1. Take time to decide what you want to do
When I became mother, I had no help. Managing house, child and work was so exhausting that I left my full-time corporate job. I thought I will be happy. I was, for a month. Then I terribly missed my work and started to regret my decision. I then left my son with his grandparents and joined back to work. Then I started missing my son :-(. This was going on like a never-ending loop. So I quit by job for good and didn’t know what to do. I was happy with my son but wanted to do more.
I learnt all possible things from jewellery making to yoga. Then I volunteered in many NGO’s. While doing all this my son was growing up opening my eyes to new possibilities. Now when I see back, I think I could have done better by taking time to think what I wanted to do. Decisions taken in a hurry are not always the best.
2. Start Slow
Young mothers can get hardly 1-2 hours uninterrupted time per day. Initially use this time to learn about the job that you want to do. Don’t worry about career break. You can quickly catch up. I suggest you to do paid online course. This will keep you on schedule. You can do courses from https://www.coursera.org/ , earn certificate and add to your Linked In profile.
If you were working earlier, prepare your resume and write a note on your last project and save to cloud. After few years, if you attend job interviews, these will be asked first. Stay in touch with your colleagues.
I have done several courses to develop skills and now I am doing courses to improve skills in my job.
3. Be active in your interest related forums
Once you decide what to do, find similar interest groups in social media and join. Once in a while you can even attend meetups.
As a mother, you have limited free time. So be aware of media distractions. Change social media settings, so that posts from your job related groups appear first.
I am member of different groups Animation, self-publishing, writing, gaming, women entrepreneurs etc. On days when I feel lazy, some or the other posts from these groups inspire me to do more work.
Join career related forums.
4. Make children as independent as possible
As children grow up, teach them to be independent. Mothers are facilitators not assistants. Packing school bag to cleaning dinner table children can take responsibilities and it is good for them.
Tell children clearly what their responsibilities are. If your child forgets homework, it is not your fault. If you are a mother who says, “Oh, my child doesn’t know any house work”, you have some thinking to do.
When my son was little (as soon as he started to sit), I did all the housework with him. When I was cooking, I made him sit safely on the kitchen top and explained him dishes. When I was moping, I gave him a small mop. We sang rhymes and it was fun. Initially it took us more time to complete the work but soon he learned. Whenever he slept in the day, I had time for my job.
Do chores with the children.
5. Self monitor your work
Discipline is the biggest problem I faced when I started working from home. In office, we have projects, colleagues , deadlines. But at home I didn’t have anyone to even clear my doubts.
Young children don’t follow any schedule. They sleep, wake up, fall sick anytime. Adjusting, adapting to all this and keeping track of the career is difficult. Also when your spouse is working full-time and is main source of income, you are expected to make all the adjustments.
Declare your career plan to your spouse, children, parents and friends. They will automatically keep reminding you about it ( At least once in a day, my mother asks me about my work!).
Monitor your work.
6. Maintain a parent emergency journal
It should contain
You can’t concentrate on work when hungry children are pulling you. But why to write it down? We can remember those recipes, right. No, when children cry in high volume, our logical mind stops. Adding work pressure to this equation makes it worst.
I have a list of 10 foods that are quick and healthy. Whenever my son wants quick food, I choose two from this list and ask him to select. I will list these foods in my future blogs.
Children can get hurt anytime. Have home remedies that work for your child handy. You can also download home remedies app.
Check some good home remedies here
Numbers of pediatrician, school, hobby classes, police, fire engine, ambulance etc. It is hard to think of numbers during panic situations.
7. Plan housework
Spend 30 minutes everyday planning next day meal, housework, children homework etc. Prepare a separate plan for your job. Make sure to execute at least 80% of the plan.
Believe me, life falls into track when children grow up. All you need to do is keep up with your skills and enthusiasm.