I have to admit when my boss asked me to write a blog on going from being a workaholic to motherhood I was a little taken aback. Firstly I wondered what made him think I was no longer a workaholic and secondly where on earth he thought I would get the time!
Of course I found the time, workaholics always do ☺!
After nine months growing a baby and many long hours of labour, your body has just endured one of the greatest challenges known to humankind. Drained of nutrition, zapped of strength, deprived of sleep (never mind lung capacity), pushed to the limits physically (I’ll spare the gory details!)…you’re then expected to begin an even tougher job: motherhood!
And after many years and many long days working in TPI, motherhood was an adjustment I have to say, not only the big bang of having a baby but for me the whole ‘stay at home’ aspect. My whole life was ‘on the go’. At first, as a proud new mum with my precious little bundle I’d have a plan for everyday – where we’d go, who we’d meet, what we’d do. But soon enough reality hit, colic hit, exhaustion hit and I realised I needed to slow down and wise up!
I should also mention that I took on a project for TPI while on leave. Just in case I didn’t have enough to do!! So along with learning the ‘new mum’ ropes I also had eCommerce ones to get to grips with. All of sudden I had two jobs, 3 shifts a day (baba/work/baba), 7 days a week! What was I thinking?! Its not all bad news – my boss did give me extra time off in lieu so I will have more precious time at home with my baby.
And lucky for me some of the best advice for new mums is online with great sites such as rollercoaster.ie and eumom.ie so my ‘research’ on whichever subject was doubly beneficial!
Everyone has different experiences of early motherhood. It can be isolating, physically and emotionally. You leave a highly charged professional life to a very unfamiliar one, no longer in your control…with no manual, no manager and on the job training!
But you learn quickly and us women are very resourceful.
So babe in arms, my most important lesson to learn was ‘How to make Time’!
A smile came on my face listening to Twink in the ad for her new show ‘Grumpy Old Women’ asking why they kept moving things about in supermarkets. Hasn’t she discovered the amazing service on Tesco.ie or Superquinn.ie. These days I sit down with a cup of coffee while baby is napping and with a few clicks my weekly shop is done, having viewed all the bargains I’d never see in store rushing about and yes Twink, trying to find things! If only all the other supermarkets would offer it too.
In fact there’s an interesting survey ‘A Day in the Life of Online Mums’ for any of you marketers out there targeting new mums showing just how much time we actually do spend online.
You can buy almost anything now delivered to your door and in a lot of cases free! Free…aaahhh…don’t get me started on the deals….Meal Deals, City Deals, Pigsback.com, Discount Codes, Coupons, Vouchers…
And with the money saved….make friends with the pizza delivery guy, the local dry cleaners, the local salad bar…you get the idea??
I’m also using the resource some of us are lucky to have – grandmothers! The circle of life…what a gift from God they are.
Share the love is what I say!
Ask for, and accept offers of help, paid or unpaid, graciously!
As Shirley Conran famously argued way back in 1975 on the work-life balance in her No 1 bestseller Superwoman, ‘life’s too short to stuff a mushroom’.
As in your working life success isn’t about extreme multi-tasking, it’s about getting the right support around you to get things done. Take action, use resources and ultimately make your life easier…well, maybe not, but certainly more enjoyable!
So for me I haven’t stopped being a workaholic. Life isn’t easier and I’m not even back in work yet! I don’t think you’re ‘cured’ by having a baby, quite the opposite. But ironically I have managed to slow down a bit, enjoy life more and let my gorgeous baby son melt my heart.
I’ve had ‘moments’ along the way and felt like throwing in the towel (never mind the baby!) but like all rollercoaster’s the dips don’t last long and the highs are always worth it.
And just when you’re starting to wonder whether your life will ever be the same again, you suddenly realise you’re really glad it isn’t.