What does it mean to be a working mom? As you’re probably quickly realizing, working and mothering are two entirely distinct and separate jobs. If being a mom weren’t a job in and of itself, then there would be no such things as nannies and daycares.
As if the responsibility isn’t massive enough, it also comes with many challenges. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau Statistics, 7-in-10 American mothers work. Meanwhile, recent surveys and polls are finding that many working moms feel stressed by the difficulties of balancing their work and home lives.
“All that extra stress can be detrimental for a mom’s health and, as a result, worse for your performance, both at work and at home,” says Angelica Higgins, M.D., a board-certified pediatrician at Kelsey-Seybold’s Pasadena Clinic. “There are ways to ease the struggles of being a new working mom.”
Below, Dr. Higgins shares a few tips to help you overcome common challenges faced by new moms, transition back into work life, and make the best of both worlds.
No Hard Feelings
One of the toughest parts about being a working mom is handling the waves of mixed emotions that will often come and pass. Lots of moms feel guilty about going to work instead of staying home to be with baby; many others might feel excited about getting back into the work flow and then feel guilty about that. However you may feel, let go of any negative feelings. Stay positive and productive by reminding yourself of the importance and benefits of your role as a working member of the family. Your income can contribute to everything from a college fund and tutors to quality childcare and healthcare.
Take Care of Yourself
Clearly, as a mother and a police officer, caring for others is your life’s calling. That may sound simple enough, but between looking after your family and your community — not to mention everyone else in town — it’s just as easy to forget about your own wellbeing. “One key to caring for others is to take care of yourself first. Stay current on your immunizations, eat healthy, exercise regularly, stay hydrated and get plenty of rest,” reminds Dr. Higgins.
Find Reliable Caregivers
Do your research! Call your family members, text or message your friends, participate in forums, read mom blogs, talk to your baby’s pediatrician and read those Yelp reviews. Ask around and invest time in finding find the best daycare, nanny or pediatrician for your baby.
Make Mom Friends
When you see kid-friendly recipes and playdate photos other moms are posting on Facebook, be glad. Reach out to them. Exchange stories, tips, recipes, babysitter contacts and more. Networking is just as important for this job as any other.
Give It Time
Minor existential crises are the norm for new moms. “You’re bound to feel overwhelmed and you will likely contemplate your purpose in life and consider going part-time or just being a full-time mom. While these are valid questions, hold off on making any rash decisions. Give yourself time to get accustomed to the new schedule and just let your thoughts incubate in the meantime,” says Dr. Higgins. Schedule an appointment with her by calling 713-442-0000.