You've heard it many times before I'm sure, about how motherhood changes your life.
When I started writing this, I began going into how welcoming our two wonderful daughters was the hardest, most rewarding, life-enriching adventure we've ever ventured on. How it's impacted my relationship with my husband, my friends, my career, my finances, truly every aspect of my life.
But...you've heard that all before, plenty of others have written about the peaks and the pits of motherhood. So I'd like to cut to the chase, and lay out some of my tips (to add to all the other unsolicited advice you'll get when you're about to become a mom) for your perusal:
- Work/Life Balance is Real - When you expand your wolf pack, work and play need to make way for a very important new player - your child! There are several factors to consider when going back to work: Does it still ignite a fire in you to go into the office, to have something separate from your role as a mom that brings you joy? The answer is different for everyone. Also, does it make financial sense for you to go back to work? You must take a hard look at your finances and how daycare fits into the mix. If you've answered yes to both, it's now important to find a workplace that is in line with what you'll need to be both a successful employee as well as a happy mama. This can be easier said than done, I know. If it's important for you to be able to attend your children's extra-curricular activities, to work from home if they're home sick, etc.- then you need to ensure your workplace supports that. Not every place does, so that's your responsibility to ask those questions while you're job hunting, and find a culture that's in line with what you need to feel fulfilled and successful in both roles.
- Bringing Up Bébé - I personally recommend reading, 'Bringing up Bébé' - in today's culture of helicopter parents and extreme child-centric living, it was a refreshing read on pre-mommy life/mommy-life balance and another culture's perspective on how to manage welcoming a new member to your family.
- Treat Yo Self - It's easy to focus 365, 24/7 on your family. However, I've found that I'm a better mother and wife when I'm on my A game and feeling my best. That means: get that haircut, buy new clothes once in a while, get that pedicure you've been groaning about, don't feel guilty about getting your workouts in. As those somewhat annoying, pre-flight safety protocols always say, 'Make sure your mask is secured before helping others'.
- Get Your Squad Together - It takes a village, seriously. Find other mom friends who can commiserate and empathize with you on the daily events only motherhood brings. They can be great to vent to, get advice from, schedule playdates, and even help babysit so you can go out on that date night. They are invaluable to my life and I don't know how I could survive without my mom friends.
- Date Night - Make sure you not only make time for yourself, but also for you & your significant other. Parenting is hard work, and it's easy to let your relationship fall to the wayside. Go on that monthly date, celebrate your anniversary with a small trip, just make time to nurture your relationship. It's made us better partners and better parents to our children.
Lastly - don't compare yourself to anyone else (you heard me, turn off those social media posts that make you feel like a crummy mom). Whether that means you're a working mom, or a stay at home mom, or the endless other choices you'll make when you're a mommy - only you know what's best for you & your family.