Two years after getting married, my husband and I decided it was time to start a family. We had both established a successful career at this point and felt like we were ready to have kids. I knew having a baby wasn’t going to be easy, but I thought I was prepared for what was about to come. I had no idea just how exhausting my life would get. I’m the type of person who always managed to find time for everything. I used to work a job during my college years, go to the gym every other day, and even find time to go out for drinks with my friends every weekend.
My skills in time management were something I was proud of. However, it felt like I turned into a completely different person after giving birth. I became very attached to my son during maternity leave. Since I was spending nearly all of my time at home, I got used to a completely different rhythm of living. I would sleep whenever my baby was asleep. He was the only thing I focused on since I didn’t have much else to do. This became a huge problem when I got back to work.
I could handle being a mom, but it seemed like doing anything besides being a parent was impossible. How could I find the time to do something else? I was constantly exhausted when I started working again. I felt like I wasn’t good at anything anymore. I forgot who I was and even the activities I enjoyed doing. I was completely lost in motherhood.
Whenever I was alone in my house I would look at my wedding photos and cry because I wanted everything to be that simple again. My husband and I rented a photo booth in Toronto for our wedding and all of our friends took photos inside it. Suddenly I realized I hadn’t seen most of them in ages, and that’s when I decided it was time for a change.
I accepted the fact that I had more responsibilities than ever before, but I wasn’t going to allow that to stop me from enjoying life. I knew I needed to find balance again, so the first thing I did was create a schedule with every single aspect of my day. I talked with my husband and we both agreed we should help each other out as much as we could. We started saving money to hire a nanny and sometimes call our parents or friends to watch our son so we could have time to ourselves. I was actually surprised to see what an awesome support system we have. Our friends genuinely enjoyed spending time with our son, and we could take an occasional day off from parenting that we usually spent sleeping.
We realized that our lives don’t have to change drastically even though we now have a baby. So, we decided we would each make plans with our friends whenever we could while the other person stayed at home. Getting to hang out with my women I consider my sisters helped me feel alive again. I suddenly had more energy than before. This is the moment when I realized just how important it is to have balance in your life. My work performance increased, the quality of my home life improved, and I was feeling happier than ever before.
Even though being a mom was my priority, it wasn’t the only thing in my life anymore. As soon as I started focusing on myself, things got better. Being a mother wasn’t so difficult anymore because every day was filled with fun activities. I even started working out again at a local gym. Finding balance in chaos was actually the thing that made me a better mom and wife.