I think it’s safe to say that the majority of working moms feel some sort of guilt when they get up in the morning and head to work. One working mother (Laura Bazelon) put it this way in her recent NY Times post: people assume “a ‘work-life balance’ is achievable. It’s not.” Never has this been truer since I recently returned from maternity leave — having a daily routine with a 5 year old is one thing (and it isn’t easy) but then add in a newborn and it is a very different ballgame!
I cherished those weeks that I was off from work, but as a working mother I knew it would eventually end. So, 3/4 through my leave, I thought long and hard about the best or easiest way to transition my household into this new era. Because let’s face it, one can get used to non-rushed school drop-offs, laundry always done and dinner on the table well before 7:00 p.m… but for my family that’s not a Monday through Friday reality.
During our annual Farland Group kickoff meeting, our President, Jane Hiscock, had asked us (and I’m paraphrasing here) — share a goal you achieved and the steps you took to get there. During that meeting, I shared how (9 years ago) I worked up to a half marathon and how it relates to my every day work — prioritizing, starting small and doing a little more each day until the goal or deadline is met.
I used the above mindset and planning to prepare myself, and my family, in the weeks leading up to my return to work. The goal this time — to get everyone out the door by 6:15 a.m. To get to that point, I woke up a little earlier each day for a full week until I figured out the “sweet spot”— the time needed to get myself, the baby, and everyone else up and ready. Though it sounds like a small feat, it did, in fact, make life easier when I returned to work last week.
Now that I’m back full-time, I’m digging out of emails and getting caught up to speed on the advisory boards I work on. And just like before, I try to do a little more each day until I get to the end goal —making sure I can delight our clients and meet all deadlines that lead up to a board meeting.