I returned to work after having my first child in April 2017.
I knew it would be hard but MY GOD I didn’t think it would be this hard!!!!
I have, however, discovered ways to help me with my day to day life and to stay on top of everything (as much as possible!). Before we start, it’s important that I mention my background to give you all some context. I’m a married mother of one so obviously things like ‘napping with your baby’ would be more difficult if you have more than one! My husband also works most weekends so that has been taken in to account.
Of course, what works for me may not work for others but, hopefully you’ll find something useful!
Now, on to the fun stuff!
Email/Phone Calendar & Reminders
Depending on when I have particular things planned for, I’ll add reminders for actions either on my work mobile (& calendar) or my personal phone. Since becoming a mum, I have found that I quickly forget things because my head is just full! So, if I am meeting someone over the weekend I have to put this in my personal calendar.
Also, as I go to gym classes during my lunch break, I add a reminder to book them the day before and add the actual class in my calendar so that I’m not running late/miss any. I have found adding reminders the day/week I get paid also helps me stay on top of my bills (as well as opting into any SMS notifications).
- Gym class bookings
- Weekend plans
- Online grocery delivery
- Lunchtime plans
Leaving the house with a baby has been the bain of my life. It puts me off going anywhere alone because I get worried I’ll forget something. Luckily *most* days I have my husband to help me prep but, there are days where I have to do this alone due to his shifts. Regardless, spending time over the weekend to prepare for the week ahead makes everything THAT much more organised and efficient. At the start of the weekend, I’ll begin working my way through the laundry, making sure my son’s clothes are washed and sorted first (as he needs the most change of clothes). I don’t do laundry during the week and I don’t have a drier, so I make this the 1st thing I tackle on the weekend. When it comes to our bags and food, I put aside a few hours on Sunday evening to get these ready.
- Batch cooking lunches for the week
- Laundry – weeks supply of clothes for everyone!
- Bags ready night before (bag for nursery & work bag, gym clothes etc)
With spare time being so scarce, time for myself has become essential. This is partly because I don’t take it for granted anymore but, also because you really can’t look after anyone else if you don’t look after yourself first. Working full time and having a baby, though some of us do enjoy it and do prefer it to being at home full time (me), you really do get run down pretty easily. Things I have enjoyed doing in a bid to look after myself:
- Yoga & meditation – I picked this up again after I felt I gained some strength back. Particularly during the period when my son had the most horrific sleep regression (imagine newborn whilst working). I was going to work having been up since 2-3am. What helped me was doing 20mins or so of yoga and a few mins of meditation before slowly getting ready for work. It helped remove the chaos I was feeling inside.
- Not staying in the office during my lunch break – if I don’t book myself in for a gym class I usually go out for a walk to clear out some of that work noise in my head.
- Clean house, incense, tea, trashy TV – love love love! This is obviously my personal preference. I generally love incense burning in the house and I’ll try to grab a cuppa in front of my favourite trashy TV series whilst my son is napping over the weekend (that is if I don’t want to join him myself…on to my 4th point…)
- Nap times! Obviously, most parents nap with their children when they’re newborns – but, you don’t need to stop it there! My son wakes up early – that’s just how he is – and obviously on the weekend, after a jam packed busy week, you need time to recoup yourself. So if you need that time, nap with him and yes – forget the house work!
- Socialise – I struggle with loneliness so I have felt that I need just a few hours to socialise with others over the weekend, even if it is going to the high street or park just to see the outside world (I also feel like I’m getting mummy brownie points for taking my little one out so that helps too!).
These are just a few resources that have just helped make my life easier. No particular category, just miscellaneous helpfulness:
- Amazon Prime & Subscribe – next day delivery is always handy and I currently have nappy & wet wipe subscriptions so there’s no need for the last min rush when you’ve run out (wish I’s known about this sooner!)
- Online grocery shopping for the big weekly/monthly shop – it’s meant I don’t need to spend my precious weekend doing the groceries!
- Chalk board – soon as I run out of something I write this on our chalk board hung in the kitchen
- Cleaner – I have a cleaner/nanny who comes every Friday when I work from home, but she’s also been an investment to my mental health: 5pm on a Friday I’m already home and the house is spotless – life changing!!
Just to note I obviously don’t always do this (e.g. this week I had to buy my own lunch – twice!). As and when I have the chance, I try to keep it up otherwise I find the whole week starts to snow ball out of control.
Hopefully something of this was useful. Best of luck!
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