I watched a beautiful video yesterday that asked moms what advice they would give themselves if they could go back in time to right before their first child was born. The video was a gorgeous montage of varied answers that ranged from “sleep now” to “forgive yourself”. My personal favorite was a sign that read “you are the expert”.
It got me thinking about other times in my life when I could have used some advice from women who had gone before me: my first day at a new school, the last day I went to college, our first argument after my wedding, that time I thought I could pull off the pixie haircut . All of these moments could have been made just a little easier with some words of encouragement and wisdom.
Another milestone in my life as a woman, specifically as a working mother, when I could have used a little hand holding was when I went back to work after having my babies. Ouch. The heartbreak of dropping them off, the giddiness at having adult conversations during the day, the guilt at enjoying adult conversations and being overly tired at night; I was not prepared for either return to the workforce.
What would I have said to myself? What would I say now to women preparing to go back to work after having children, either 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years ago?
You’ll all adjust. It may be bumpy at first as you try to figure out the new schedule. You’ll worry that you’ll never again have adequate time for hugs and stories and quiet talks, but you will. As you get more efficient and adjusted, you’ll find time to get all that living into one day and your children will still know that they are loved. You’ll all figure it out.
And nothing is forever. If your family’s needs change, you can make changes to adjust all over again. And you will, because nothing is forever. Don’t worry about surviving parenthood and the next 15 years until graduation, because who knows what life will look like at that point. Just get through this day doing the best you can, remembering to stop and give out plenty of hugs and kisses and ”I love yous”.
You are all going to be OK.
What would you tell a mom who’s getting ready to head back to work?
Photo by Britt Reints