It’s been my second month since I got back to work from a 78 day-maternity leave. I had to keep up a lot from my absence, prepping myself up with all the changes and ensure that I start the year right by stepping up my career discipline.
With that in mind, I want to share with you some personal tips on how to gear up before the big day (which worked for me!):
1. DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
Involve yourself once in a while by checking your corporate mails. A tiny effort makes a long way as this helps you to still be in the loop. My frequent checks have helped me with minor adjustments. I may not be as knowledgeable as I used to be but this habit made me remember most parts of what I was doing. Usually at my job role, we are given a week to warm up from a long leave but I just gave myself 2 days and was getting back on track (although practice gives your “groove ” back).
2. PRACTICE COMPARTMENTALIZING.
Although being a mom (or a parent) in itself is a tough job, if you are a career person, you have to exert yourself a little more. As my mum would say, we have different “folders” in our lives to open and close – folders for family, work, self, others – and this is where compartmentalizing kicks in. Compartmentalizing is a process where one segregates oneself from one folder to the other. It helps us prioritize and be more focused on one task at a time. It will not only aid you from separation anxiety from your little angel, as an example, but it also makes you more efficient in finishing your tasks at work. It lessens the load and stress when dealing with issues. In short, do not bring your personal issues at work and vice versa.
One of my mum’s greatest advices is to open and close each of our life folders at a certain point in life. For example, close your family folder once you leave the house and open your work folder once you’re at work.
3. REWARD YOURSELF WITH “ME-TIME” .
If there’s one thing I see in mothers is that most of us tend to “forget” ourselves as we subconsciously live a selfless life for our children and families. We should be reminded that we are human and our needs (even some of the “wants”) are met. So give yourself a big pat on the back by treating yourself with a well-deserved time-off. Give yourself a makeover or a spa treatment. It doesn’t have to be expensive though. If you’re tight with your budget, there’s heaps of homemade skin or body treatment for you to enjoy. If you’re a certified bookworm, get back to your unfinished readings for a couple of hours perhaps. The key is to ask help from a loved one, whether it be your spouse/partner, your mom or a sibling, and have them take care of your little one for a few hours. This gives you time to refresh yourself for the big transition to “work reality”.
4. LIST WHAT YOU WANT FOR YOUR CAREER.
List what you wanted to have in your career and steps to achieve it. Goal-setting keeps you on your toes and having them written down on a journal (or on your smartphone) reminds you to be on the right track. I keep a planner and use my Android app as reminders (I personally use the Any.Do app. It not only keeps a record in my email, it also gives encouraging messages once I am done.)
Keep in mind to set an achievable timeframe and steps, then work on it, woman!
5. GET LOADS OF SLEEP.
Sleep as much as you can. Maximize your time to give your body its much needed rest as our body repairs itself whilst sleeping. It’s tried and tested that people are more productive and efficient after a good 6-8 hours of sleep as the brain and body works better . I’m cranky when I only get 3-4 hours sleep and I am working on this, too.
Faith uplifts the soul and prayer is everything. Pray for the Lord’s guidance, wisdom and strength to help us go through this journey. Pray with gratefulness as we are blessed with these opportunities of being a great mum AND providing food to our family’s tables. There is indeed power in prayer. Keep trusting God as He knows what’s best for us. Start everything with an open heart for Him.
I hope these will somehow equip you to get back on your career track.
Thanks for reading and have fun.
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