Guest Post By Mamie L. Pack
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Wow, momma! You have made the big decision to go back to work.
Get ready. Your world is about to shift.
Whether you have been a stay-at-home mom one year or ten, deciding to go back to work (either from home as a mompreneur or hitting the 9-5 traditional workspace) can be both exhilarating and stressful.
I’ve been there. After spending six years as a stay-at-home mom with my four boys while enduring several military deployments, I remember when it was time to transition back into my career. Even though I was excited, life looked very different. When I previously worked, I only had two sons, a support system, and a husband who came home every day. Now, I needed to make adjustments for a family of six, children in different schools, along with the requirements of a new job.
Just for a moment, panicked kicked in. What was I thinking?
Do you find yourself in this same blurry place between being both excited and nervous about transitioning back to work after being a stay-at-home mom?
If so, you are in the right place. Here are seven simple tips to limit your stress so you can ease into the workforce after being a stay-at-home mom.
Now you have made the big decision to step back into the workforce having clear expectations for yourself, your marriage, and your family is vital. Before going back to work, spend time brainstorming how working will impact your family. Consider changes to your family schedules, routines, and commitments.
Once you have spent some time reflecting, be sure to include your spouse and family members in the conversation about what to expect with the new change. Allow time for everyone to express their enthusiasm and their concerns, while discussing ways to address each issue.
Prioritize Time for Your Spouse
As early as possible, talk with your spouse about how working will impact how you work as a team. Understand your expectations may shift as you adjust to your new job. Scheduling a regular time to talk each week as a couple and family will help with the transition.
Who will do the meal prep or grocery shopping? What about your regular Tuesday play date at your local library? When will you do date night? Carving out time to connect will go along way as you both adjust to the changes in your time and household.
Give Yourself Time to A
Whether you decide to go back to work outside your home or work from home, access to your time now looks entirely different. It’s important to give yourself and your family time to adjust to the new change.
Expect routines to be awkward, emotions stretched, and some hard moments. The adjustments will take time for everyone. Remember momma, be gentle with yourself.
Preparation is Key
Poor nighttime routines or meal prep at the beginning of the week often leads to stressful mornings for EVERYONE. Each night lay out everything needed for the next day. Have your kids lay out their clothes, pack their bookbags, place their shoes by the door and pack their lunch.
This prep time limits rushing and confusion in the mornings, along with the dreaded “I can only find one shoe” issue that is sure to pop up. The same goes for you too! Pack your lunch, pick out your clothes, and have your work bag ready to go.
Because who wants to go through the “nothing fits because I am bloated” routine in the morning?
Deal With Your emotions
With all of the excitement of going back to work, it’s easy to let yourself become preoccupied with all the moments you are missing out on by not being at home with your little one. Friend, no mom wants to miss important milestones.
We all long to see the first steps and hear the first words. Instead of being your best at work, you are torn between the chapter that is closing and the new chapter you are beginning.
Don’t ignore your emotions; deal with them.
Admit to yourself how you feel, then reframe your mindset. Instead of focusing on the moments you are missing, think of all the moments you will have together and the benefits of going back to work. You are in charge of your time, so create opportunities for you to make memories your children can only have with you.
Remember why you are going back to work. Maybe your career allows your children to have a better life and more opportunities. Maybe your children need to see their mom walk in her purpose both in the home and in the community. Decide now to kick all that working mom guilt to the curb!
One of the best suggestions given to me when I transitioned back into my profession is, “Wherever you are, be all there.”
While you are at work, give your work your full attention. Be professional, be prepared, and be phenomenal. Your gifts are impactful both in your profession and in your home. The temptation will be there to want to blur the lines but don’t. Set workplace boundaries in place as soon as possible.
When you are at home, give your home your full attention. Hug your kids. Play the games. Go on the dates with your spouse. Spend time with friends. Any energy you have is best served being where you are. You can fulfill whatever work requirements you have when you are at work, so be present momma!
When you create healthy workplace and home boundaries you will be a more effective momma and professional.
Transitioning from a stay-at-home mom to a working mom is an exciting time. Don’t allow stress to overshadow this new season. Implementing these tips can help ease the transition so you can enjoy being both a professional and a momma!
Mamie L. Pack has