More mums than ever are returning to work and juggling a seemingly superhuman daily schedule. The big step in going back to work can be tricky enough, so how do you know when you've got the balance right?
You need a better work/life balance when...
1) You daydream at work about taking naps with your toddler
If you’re falling asleep at your desk then you might be in need of an energy boost
. If you want to avoid the mid-morning slump, then make sure you don’t skip that breakfast boost before you run out of the door.
‘Try scrambled egg on wholemeal toast,' says nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed. ‘This will provide you long lasting energy because the carbohydrates in wholemeal foods are released slowly.’
3) Coffee is the only thing keeping you upright
You went to bed just before midnight, now you’re up at 2am for a late night feed, then again half an hour later. Now its 6am and you’ve got to get up for work
so mombie brain kicks in.
Zoe Hellman, nutritionist and head of public health at WeightWatchers, agrees that eating right is key to de-zombification.
‘Focus on foods that will nourish you, and give you lots of sustainable energy and a good complexion,’ she says. ‘Whizz up fruit and vegetables into smoothies and soups and store them in the fridge for simple, healthy snacks. Low-fat yoghurt, couscous and eggs are your nutritious friends.’
4) You're constantly on the phone to your babysitter
Yes, you know what's best for your baby, but as long as you don't have reason to be worried and you trust your childcare provider
, you'll save your sanity (and hers) by letting her do her job - occasionally. She may not do things perfectly, but if you try to do everything yourself – or from your desk on a conference call - you’ll just get stressed, so breathe and let her help you out.
6) You're too tired to do anything but sleep
Up all night and not getting lucky? As a working mum, resting your head on the pillow means only one thing – sleep. But juggling kids and a job doesn’t need to spell the end of your sex life
‘Reconsider intimacy – you don’t have to have full intercourse,’ says sex and relationship author Dr. Yvonne Fulbright, founder of website Sexuality Source. ‘A quickie during naptime is often recommended and if that works for you, then great.’
7) You get emotional at the smallest things
Powerpoint presentation reduced you to tears, and your boss thinks you’re an emotional wreck? You need to learn to juggle your hormones
as well as your work and home life.
‘The increase of empathy mothers experience is something that can’t be underestimated,’ says clinical psychologist Dr Emma Svanberg. ‘Throughout pregnancy, and immediately after birth, your brain undergoes some enormous changes.
While it used to be thought
that motherhood had a detrimental effect on mental function – so-called “baby brain
” – it seems that, actually, it purposely rewires to make us better at multi-tasking, and to enhance our natural empathy and motivation to care.’
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