I have a confession to make.
I’ve always lived a life that seemed like I had it all figured out. I lived every day with so much joy and fulfilment that I could happily give back my life with peace should He decide to take it back.
Then motherhood happened. No amount of self-help books could have prepared me for this season. If this 24/7 role had a performance review, I’d probably get the “getting by” rating. The days felt like someone was living my life for me and control was long gone.
As I write this, I’m just in my 8th month of being blessed with this new role of motherhood. And with the joy of motherhood comes the undeniable truth that this season needs a lot of getting used to. If I could think of 3 things I wish other work-from-home moms would have advised me sooner, it would be these.
1. Accept the season.
There’s no use looking back at the old life pre-motherhood. To quote a line from the movie “Look Both Ways”, “All new mothers mourn the person that you used to be, no matter how much they might have wanted (and planned) to have children.” Acknowledging that this season is difficult does not make you a bad mother. Nor does it neglect the blessing of the season. When I finally accepted that I’m no longer going back to how life was before, I started to slowly enjoy the new experiences that come with this season. Different is not wrong, and change takes time.
2. You can’t do it all.
When my baby was just a few weeks old, I felt guilty to ask for help. I would always tell myself “this is my role so I should be doing it”, whenever anyone extends a helping hand. I wallowed in self-pity for not having time for myself, and my marriage was affected because I barely took time to look after my husband. It was only after a few months of running on sleepless nights and tireless days that I caved in and asked for help. My mom would take care of my baby first thing in the morning so I could catch up on sleep. I told my bosses about the possibility of taking on fewer working hours for the time being. I would ask fellow moms in our community for tips on how to get through the tough days. Finally, I was able to let go of the “perfect life” mask and was vulnerable enough to seek help. As it turned out, help was readily available if only I was humble enough to ask for it.
3. Set clear boundaries
The challenge with a work-from-home situation is that there is no clear boundary between work and play. Add to that the mom-guilt of not being able to look after your baby’s needs when it’s time to work. Plan your work schedule so that you can prioritise where you are needed the most. This season where the baby needs more time and attention is temporary, so expect the daily routine to change as your baby ages. Most importantly, do not forget that you are also a wife before a mother. The best way to become good parents is a healthy marriage. Be intentional in setting aside quality time for each other.
I have a long way to go in this season, but I could proudly say that I’ve come a long way since day one. I’m still learning by the day, and what’s important is that I now make time to reflect on how I could grow through this experience. As we start women’s month, I hope more moms realize their worth and that who they are truly matters. Salute to all superwomoms!