Balance; Work and Baby

Being a working mom is tough but being a working new mom is tougher!

Usually its typical with businesses you have that time paid “maternity leave” cushion to ease your anxiety about balancing work and bonding with your new babe (while learning to breastfeed, and sneak a shower in). 

In my case this wasn’t the reality. I chose to take a 2 week unpaid maternity leave because honestly as a single mom that was what I could afford to take off, and my place of employment did not offer a paid maternity leave.

Looking back now I understand the frustrations and I understand my emotions so much clearer. What caused me to feel the way I did during that time.

When I went back I worked full time usually over 40 hours from home via my computer and phone doing all customer service + some. (Just so you can grasp what it is I was doing)

I felt so many emotions in that time period because i had never been a mom before, I don’t know what a nap schedule is like or when my baby is going to stop crying so i can finish up those last emails.

I began to develop frustration and almost anger when my baby wouldn’t get on that set nap schedule so I could get my work done. But I was dedicated to my job so I did what I had to do.

I stayed up until midnight sometimes 1 am finishing my work while waking hourly to feed my newborn it’s safe to say I was exhausted. Though I never complained and thoroughly completed my work. Like I said earlier I didn’t until now understand the weighing stress I was causing myself. I didn’t allow myself the time away from work to learn to become a mother. 

I feel like if I could go back and tell myself one thing it would be that; take the time to learn to become a mother, to learn your baby, to develop that bond between the two of you. I was in such a rush to get back to work and placing the added stress upon myself to be perfect at my job I became frustrated with my job as a mother.

I am speaking more so as a new first time mother. It takes time. Be gentle with yourself. You can read hundreds of books, but the moment that you take your baby home it all changes and thats okay. Allow yourself the time to grow into your role as a mother. I know for myself as a single mother, the fear always weighs on my shoulders of making sure I am doing what is needed to keep money in my account because its no longer just about me and I know there are mothers in my shoes that will be able to relate to that feeling.

The time came where my place of employment was requiring me to be physically in the office at more of a full time basis. This is something that is so hard especially for a single mom so many questions arise. Do I want to put my baby in daycare full time? Can I afford daycare? Does that make me a bad mom? When will I get to spend time with my baby? Am I going to miss those milestone moments? In this situation demands, now having a baby, we parted ways. Seasons change!

Which brings up a whole new set of worries. It’s not just me anymore I am raising my child, and it brings me to tears to feel the fear of not being able to provide for my child. 

I have a full set of qualities that would fit almost any job I applied to, but it’s not just me anymore and there are so many other boxes to check now that I am a mom. 

My worries go back to do I want to work a 9-5 and be away from my son more then I am with him? Can I afford to put him into child care? What do I want to do that will work with my life as a mom!? I don’t have all the answers but I do have faith that the Lord will provide if I truly trust in him. Some nights I stay awake and cry because I just don’t feel like I can do it, and other days I feel like I can conquer the world. 

I have since come full circle and am freelancing doing hair and makeup for weddings (@Cheektocheekartistry). I get to be creative, and do not have to be gone all day every day. I am also surrounded by girls who are so like minded, and I love being around. It works for our life. I also since leaving my previous 9-5 job have allowed myself to relax to really find myself, and what I enjoy in life. I for the first time was able to sit with my son during the day and snuggle him without the fear of an unanswered email or missed call. This is something I needed as a mother, because I did not get this when my son was first born.

I realized that I wanted to create this space to speak my voice, and share my experiences. I love this blog and everything its becoming so much! This is something I am proud of.

Will I get to spend all day with my son? No. But the fear of parting ways with my old employer was calmed when I began to understand some of the things I did not then. This magical time I have gotten with my son.

I am so truly blessed to be in a situation where I may be a single mom but I am most defiantly not doing this alone. My family is my rock they have really stepped up and made me feel like I can do this. 

So to all you moms that are feeling overwhelmed by your current situation, feeling like work and home life is unbalanced, you’re not alone! Be gentle with yourself. There is a greater plan for your life then the things you see today!!