It’s the first time after graduating college in 2009 that I am out of an office job. I chose to be a stay-at-home mom while I help in managing the resort of my husband’s family. It’s challenging, because: (1) I’m still figuring out motherhood; (2) I had to adjust to living with my husband and in-laws in the province; and (3) helping in the resort meant having a new workplace and new workmates. Basically, everything is new to me.
For me, the struggle came more from the inside than any external factor. There’s the clash between what I was used to and this new environment that I’m in. I had to make peace with myself eventually, thanks to these three ideas.
THE DEFINITION OF PRODUCTIVE CHANGED
My day changed from commuting to the office, attending meetings, and doing tasks on the computer to breastfeeding, putting my baby to sleep, and changing diapers. I think they’re equally difficult tasks, but I didn’t feel that I’m accomplishing anything. It’s not like I’m going to make my key performance indicator the number of diapers I was able to change, right? I just had to acknowledge that my primary job now is a mother and embrace it. It meant taking care of a life. I am productive if I am able to attend to all my baby’s needs. It will take a very long time before I can measure my success, which will be based on how she turns out as an adult.
DON’T STOP TRYING
I have tried the different strategies I know that I used to do at work. I tried to plan my tasks ahead on a planner, a whiteboard, on a laptop. I even tried using Trello again. We’ve rearranged our room several times already, trying to figure out which would be safe for Tala and efficient for us. In fact, we just setup the balcony to be our new work space. I hope it works or we’ll just figure it out again. Point is, everyday it’s like doing a mini process evaluation inside my head and I just re-calibrate tomorrow as needed.
IT’S OKAY TO RELAX
When Tala was younger, I slept whenever she was sleeping, any time in the day. I still do it now from time to time. And it makes me think I’m being lazy. Although I know that it’s actually one of the advice to moms during the first months of their baby, to catch up on sleep because there can be sleepless nights. Still, it made me feel guilty. What I tell myself is if I’m being a bum then this is the first time I’m doing it, because I immediately got a job after graduating. It’s okay to take a break from the employment world. Besides, we carried our babies in our womb for nine months, it’s perfectly fine to relax, focus on the baby, and recover first.
Bottom line is we mothers should not forget to take it easy on ourselves. It’s a difficult job with long hours and no salary. It’s an equally respectable career, and we are very proud of it.