New mothers who are used to spending their day in the office with adults will find this new, baby-focused world to be a significant transition. If you are trading the boardroom for the nursery, enter this transitional period with an open mind. Recognise that you are in for an adjustment, and make a conscious effort to ease yourself into your new role as a full-time mom. Several strategies can help you adjust to life at home with your baby.
As a professional, you were used to a very structured day, working for a set number of hours and then coming home. As a mother, your day will be anything but structured. As your baby grows and develops, his or her needs will change and, as a result, your daily routine will change. Just as you start to discover a schedule, your baby will surprise you and skip that afternoon nap or, if you’re lucky, sleep through the night. Tackle your new job as a stay-at-home mom with a flexible mindset, and you’ll thrive. Throw away that structured schedule, and take on each day with your little one as a new challenge, likely full of surprises. Follow your baby’s cues, and allow his or her needs to dictate your day.
Meet Other Mums
Life as a stay-at-home mum might seem a little lonely at first. You’re used to interacting with coworkers or clients on a daily basis, but now, the majority of your daily communication consists of baby talk. If you find yourself in need of adult conversation, get together with other mums. Find a friend who is a fellow stay-at-home mum, and invite her and her child over for lunch. If you don’t know any mums, hit the Internet. Playgroups exist in cities throughout the country, and many playgroups have websites that allow members to interact and organise events. You will find this adult conversation invaluable, as you will socialise with other women who are going the same thing as you. You can commiserate with them about the challenges of motherhood and perhaps pick up some parenting tips as well. At the same time, your baby will learn to develop important socialisation skills.
Tackle Tasks Slowly
Eventhough the stress of your work life disappears when you become a stay-at-home mum, your to-do list does not shrink. In fact, you might find yourself with more tasks to do than ever, and completing any task, no matter how small, is a challenge when you have a baby. Keep a running list of the tasks you want to accomplish each week, from grocery shopping and cooking to cleaning and exercising. Tackle these tasks when you have time, but keep your focus on your baby. With an infant, you might find it difficult to complete even the easiest tasks, such as showering. Rather than getting frustrated with your inability to accomplish anything, remind yourself that this period will pass. Before it does, however, complete tasks when you have the time, but don’t force them. Your goal can be as minimal as knocking just one item off your to-do list every day. Trying to tackle a lengthy to-do list while caring for your baby will only leave you feeling stressed, so build up your daily tasks as your baby grows.
Do you agree becoming a mother is one of the biggest life changing experiences? How have you found the transition from work to the nursery?