April 15, 2011
I must admit, I was terrified to start working again. I was just having too much fun with tummy time, reading stories, going for walks to see ducks and turtle and watching my little man grow. Even though I work from home and I’d prepared in every humanly way possible for the task of being a working mom, I feared losing those precious moments with my little one.
It wasn’t easy at first, but we’ve taken every day as a growing, learning experience. I had no idea how I’d handle the work waiting for me when I returned. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure how I’d even have time to conquer my inbox. But, every day, we’ve settled more and more into a schedule. Brady is such a happy, content baby.
I’ve had to really redefine the idea of the do-it-all-be-it-all working mother. To me, I always imagined those women with an iPhone tucked between their ear and shoulder, a smiling baby on one hip, a wooden spoon stirring the homemade spaghetti sauce in the other hand… all while wearing five inch heels nonetheless.
Since going back to work, I’ve thrown that idea out the window. The idea of multitasking is TERRIBLE. Why, you ask? Because multitasking is good for no one… not my child, my husband, my clients or myself. It’s draining. It’s unfair. It’s halfhearted. So, I’ve learned (and am learning) to do what I’ve trained my body and mind over 28 years NOT to do… to focus on one thing at a time. To slow down. To really give all of my heart and attention to that which is in front of me at the time… to live in the moment.
I’ve done this by turning off the audible BEEP that sounds when I receive an email on my iPhone. I’ve written down Brady’s schedule (and even put it in my iCal so I can schedule calls, etc around it to the best of my ability). I’ve devoted Brady’s sound asleep late night hours to focused work. I’ve really redefined my ideal day (which used to involve a 7am workout, full clothes and makeup, gourmet healthy meals and a glass of wine on the porch each evening with my hot and handsome husband) to start later, end later and be built around achieving a few key things in an order that shifts daily:
- Quiet time with Brady each morning. Just the two of us.
- At least one short walk with Brady each day to see the ducks in the pond behind our house.
- Responding to everything in my inbox daily – even if that means a late night.
Does this happen everyday? Nope. Does almost all of this happen everyday? Yes. And that’s good enough for me. Taking the six week maternity leave I feared taking really refocused me. And it allowed me to redefine my idea of success as a woman. My day, my schedule, my life is in constant flux with a little one, but every time I see that cheeky, chubby, drooly smile – I’m reminded of how lucky I am.
So for now, it’s 10:44pm… and we ate to-go food for dinner, my iPhone is plugged in – in the other room, my inbox is cleared. And my little man is sound asleep in his bassinet.
Focused. Imperfect. Blessed.