Our priorities change as we move through the different seasons of our lives, and it’s only natural for a new mum to tie her identity to that of caregiver.
Your relationship with your partner could slip through the cracks while you’re finding your feet.
Life coach Sharon Piel agrees and says motherhood is life-changing and many women lose their sense of self.
The journey begins
It’s not uncommon for new mums to put their careers on hold when starting a family. Sharon notes that while some moms prefer to stay at home after having their baby, others look forward to returning to their careers. Make a decision that you’re happy with, based on your own personal needs and circumstances.
Find a balance … or not?
Personal development coach Thembi Hamma says there’s no known formula to strike an even work/family balance. Instead, be mindful and flexible about both your career and your family life. Respect both as important and uneven facets of your life and establish practical and workable boundaries that suit your unique circumstances. All you can do is get up each morning, show up and do your best. Remember to ask for help – if you’re juggling a career and a household, hiring a helper or getting your partner more involved in household chores will lighten the load.
Revisit your career goals
If you’re employed full-time and looking to climb the corporate ladder, being a mom shouldn’t deter you from pursuing your dreams. Thembi suggests using your time wisely, Focus on your work and get as much done as possible, that way you won’t have to take work home.
A good night’s rest can do wonders for your mood and energy levels. “Get enough sleep and resist the temptation to stay up late at night as this will only make you grumpy and unproductive the next day. If you find you spend a lot of time on social media, it’s a good idea to be more intentional about how you spend your time.
Find your passion
Sharon notes that it’s common for moms to change careers after having a baby or when their children are older and start going to school. To discover your passion and purpose, you need to reflect on what’s important to you. How can you make a difference to the world? What is the legacy you want to leave behind, and how can you use your strengths, knowledge and expertise to do this? Make a conscious decision to surround yourself with people who are inspirational. This will inspire you to bring out your best says Sharon. When you’re excited about life, you exude positivity and your kids want to be around that. They look up to you and connecting with something you’re passionate about lets them know that it’s OK to be multidimensional.
Rekindle your relationship with your partner
Remember, you were a wife or partner before you became a mother, and because your baby has been your priority, you may have forgotten that there’s someone else who needs your love and attention. “This is possibly one of the biggest challenges after becoming a mother,” says Sharon.
Make spending some alone time with your partner a priority. Just like getting your baby into a routine, find your new ‘normal’ with your partner. Reconnect and go on dates. “It doesn’t always have to be in the evenings – even a lunch date will give you that much-needed break.” You can always find a trusted babysitter who will allow you to focus on the other important person in your life.
Schedule some ‘me time’
Spending quality time with yourself to reflect on your life decisions will help you keep track of your dreams, goals and aspirations. “We all need that break from the hustle and bustle of life to regroup and take stock of what is happening in and around us,” says Thembi. If your idea of unwinding is a trip to the spa, watching a movie or sitting quietly in meditation, then go ahead. Thembi explains that when we take time out to recharge our batteries, we’re more effective.