Is there a right time to have a baby? Should I focus on my career now and have a baby later when I’m more settled? Will the baby slow down my career or life?
These are just some of the questions that come to mind when a woman plans on having a baby or is pregnant. Women, no matter what part of the world they live in, have to think about the impact of having a baby on their career and life in general. Because let’s be honest here, having a baby does change your life completely!
While we as a society have grown and more and more women and men are coming out and speaking about equal parenting and equal pay at work, the fact is that mothers always have more childcare responsibilities than fathers. Yes, your partner can help you change the diapers, feed the baby, put the baby to sleep, and be there for you in every way possible but still being a mom can be challenging at times.
So what do you do? If you are a woman who is going to have a baby soon and are wondering if the baby will slow you down, then read on to find out what happens!
Motherhood changes your priorities and life in a way that no one can prepare you. No amount of reading or classes or advice can prepare you for what is going to hit you! But when you hold that bundle of joy in your hand and see them coo for the first time, everything seems to fall in place and suddenly life becomes more meaningful.
Life after a baby can be definitely difficult because you can say goodbye to spontaneous getaways or vacations, random brunch plans with the girls, or even movie nights (because you will need the sleep). But when you become a mother, you realize there is something more important and you want to slow down to witness and be present for these things. Everything takes a backseat and you look forward to something more beautiful – raising another human. You begin to slow down on your own and that’s when you start appreciating the smaller things in life. Children make you stop and admire the smaller things and beauties of life, which in our daily hustle we would never notice. They will make you look at the sky, admire the sounds of birds, laugh at things you never thought of and so much more.
You want to slow down and capture the moments when they smile for the first time, take their first steps, or their first word. It’s important to live in these moments because time flies and you would never realize when they are all grown up and no longer need you. So, slow down and hold on to these moments that you will cherish forever.
For most couples as well, babies bring more meaning to their relationship. It makes the love grow deeper and they come to admire each other more. You will find that even at the end of the day, when the baby is fast asleep, all you and your partner can do is gush about how adorable and cute your baby is turning out to be. So yes, they do slow you down but it is to enjoy the small moments of life that will become beautiful memories for the future.
A smile on your baby’s face can make your day and fill your heart with so much joy and love that you could have never imagined. But that smile in no way makes juggling a career, home, and motherhood easy! The struggle is real and there is no denying that and it doesn't help that the society corporates and businesses are still very biased towards men. Even today, companies would prefer to hire a man over a woman who might be more qualified and better for a position. That’s because companies consider a woman a liability especially if she is a mother or going to be a mother. It’s assumed that if you are a mother, you would be less focused and less productive. Also, the number of times you might have to take leave to be with your kids in case of emergencies or show up late to work. There are cases where a married woman is asked if she plans to have a baby in the future during an interview! Crazy, right?!
But like it’s said, there is nothing a mother can’t do. Women are capable of doing so much more than what we believe. Shake those traditional notions and fight for your rights and do your best, things will fall in place automatically. Yes, being a mother and having a career is not easy, but it’s not impossible. Some workplaces are more accommodating and supportive of new mothers. Off late a lot of companies are offering paid maternity leaves and work from home options for mothers until they feel comfortable being back at work. Managing your career, baby, and home will not be easy, it’s like a fine balance but you can achieve it. There are so many successful women out there in leadership positions or running their businesses while being great mothers.
Keep a schedule and make sure you stick to a routine. This will help not just to hold your life in place but will also be helpful for the child. And cut yourself some slack, some days you won’t be able to achieve it all and it’s alright. Just enjoy the moment. And don’t ever forget to take help – from your partner, babysitters, nannies, or grandparents. Remember the saying, it takes a village to raise a baby!
Being a mom is by no means an easy role. It requires patience, hard work, and lots of sleep! Raising another human being is a daunting task in itself and the added pressure from loved ones and society in general sometimes makes things worse. So, make sure that you take time out for yourself – enjoy that cup of coffee before the little one wakes up, go out with your partner on date nights, hang out with your girls or enjoy a spa session once in a while. Take care of yourself first so that you can take care of your kids and family better.
If you are a father, partner, boyfriend, or friend reading this and wondering how you can make mothers feel better, then appreciate them every now and then for their hard work. Appreciation can also be in the form of gifts. There are so many gifts for mom out there you can choose from. Make them feel special and tell them how much you love them every once in a while!