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Full Time, All the Time

with Britt Reints

Forget the 9 to 5; the demands of a working mom aren’t limited by a time clock. Full Time, All the Time is a blog about balancing the many roles of a modern woman - and maintaining your wellbeing while doing it. I am a writer, mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend and sometimes volunteer living in Pittsburgh. Oh, and I think you look pretty today.

You can also find Britt on Twitter and at InPursuitOfHappiness.net.

Advice to Moms Going Back To Work

Categories: Parenting Tips and Tricks for the working mom, balance, mommy guilt, the juggle, working mom

6 comments

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



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6 comments so far...

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I was out of the loop on a lot of projects but embarrassed to ask the questions I needed to get back in the loop.

    Write everything down. My kid was nowhere near sleeping through the night when I went back to work, and I had zero memory, so I needed to write down EVERYTHING.

    Talk about your kid, but not too much. Some bosses may already think you’re not committed to your job because you had a kid, and talking about your kid all the time may confirm that impression.

    -R-  |  September 8th, 2010 at 8:58 am

  • Thank you Britt for sharing that poignant video.

    My first words of advice to moms who are getting ready to comeback to work are, “Believe in you.” It might sound cliche, but the courage to take chances, fail, adjust, and take more chances all comes from an inner confidence. Women’s confidence seems to unravel the moment they step away from paid work. I want them to trust that the wisdom and experiences gained from motherhood are relevant and marketable to working world to which they return.

    Mary Kaye  |  September 8th, 2010 at 8:36 pm

  • Being that I am just now returning to work after baby #2, one of the things that comes to mind is: it’s just as hard to leave the second baby as it is your first and it’s okay to cry the first day you leave him. It’s okay to call and check on him because he is YOUR baby afterall. Take the time to snuggle when you get up to feed him in the middle of the night so you don’t feel gyped out of cuddle time during the day.

    What I need to remember is that my oldest kiddo is a very well adjusted kid and he went to daycare from the time he was 4 months old, too. So, this new baby will be just as well-adjusted.

    Most importantly, LET GO OF THE GUILT! We all do the best we can with what we have! :)

    Stacey M  |  September 13th, 2010 at 1:21 pm

  • It’s normal to feel guilty. I try to make myself feel better by thinking that I’m working for my family’s finances, and everyone knows finances are extremely important. Without my job, I can’t pay the mortgage. And also I remember the days of boredom and lack of direction when I stayed home before I went back to work. I’m just not cut out to be a SAHM.

    Linda  |  September 29th, 2010 at 4:57 pm

  • As a stay at home mom for the past 10 years - when I thought it was about time to get back into the work force full time I became overwehlmed with the resistance.
    *From my husband - he said I would need to make 50K to make it worth the time and effort to “help out” with the kids. A bit of a high salary request for someone - even with my college degree - to demand after being out of work for so long.
    *From my friends - other stay at home mom’s accused me of being a neglectful mother, selfish, self-serving etc.
    *From my own mother (who was a stay at home mom with my brother and I) - well, she called me crazy since financially I don’t technically “need” to work - although we are planning to pay for our childrens 3 college educations. I’m not exactly sure where all that $$ is coming from.
    *And finally from my children - they turned out to be the least judgemental. They just want me to be happy - oh and be there to make their snacks, help with homework and school projects, drive them to practices, & games etc.
    Anyway - it feels like a betrayal to want to have my own life, my own dreams for a re-newed career. This culture seems very unsupportive of womens choices. Or do I just need new friends, a new husband, a new mother, and new kids?

    K.Ryan  |  July 14th, 2011 at 8:10 am

  • I love “forgive yourself”…we are too hard on ourselves. We allow ourselves to get too worked up about things. Relax and take it all in, it goes by so fast. :)

    I’ve learned how important it is to learn specifically What has worked for moms & why, what hasn’t worked for moms & why, what moms would hands down do again, would never do again & why….details help us make better decisions.

    I just found this site & it’s amazing! I wish I found this earlier… maybe it’ll help you mamas too- yourbabybooty.com/category/interviews/

    Jenny Hu  |  August 24th, 2012 at 7:42 am

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