Let’s face it: moms are superheroes.
We wear a uniform: some variation of jeans, a tee and sneakers.
We wear masks: a messy bun and big sunglasses.
We have super powers: we can make a boo-boo feel better with a kiss and a band aid, we can scare monsters out of the room and we can (hope) to do laundry, make dinner, clean the house, and still have time to get in a glass of wine at the end of the night (although all of this rarely happens in my house—if it does, I’ll have an extra glass of wine to celebrate my accomplishment).
And most do all of this on top of working full time.
See? I told you—superheroes.
I am one of those 25 million moms. I went back to work full time when my oldest son was 3 months old and my youngest was 2 months old. While I am lucky enough to work from home, the adjustment was still tough—babies that young don’t have schedules, they eat on demand and they need their mama 24 hours a day. In other words, going back to work full time is tough on mama and baby (and the caregivers).
I work in Public Relations, and as any PR professional will attest, the hours can be long. Sometimes the job requires working nights and weekends. I was used to being able to wake up to start work early and to work late if needed. But suddenly I had little people who relied on me to take care of them morning, noon and night. Add in making lunches and getting them to school on time, and you’ve got a full- time job right there.
Although I had a few months off after each baby, I wasn’t prepared to go back to work mentally. My mombun and Microsoft were merging and I needed to figure things out again.
When my first son was born, I was trying to navigate the world of new parenting—sleep training, breastfeeding, baby led weaning, potty training—while managing my PR clients. After my second was born, I felt like an old pro at mommying, but had to look back into my notebook for tips on helping me work-from-home life.
Put Push Notifications to Work for You
In the world of PR, it’s essential to stay up to date on the news and current events. Sometimes (more often than not), my boys wake up early and I don’t have the time to spend a few minutes perusing the news before my day starts. That’s where push notifications come in handy. I get an alert every time something major happens—it’s a quick read and keeps me informed, and I can do it while still paying attention to Paw Patrol and Thomas the Train.
Set Strict Work Hours
I am mommy until my nanny shows up. That means it’s my turn to play, go for walks and spend time with my kids. It’s easier said than done, and of course, when there’s a work crisis plans change, but I try to give us two hours each morning to just be together. At 6pm, I leave my office (more on that in a minute) and spend another few hours with them and my husband before the boys go to bed. If there’s something that needs to be completed later, I save that for after they’re sleeping.
Have a Designated Work Space
I can’t stress this enough: find a quiet space where you can set up your computer and work without interruptions. It makes it easier to “turn off” at the end of the day when you can’t see or hear your computer.
Take Frequent Short Breaks
Because I work from home, I’m able to sneak out for a few minutes at a time to feed my baby and play and make sure everything is ok. It helps me reset my mind, get my creative juices flowing, and still see them every few hours.
Find Great Childcare
I knew that, with my job, I wouldn’t be able to work at my full potential if I was also trying to take care of my kids all day. Finding the right nanny was hard, but we finally found one who cares for our sons as if they were her own grandchildren. I can leave for client meetings or day work trips knowing that they are in the best hands possible. It takes the stress off of me and lets me focus 100% on the job at hand.
Be Honest With Your Colleagues
Kids get cranky and sick and tired—and that’s ok. I’ve found that being open and honest with my co-workers when I have to take my sons to an appointment—or even when I need to go spend 5 minutes with them because they need their mommy—keeps the lines of communication open, and makes my job—as parent and a PR professional—much easier.