We all want to spend the most precious moments with our newborns. Like most new moms, this is what makes the bonding process all the more special. It is important to have this time if you are a working mom, yet sometimes it can prove difficult. By devoting energy and effort to making the most of your time with your newborn, you can optimize time spent on developing your career.
Work From Home When You Can
Working from home is becoming more commonplace; as of the end of 2016, 47 percent of employees in the United States reported working from home at least part of the time. If you’re an entrepreneur or are self-employed, you should be able to dictate your own standards for work; if not, consider negotiating with your boss or supervisor to schedule at least one work-from-home day per week.
Press for Flexible Hours
If you can’t make the case for remote work (for whatever reason), you may be able to push for flexible hours. Roughly 85 percent of companies offer flexible time schedules to at least some employees, so you could make the case for some flexibility in your own schedule. Depending on your preferences, that may mean staying with your newborn in the morning, then leaving for work at a later time, or going in and getting off early. If you can synchronize with a partner’s schedule, you can get more quality time with your newborn while allocating time for your career.
Take Newborn Photography Classes
If you want to make the most of the time you do have with your newborn, consider taking newborn photography classes. These will help you find, photograph, and preserve some of the most important moments of your newborn’s early life, and can help you find even more joy in your quality time together. When paired with other introspective hobbies, such as keeping a baby journal, each hour you spend with your newborn feels like more. On top of that, you’ll create more physical reminders of this time, immortalizing the experience for the future.
Schedule Time for Bonding
It’s easy to schedule time for your career or personal goals, but do you also schedule time for relaxation and family bonding? If not, now’s a good time to start. Changing your thought process to consider leisure time as an important schedule item can help you prioritize your personal life, and make sure it has a fighting chance against your professional life. For example, if you schedule bonding time with your newborn for 6 pm, you’ll be incentivized to make sure you get out of the office by 5 pm—and your quality time won’t be something that gets postponed or rescheduled indefinitely.
Be Realistic With Your Goals
Finally, try to be more realistic with your career goals (if you want to keep your career in balance with your family time). If you want more quality time with your baby, you may not be able to volunteer to work 60 hours a week. It may not be prudent, at this time, to seek a promotion that’s going to demand more time and investment from you. You can restructure your goals to better accommodate your newborn’s growth, and meet all your personal objectives; for most people, it’s better to put a career on hold for a few years than to miss out on these early stages of development.
If you keep your personal and professional life in a careful balance, you can spend all the time with your newborn that you need while still making forward progress on all your career goals. It won’t be easy, and there will likely be times where you feel out of balance, but with the right strategy and focus in place, you’ll be able to get everything you need.
Written by Natalie Bracco for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.