When I got pregnant with my first child, I remember thinking I’d get bored with six weeks of maternity leave. “I’m sure I’ll be able to help out with any work that comes in,” I told my bosses and co-workers. “I’m sure after a couple of weeks I won’t know what to do with myself.”
They smiled and patted me on the back. Then I had the baby and realized just how exhausting a newborn can be. Six weeks went by in a haze. And yet I did not learn my lesson.
Just a couple of days after my new little one was born, I was on my feet trying to clean my house, on my computer trying to work on my novel, still trying to get my 4-year-old to playdates, etc. Friends and family have told me to slow down, but I’m finding it difficult. I also am easing back into work, since I can do that from home and because my husband’s job is feeling less secure due to the economy. My current bosses have been great about respecting my time and reminding me to take it easy, but I still find it hard.
I was thinking today about why that is, and I don’t think it’s all to do with being a type A workaholic. For me, there’s something about a new baby that sparks creativity. I didn’t begin to write novels in earnest until I had my first daughter. And now that my second is here, I’m itching to write and create and start fresh on projects I’d put aside a long time ago.
But I do need to find some balance, otherwise I’ll end up sick. That’s why I’m taking myself to bed right now! Just as soon as I finish a little piece of book marketing. Oh, and as soon as I get the baby to stop crying…
2 thoughts on “A Working Mom’s Work is Never Done”
I can appreciate your fatigue and your guilt! I’ve learned, after writing The Balanced Mom and raising three kids of my own, while working as a life and business coach for moms, that we can EITHER say “yes” to everything and let sickness and fatigue run our lives OR we can figure out our TOP priorities, say no to everything else, and live peaceful, balanced lives. Life is much better when your work is a natural extension of who you are and you work the hours you want.
Thanks for addressing this important topic!
I remember after having both babies, I’d get this spark of motivation to do something: a new project, organize the house, get crafty… then I’d crash and realize I was nuts.
At least, I did take the “nap when the baby naps” advice seriously the second time around.