Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Professional Mom







Looking on the HUGE pile of laundered clothes that were to be put away from the longest while, I put put a lengthy sigh and somewhere in my head I screamed...HELP I need a HELPER. It also got me thinking of motherly demands and moreso, demands of a professional mom who tries to balance work, time with baby, home time and motherly me time. Which i previously spoke about here

With changing economic times and a marked increase in female independence, the entire essence of motherhood has somehow been revolutionized. Today increasing numbers of mothers have claimed their place in the workplace, occupying varying skilled and semi skilled roles. But how does this fare for mom and the child she is expected to care for in all ways possible?

More often than not, being a career oriented mom means that most if not all babies will be ushered off into the world of daycare at 2-3 months (In the Jamaican scenario) while mothers return to the demands of a job. This return is almost never anticipated and it is with bated breaths and mass separation anxiety that many moms leave for an 8 hour, make that 12 hours (including travel time) away from their little one.

Then comes the agonizing hours wondering what your child is doing, how he/she is managing, Is he/she adjusting to being away from you and the list goes on. Then when you finally get accustomed to them being away from you, the pangs of exhaustion starts setting in. So you come home from work, probably try to make the evening's meals while making time to get some one and one interaction with the newest member of your family and what do you know within an hour or two after getting home you are beat-flat out tired and wonder whatever happened to the days when you could do an all nighter, go to bed in the wee hours of the morning and still function fairly throughout the next day.

Surely you want to scream and let the world know that moms deserve better- better maternity policies, more time with your young'un and of course you want to go on and on citing the psychological benefits of spending more quality time with your little bundle or your growing toddler or even your teenager. But let's face it, unless you live in places like Canada where you can get up to 52 weeks Maternity leave then there's no need screaming your eyes out about how unfair the Jamaican government is towards mothers. In fact count your blessings (In the US Maternity leave is not necessarily etched in policy, instead time frames vary based on Employers, number of employees to a company and sometimes even the employer's discretion?) sad huh?

So while you're yet wailing, experts recommend that the first step in achieving quality time as a professional mom is to GET RID OF YOUR GUILT; Hard i know but sitting around pining doesn't help either.
So after you have stopped thinking about how sorry you are for having to go off to work the next step is to make your time with your little one count. As Armin Brott, Yahoo parenting expert explains "
Although you can't recapture time spent away from your child, you can make the most of your time together. First, separate work time from time with your child. Make sure that whenever you're with your baby, you're with him 100 percent. Forget the phone, the computer, the newspaper, and the TV — you can do all those things after the baby goes to sleep, before he wakes up, or while he's busy nursing."
In this age of Blackberries and host of other peripheral devices, this might be much harder than in days gone by, but go for it...After all your little one is worth the effort and sacrifice (you were complaining about not enough time after all right?)

Brott also says "You might also want to explore a few different work scheduling options. Ask if you can come into work an hour or two earlier so you could leave early and have a few relaxed hours with your baby in the afternoons.

Or perhaps you could telecommute one day a week. The time usually spent in traffic in the car could be spent reading to your son. And a walk around your neighborhood — in a carrier or stroller — is a great way to take a break from work during the day".


And then there's this issue of organizing your time to maximize time spent with your little one. This will be explored in a later post, but you can always check out some useful tips at Mom's Network

So now you have the basic idea, Being a mom is after all already a task in itself and being a working mom is double work. It can be exhausting and so it is important to find the right balance to ensure that adequate time is given to all the important areas of your life.

Let us know how you manage life as a professional mom...Any tips? Advice? or are you still struggling through life as a professional mom.


Hope to hear from you soon
XO
Shan

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