Recently, I worked on a story for Modern Parenting and interviewed four first-time moms getting by with no yayas. They gave their tips on how they work, manage the household, and take care of a baby. As a working mom with her own set of struggles, I was able to relate a lot.
Working Mom Struggles
As a full-time mom with a full-time job, establishing a routine and schedule even when Cambria was a newborn has helped so much. Making things familiar and predictable for her makes her less fussy. And despite leaps, sleep regressions, and growth spurts, she’s able to bounce back—as long as we consistently stick to the routine and schedule she knows. There are still tough days though but they’re manageable.
Tracking Everything Helps Build Predictability
On top of the routine and schedule, tracking everything she does also makes things more predictable for me. She’s been a data-driven baby since day one. I track her naps/sleep, wake windows, feeding sessions, and diaper changes. Coupled with mom instinct, I can almost always tell what she needs or wants when she’s fussy or crying. So knowing what she’ll need or want next allows me to work around our schedule and be productive during work days.
Learning to Be Kinder to Myself
It’s not easy though. Taking care of her while working uses up so much of my energy. At the end of each day, I always feel so depleted. All I want is some quiet time for myself or with my little family. But quiet is a luxury these days—especially when you have a baby and two clingy pets. Not to mention—I still fight the monsters in my head that tell me I’m not doing good enough for my daughter; and that I should be doing more at work as well. So I guess I should try to be kinder to myself.
Anyway, I just felt like sharing this raw piece here. Virtual hugs to all moms currently struggling! I hope you take some time to practice self-care and self-compassion today.