Ask Lauren: How Do You Balance Work and a New Baby?
I hope you’ve been enjoying our Ask Me Anything themed this month on LaurenConrad.com. Today I will be addressing the question of striking a work-life balance as a working mom. I will preface this post by saying that men don’t get asked this question nearly as often as women (if ever…). So the minute you start to put pressure on yourself to “have it all” (aka do it all) and make it seem completely effortless, keep in mind that the whole notion is a little sexist. That said, I still love sharing any guidance I can give to my fellow mothers. And I received several different versions of this question in my call for Ask Lauren posts, so I thought it was worth answering. Here are a few…
My baby boy Max turns 1 next week and I will start working again. Any advice on how to balance work and family in the best possible way? – @vereni_moe
I am a mommy to my one-year-old son and I run my own business. I would love to know how you balance being a mommy and boss lady? It’s hard and can get so overwhelming! – @s_mored
How do you balance mom life and career in the first year with a baby without wanting to quit? – @trishaaa__
How do you manage being a working mom? Any tips or hacks that help you make it work? – @steph.gremban
As you can see this is a very hot topic amongst our readers! So here is my advice…
The first thing I will say is that you are definitely not alone! Practically every working parent feels this push-pull between career and family life. Some people might make it seem easy, but it’s not. It really does take a village, and every working parent I know has the help of a daycare provider, a nanny, the grandparents, or a spouse who is the primary caregiver. And even then you are still exhausted all the time. We’re lucky enough to have a ton of family close by, but I still struggle to keep up with both work and baby duties. And even when I’m on top of those two things, other things in my life fall by the wayside. I don’t see my girlfriends as much as I’d like, William and I have to plan way ahead for the occasional date night, and we eat takeout more often than we used to. But I know I’m not alone!
My second piece of advice is to remove mommy guilt from the equation. Maybe you’ll find that as much as you love your little one, you actually enjoy some time spent with other grownups while you are at work. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Or maybe you’ve been career-driven your entire life, but once your baby is born you decide to quit your job to become a stay-at-home mom (if your finances allow it). That is 100 percent OK too. When Liam was born, I took a step back from a couple of my business ventures and chose to narrow my focus to the things I could keep up with. It was hard to let go of things I’d formerly had my hands in, but it allowed me to spend more time with my little guy. I’m not going to pretend that I’ve found the perfect balance, but it’s a balance that works for our family right now. When I stop worrying about how I’m supposed to feel, I tend to be a lot less stressed out and just find a way to make it all work.
As far as little tips and tricks go, it really helped to getting Liam sleeping through the night and on a really good schedule. That way our days feel predictable (for the most part). Even on days I am home with Liam, I know I will always have some time to get work done during Liam’s naps and after bedtime. We sleep trained early on and it was a great decision for our family. I am also big on freezer meals. I will double or even triple a recipe and then freeze several portions for later in the month.
Do you have any of your own tips to share?
Let me know below.
Photos: LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s
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