Navigating Life With a Newborn as a Single Working Mother
Becoming a mother is the most exciting, fulfilling, and incredible thing you’ll ever experience. It’s a full-time job, and it can be overwhelming at times, but it’s beyond worth it. However, if you’re a single mother with another full-time job, or even a part-time gig, navigating life with a newborn can be tricky.
With remote visits, remote work, and little support, it’s easy to find yourself trying to overcome challenges you didn’t expect.
However, it’s not impossible to have a successful career while staying positive as an involved and active parent. Let’s cover some of the best ways to navigate life with a newborn while maintaining a career.
Identifying Your Goals
Your perspective on things can change after you have a baby. What you once considered important might seem fleeting now, including certain aspects of your career. Now is a good time to re-evaluate your goals and determine what you really want from your career. If you want to advance and keep moving forward, consider speaking with your employer about your options.
You might ask for more flexibility or more time off. You might even consider working remotely and setting up a digital workspace at home.
If your current career is where you see yourself succeeding, don’t hesitate to reach out for help when it comes to making sure your child is cared for. When it comes to advancing your career as a single parent, family and friends can help in a variety of ways, including:
- Financial support
- Emotional support
- Practical support
- Career advice
As you identify your goals and assess your current position, you might find that it’s not the right fit for you at this stage of life. Maybe it’s time to switch to a more family-friendly career that will offer you more balance. Whatever the case, take the time to consider your options, what you really want, and how you’ll achieve it.
Finding the Right Support
As a single parent, it’s easy to feel like you’re totally alone at times. However, that’s rarely the case. Even if you don’t have a romantic partner or co-parent, there are people in your life who will gladly step up and help you when you need it. Lean on friends and family for support as much as possible.
You should also consider connecting with other women who might be going through similar situations. Look for local motherhood groups that can provide support and companionship, or consider searching online for groups you can join. Even if that means connecting with women across the country, it can be comforting to know you’re not alone while getting advice from other moms.
Finally, don’t hesitate to reach out for help from your primary care physician or a therapist if you’re feeling overwhelmed. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed both maternity care and post-natal care. More visits are done remotely, so you don’t have to take time out of your day to travel anywhere. You can talk to professionals from the comfort of your own home without having to spend extra time away from your little one.
Taking Care of Yourself
You can’t pour from an empty cup.
No matter how much you might want to work full time and spend every other second with your newborn, it won’t take long before you’re completely burnt out. That can leave you weak, damage your immune system, and cause excess stress that can lead to anxiety or depression.
It’s essential to find a healthy work-life balance. Taking time for yourself each day to relax and feel like you have freedom and comfort at home is important. With that being said, make sure you’re practicing self-care each day.
Self-care isn’t selfish — it’s necessary. It will make you a more present parent, and more productive at work. It also doesn’t have to take a lot of time. If you prioritize small ways to reduce your stress every day, you can make self-care a normal part of your routine. Not sure how to get started? Try some of the following ideas:
- Establish better sleeping habits
- Eat healthy
- Read your favorite books
- Practice mindfulness
It’s also a good idea to socialize with people you care about. Even if you bring your little one along or have friends and family come to your house, doing relaxing and fun things with people you love will help to reduce stress and combat loneliness. That’s what a healthy work-life balance is all about. Focus less on time, and more on how you can make the most of that time.
Is it challenging to be a single working mother? Yes. At times, it can even feel overwhelming. However, you can make it work for you, and be a fully-present parent while reaching your career goals. Keep these ideas in mind to navigate those waters and experience the best of both worlds.