Hello! I’m still here, and I’m glad you’re still here too. It’s been a while. It turns out having a tiny human consumed all of my “free time” and Speechasaurus took a big backseat. Okay, maybe it was put into the trunk, or possibly even the storage unit. Either way, I’m back and I’m hoping to share a few quick tips with you on how I survived, and eventually thrived, during my first year as a working mama. I’m not going to pretend that I have it all together, but us mamas (or dads) are all in this together, right?!
1. It’s okay to be sad, or nervous, or happy, or overwhelmed or, however you feel about returning to work. Working with tiny humans helps us remember how hard it can be to handle emotions sometimes, but the first step is always identifying the feeling. Figure out how you feel, and own it. (P.S. I cried, a lot)
2. Write everything down. This helps for a few reasons. The first reason is that sleep deprivation and the cognitive load of motherhood (or fatherhood) is real. The second reason is that sometimes we get caught up thinking about all the stuff that we didn’t get done, that we don’t even realize how much we did accomplish. Crossing things off a list helps with both of these things
3. Set boundaries. We do what we do because we think it’s important and we want to make a difference. However, trying to balance our new life at home and all the demands that are within our job description doesn’t leave a lot of “free time” for helping out with the (insert the last thing that was on your list of “things that seemed like a good idea at the time”). Do a great job at your job, then go home and love on your family. They need you too.
4. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Yes, cute laminated, seasonal, task-specific activities look great and often work great too. Know what else works great? Books, open ended reinforcers paired with task cards you already have, print and go activities, Ipad Apps, and whatever you did last year. Don’t spend your precious time or brain power fixing something that isn’t broken and beating yourself up about not having a ton of “new” activities. As long as your are meeting your students’ needs, you’re good to go.
5. Set yourself up for success. To all you morning people, I salute you. I’m not a morning person (as I write this blog post while my whole house is sleeping). Lay out your clothes and baby’s clothes the night before. Pack your bag and baby’s bag the night before. Meal plan and meal prep. There is nothing worse than coming home from a long day of work when you just want to be with your family and having the “whats for dinner” discussion only to realize you have “nothing” and wasting precious time when your baby is awake and wanting to be with you running to the grocery store and prepping a meal you will probably end up eating cold.
6. Remember YOU are still in there. Under all of your hats, YOU still have needs. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Read a book, take a bath, go to yoga. Do whatever you need to do for YOU. It makes a difference!
Any of my working mamas have tips to share that help you thrive? Please comment below to share!
Thanks for stopping by!