Time has a way of fading memories, but I remember how hectic motherhood is, and how brutal the back-to-work transition can be as a new working mom. You’ll get all kinds of advice, but here are five habits every working mother can develop to keep their day job and navigate the demands of motherhood. It's a jungle out there.
1. Have a backup plan
Because children get sick and mom’s miss work, it’s more important than ever to have a contingency plan for every possible scenario. Conjure up what can go wrong and who can help with your new mom role, and job tasks. You mother may be watching the new peanut while you work, but you need a backup daycare arrangement just in case. And if co-workers may have to step in at the last minute to perform your tasks, make it easy by writing instructions following these guidelines from Microsoft.
2. Set alarms
Your time is precious and so is your little peanut. Your mental health is also precious. In the early days (until they reach about 17) their schedule is our schedule. It's hard to keep up. So, set alarms, and I mean a lot of them. Signal worthy events beyond getting out of bed in the morning will vary. But, anytime you need to be somewhere and need to be on time set the alarm to keep you moving.
3. Prioritize tasks
As a new mom, you need to become a master of prioritization. You never know when a phone call about a feverish child will interrupt your work plans for the day and result in missing a deadline. Know your high priority tasks and consistently tackle them first.
4. Create deadlines for everything
Your To-Do list may have tasks and assignments that don’t have due dates. Tasks with no deadline often get pushed aside or fall through the cracks. You don't need that. You can manage your To-Do list more effectively by adding a deadline for everything on it.
5. Share bad news quickly
Don’t wait until the last minute to share bad news. Too often we wait until a deadline is upon us before talking about a problem, or asking for help. This can wreak havoc on your new schedule if you need to troubleshoot and meet a deadline. Your boss and coworkers will appreciate a heads up and be better prepared to help when they aren’t trying to put out a fire you created by not communicating sooner.
What challenges have you encountered as a new working mom? How did you handle it? Do you have time management tips?