Caring for a newborn baby is as demanding as it is rewarding. Excitedly shopping for those adorable newborn baby clothes and those tiny shoes and the colourful décor for your little one’s room is only one part of the new parent life. The other part is not as glamorous — constant worry about your newborn’s health, endless meal preps, and sleepless nights. Parenting is no mean feat. But there’s something even more difficult being a working mom! Being a working mom can feel like you’re constantly, frantically running — and without a finish line. If you are a working mom thinking about how you can balance work and family life with a new baby, we are here to help you. We tried to answer some of the most frequently asked questions and put together a working mom’s guide to newborn care. Keep reading to know more!
What are the unique challenges of being a working parent and how to manage them?
Missing your baby’s important milestones
Being a working parent needs you to be equally present for your work and your family, both physically and mentally. One of the most common challenges faced by working parents is not being present for their baby’s developmental milestones. It can be absolutely heartbreaking to miss your baby’s first words or her first steps. In such a situation, give yourself the space to feel emotional, even if you are at work. Take a few minutes, call or video call your loved ones, and remind yourself that you are working to give your little one the best life she can possibly have. Reading a few well-researched articles that show the real benefits for children of working parents can also help you feel reassured. Taking some time out can help you to focus better at work, you might also find that work helps to distract you from such overwhelming feelings.
Having to choose between work and parental responsibilities
It’s the busiest day at work, and you get a call that your little one has fallen sick. Working moms are very familiar with this situation. This situation can feel extremely overwhelming, as both work and your baby’s health are important to you. How do you manage? Take stock of the situation at both ends. Can work still proceed smoothly if you take a break to check up on your son and get back in a few hours? Is it possible for your team to manage without you for some time? Can your partner or family members take care of your son till you get back from work? If you have to miss work, communicate with your team members and boss clearly. Let them know if you will be available via video call/ call/ online, or the duration for which you will not be available. Similarly, if you have to stay back at work, help the caretakers back home with any information they might need about your baby’s routine, food, and medications. Sometimes work will have to take a backseat, sometimes you will have to depend on your family/ caretakers at home to take good care of your baby — do what feels best to you in that specific situation.
No time for yourself as a working mom, any holidays you get are devoted to family and taking care of household chores. Many moms also struggle with “mom guilt,” feeling guilty about not being a good enough parent to their kids. Both these circumstances tend to leave working moms overworked, devoid of any rest, and without any recreational time for themselves. It may seem impossible to even think of some time solely for yourself as a working mom, but it holds great importance. Me-time as a mom will allow you to clear your mind, feel relaxed, and in turn, be more present for your family and more productive at work. It does not have to look like a month-long vacation or something clearly unachievable — ten quiet minutes every morning in the garden, or at night when you’ve just put your baby to bed, sitting with your cup of tea, doing nothing, also counts. Get creative. Use the smallest pockets of time you can carve out to be with yourself and do something you enjoy. Prioritize your well-being.
How to manage time and efficiently care for a newborn while working from home?
With many companies now offering the facility of working from home to their employees, it has become easier for some moms to manage work and family, but also difficult for some. Caregiving responsibilities are still considered a woman’s responsibility in many households across the globe. Working from home can blur the boundaries of work and family, and it can become extremely challenging to stay balanced, especially for working moms.
Caring for your Newborn Baby
In this situation, the first important step to efficiently caring for your newborn consists of taking help. Ask for help — from your partner, family, or extended family, and if you can, hire a caregiver to share a few responsibilities. Do not let mom guilt stop you from asking for help! It really does take a village to raise a child. Also, be transparent about your situation at home with your boss, and keep them in the loop about any unforeseen circumstances where you might have to devote more time to caregiving duties, such as a sick baby. Choose baby products that can help make your life easier — like CITTA’s range of essential baby bath and skincare products, which are designed for maximum convenience to new parents.
Try to delegate and simplify as many household chores as you can. Look for easy-to-prepare recipes for baby food. Involve your older kids in household chores such as folding clothes. Set up playdates with other babies, where you and your mom's friends take turns babysitting — allowing you to make some time for yourself while your baby enjoys playtime.
How to find support systems at work when you are caring for your newborn baby?
A supportive work environment goes a long way in making life easier for working moms! Try to cultivate an honest relationship with your co-workers and employer. Here are a few pointers to consider discussing with your employer when you join back after maternity leave.
Ask your employer for places where you can comfortably pump. Try getting on a schedule so that your co-workers can also plan their work accordingly.
Flexibility about working from home
Discuss the possibility of working from home on days when your baby is sick and if you can make up for time lost due to your baby’s doctor’s appointment at a later time.
Have a clear idea of your organization’s leave policy sick leave, unpaid leaves, paid leaves, paternity leave, and other leaves.
Apart from work, you can also find support in mom groups or parent groups. These can become spaces to share your concerns freely without judgment.
Being a working mom presents multiple challenges. Caring for a newborn while working can become a difficult task for any parent. It is important that you prioritize your well-being, ask for help, try to maximize efficiency, and reach out to friends, family, and co-workers for support. We hope that this article helps you navigate motherhood in a better way.