We all learned in science class that inertia is the resistance among physical objects to any change in its state of motion, including changes to its speed and direction. That an object at rest tends to stay at rest, an object in motion (like moms) tend to stay in motion. Last week I shared my apprehension about changing my routine and going back to work after having been out of the game for almost a year. The laws of inertia have a firm hold on me right now as I am finding that the longer I have been with my baby, the harder going back to a demanding work schedule will be. But deep down I know this is the right choice for me and my family and now that I have made the decision to pursue this work, I am determined to overcome the force called resistance. I am putting all of my energy into an action plan so that I may overcome inertia and get “unstuck” from the safe, comfortable routine I have been in. Here’s what I am doing to get psyched up:
Enlist the help of my village. I cannot pull off this whole working mom gig without help, so I have called out to my most reliable and trusted childcare providers, colleagues, and family members. My daughter will have to start going to the after care program at her preschool a couple days a week and my husband will have to step up his game a little bit. And since my daughter is on the tricky academic calendar, there will be snow days/delays, spring vacation, and other holidays to deal with, but we’ll figure it out somehow with the help of our village.
Grow my village. We plan to add a part-time nanny to our childcare mix. We’ve been down this road before and have had success. We look forward to finding and welcoming the right match to our family. I think of it as expanding our village of people who care about my kids and help support hub and me.
Look at my challenges as blessings not obstacles. I am lucky to have the opportunity to do work that I enjoy. Although it will be trickier (not to mention costlier), balancing work and childcare with two kids, I usually feel better when I am busy. And we all know happy mamas = happier homes.
Let go. My son is nine months old and a far cry from the calm, snuggly baby that used to sleep peacefully for hours in my arms. He’s now a rough and tumble kid who likes to grab, explore, put everything in his mouth, and destroy his sister’s stuff. He is so active that I am finding that I am no match for him. I am not that fun, daycare with other kids his age will be great for this kid.
Visualize Success. My husband and I are big fans of author and motivational speaker, Brian Tracy. Back when I was first starting out in my career I used to listen to his audio tapes (remember those?) in the car all the time. One of his talks that I distinctly remember is that of positive visualization, the ability to see your goals already accomplished. He encourages us to create an exciting picture of our goals and ideal lives, and replay this picture in our minds over and over. He affirms that all improvement in life begins with an improvement in your “mental pictures.” When I go to sleep at night I visualize in my mind how drop-off and pick-up is going to go; what we will do when Mia has days off from school; that I am going to have to pack extra stuff on the nights she has ballet and we will barely make it to class; that the baby won’t even notice I’m gone; that I will never forget when it’s our turn to bring snack at school; both kids will have fantastic birthday parties; and that every day I come home from work I will be greeted by happy, well-adjusted children and we will spend the next few hours before bedtime enjoying our quality time together. HA HA HA, I know what the reality will be, but sometimes I feel like I have to be 20 steps ahead in my mind so I am prepared when I fall behind. And visualization really does help me when I am feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
Sorry I got all self-helpy on you. But it is what I rely on most when I am about to make big changes in my life and I have to get myself excited and ready to go. Now I have kids going along with me for the ride. Here’s hoping all will go according to plan.