Being a working mom is no small feat. I remember not being able to go on break to pump at the time I needed to after returning to work from maternity leave. I would be in so much pain. At this time, I work the graveyard shift at my hospital (I also work on growing my business) so that I could spend the day with my baby but still work. I work for seven days then am off for seven days. Since my vocation is in the healthcare field, it was easy to get that kind of schedule. It sounds ideal, right? That is what I thought before working that schedule with my baby. But during the week, I was not able to get much sleep because my baby did not take very good naps during the day (he slept all night, though, which was lovely when I was off). I would catnap here and there and just sleep for an hour when my husband got home from work and wake up just in time to get ready to go to work.
As you can imagine, I was exhausted by the time my husband was off on the weekend. I loved the weekend! I got to spend time with my family and still have enough time to get a good night’s sleep(or, in this case, a good day’s sleep). But sleeping as long as I could on Saturday meant my breast were pretty full by the time I woke up. There were days when I had time to feed my baby again before work, but there were days when I would just rush out of bed, get ready and leave. Then by the time I got to work, I hurt. I needed to pump so bad. But it would take five hours before I could leave to pump.
Do you know what I learned from this experience? I wanted to make my schedule my own. I wanted to do something so that I could spend time with my family, pump when I needed, and have a life. I wanted to share three pointers on how to gain control of your time whether you are a mom who works for a company or for yourself (which could mean working from home).
1.) Look into having a job that allows you to have the lifestyle you desire.
That could mean being a stay at home parent with your little ones until you are ready for a different schedule. In this economy, that is very hard to do. If you really want this kind of schedule it might mean planning months or even years in advance.
This could mean getting a job or starting a business that allows you to work from home. Again, this also takes planning. When I started in my healthcare field, all I thought about was the fact that I wanted to help people with their health and loved science (among other things since I am multi-passionate). I also did it because I liked the fact that you could work three different kind of schedules (morning, evening, or nights). It was not until years later that I realized that they still were not the schedules I wanted or needed. And it was inflexible in different ways. If I was sick or had an emergency, it was arduous trying to find someone to work for me. And sometimes even if I did, I still had to make up the hours on the days I had off.
Really take the time to answer some honest and in-depth questions about who you are, the kind of lifestyle you want, where you want to be, and what’s important to you.
Time is the most rare and precious commodity you have. Everyone has the same 24 hours to do with it as they please. Even things you might consider involuntary is still voluntary. It’s best to get anywhere between 7 to 8 hours of sleep. But there are those who try to wake up 15 to 30 minutes earlier to have some extra time to fit something they desire to their schedule. Whether it’s for prayer or meditation, just to have some alone time or to prepare a really healthy delicious breakfast. Of course you can sleep in as well, that too is a choice you made because sleeping in was very important to you. You decide. Just make sure the decision you make will leave you healthy, happy, and filled with energy.
Although my schedule is crazy, I am not worried about the welfare of my child. While I work, I have a wonderful and supporting husband who takes great care of our baby. Darian is a wonderful, loving, and kind husband and father. And I knew he would be, that’s why I married him. Because of his support (and support from some other family members that I trust with my child) I can be focused and present at work (at the hospital and on my business). Also, because of a supporting spouse, I can choose how much time I want to spend on my business.
Choose your spouse wisely for they will determine some of your limitations. With a supportive spouse, you can take the time and money to put more effort into your business, take a girl’s night out (part of self-care), really have a partner in raising your children, and reach for your dreams.
If you have already chosen your spouse and they are not as supportive as you would like, then be open and honest with them. From my experience and observation, the moments that lead to hurt and frustration, usually have to do with miscommunication. Or a complete lack of communication. They are not mind readers. Talk with them about what you want and listen as they do the same (sometimes it’s good to paraphrase what they’ve mentioned just to be sure you are on the right page). Be willing to compromise. When you compromise, instead of it limiting what you want, it actually increases your options. You gain so much clarity into your purpose and how you can arrive there. It truly aids you in taking control of your time.
In the comments bellow, I want to know what you have done to make your time your own. Or what you think about the above three steps. I would love to hear your thoughts!
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