your partner, and usually, this happens when you can let your kids spend some time with other family members.
Involve your partner.
I wanna say that I’m lucky that Chard really helps me out with the kids, but in truth, sharing the load should be a no-brainer for parents. If there are times that you need to be out of the house and he’s watching the kids, you should be able to be assured he’ll do a good job. One website recommends having a cheat sheet of scenarios and solutions, just in case he needs something to refer to.
Remember that you don’t always have to do everything.
If you need help, ask friends or family to pitch in. You can even use a bunch of nifty apps to help you out. Apps like HonestBee and MetroMart can deliver groceries to you so that you don’t have to go in-store. You can also pay all your house bills online so that you won’t need to line up at the bank. There are even apps to help you pick up and deliver your laundry to you!
I still love coming home at the end of the day to Zion’s smile and Kai’s baby giggles. They’re only little for a while, so I really want to be there as much as I can for them.
If you’re a young working mom, let me know in the comments how you stay productive and balance your home and work life in the comments below!