Recently, I confessed that I am in fact excited to go back to work, that I want to feel relevant again in a field I am competent at and that I want to feel useful again outside our home. This week, my wish is granted, I am back in the workforce. And in less than a week, this working mama is at the brink of losing sanity already! No joke.
Now that I got what I wanted (insert doubt here), I wonder if I could really pull this up – this working mama game face on. I sometimes go home and all I want is to collapse in bed but I cannot. Blame it on the city traffic which doubles our burden every single day. When I arrive home, I cannot just rest yet since I need to breastfeed our baby, chit chat with the older babies before tucking them in bed, check Jonath’s school bag and school works, wash-up, mind the following day’s lunch and baon, cradle baby V to sleep, eat dinner and then rest, that is if baby V sleeps soundly (on lucky nights); in that order! Mornings are no different. We’re always in the fast and the furious, need for speed pace where slowing down equates failure. I wake up early to prepare Jonath’s baon. My husband wakes up, eats breakfast and baths whoever is awake among our kids while I prepare their clothes and give baby V her bath time. Then, off we go to a quick shower and straight to work.
Being a working mama is a tough act and I admit that it’s tougher when you cannot find a reliable helper. My parents and sister help us and still, we’re overwhelmed most of the time. Imagine if we don’t get any help at all, I’d be residing in Mandaluyong most likely. The last helper we hired suddenly left us after just three days. She said she’ll be back after a week but she didn’t.
One week into this crazy, unbelievable and exhausting working mama life and I don’t want to quit just yet. I hope that after the adjusting period, this new life would be part of my system and then it becomes my normal days. And since quitting is not an option, I found a new mantra: I’d rather die slaving for my loved ones than die well-rested. But, to keep up with the challenges of a working mama life, I need to not lose my sanity. So, how to stay sane working mamas? Here are my tips:
I try my best to start and end my chaotic days in silence with God. I read devotionals. I pray fervently. After all, we need all the graces we could get to conquer our days (and nights). I try to find strength in His promises because His words will surely keep us going.
I always actively look for an inspiration or a mommy peg. Be careful though not to compare your life with others and be wary of getting envious and pitiful about yourself. Just find a person that will inspire you to go on despite the hurdles and more importantly to be more creative, innovative and fun mama. I once found a Montessori mom and since I cannot be like her because I don’t have her huge house, I just felt down and low, so I decided to unfollow her simply because instead of uplifting my spirits, following her makes me sad and lacking about my life. I also have chosen a mantra that suits and inspires me (read above). A personal mantra speaks of my values, vision, and convictions.
I ask, accept and acknowledge help. Try to find a good house helper if you can afford their services. I hired a tutor for my eldest because I know I would not be able to teach him effectively at home. If other family members offer help, don’t be ashamed to accept them. Don’t be in denial that you need others. Acknowledge your limitations and be grateful. God is and will continue to send help our way whenever and wherever we need them. But please, don’t abuse the people who are helping you and it would be nice if you could show them your appreciation in some ways.
I keep my relationships healthy. My social life has long been dead ever since I became a mom but it does not mean my relationships are. I try to keep my relationships with my husband, family, colleagues and close friends healthy. I eat meals with my family on weekends. My husband and I engage in meaningful conversations when stuck in traffic. I contribute to a good working environment through mutual respect, common work ethics, and cooperation. I chat with my friends on lunch breaks, not necessarily long chats, just enough for us to feel each other’s care and presence.
I try to eat healthy food especially snacks. As a mom, I need to be in my tip top shape in order to take care of everything and everyone else. I hydrate often. I drink lots and lots and lots of water. I totally love my new find for fiber fix, Fitbar – great aid in my constipation when my CS wound was not totally healed yet. Also, I try to keep my mind healthy through writing because writing clears my cluttered and busy brain. On the other hand, I try to relax through an old love – I diffuse various essential oils based on my needs and mood. My all-time favorite Ilog Maria is my local choice for essential oils.
Lastly, I plan my day. I try to establish a routine and stick to our schedules as much as possible. But, I do not fuss over unfollowed timetable. I have a monthly calendar plotted out. I have a grocery list and two To-Do lists, one for office work and the second one is for personal errands. In my experience, everything is tracked if done that way. Just remember that these are tools to guide us in our everyday living because it’s hard not to forget a thing or two in a million and one tasks we moms are always up to but they should not be controlling us, nonetheless.
At the end of the day, I wonder why I still feel happy and complete, like I have everything I need, like the world is mine. Yeah, that’s what I feel usually at 3 AM as I look at my husband and three children in peaceful slumber. I don’t really understand my deep sense of serenity but maybe it’s Heaven’s reward for my hard work and for me trying to fulfill a mission I was assigned to do. Maybe God does not mind the end results more than He does for the efforts we exerted and the hearts we poured in our works. I hope you working parents, especially moms pick up a thing or two in this post. We need to unite, support and help one another to champ this common yet complex and blissful journey. Anything you want to share just hit the comment section.