A Roadmap for Transition

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Are you pregnant or considering becoming pregnant? For many career women, this decision is largely based upon the right timing for their career, their marriage, their finances and their family values.

A major consideration is whether you will find daycare you can trust and go back to work or stay home with your baby. Kristin M. Helms’ From Boardroom to Baby is a helpful map for career women transitioning to stay-at-home moms. She is also founder and editor-in-chief of Tribe Magazine, an online publication exploring the heart and soul of motherhood.

She recommends parenting sites such as Literary Mama, Big City Moms, Pregnant Chicken and HuffPost. When her daughter was born in 2013, she traded her power suits and office with a view for yoga pants and life on the home front.

Helms gives moms tips to help them adjust to being home with their new little angel, which might be a struggle at times. She suggests that moms consider affirmations for themselves to keep in mind and hold dear. “Today, I fully embrace my new role as a stay-at-home mom. Both of my feet are planted firmly here, in the now. I don’t need to look to the past to see where I’m going. I’m living in the present and looking forward to the future. I bring the best parts of myself to my new role as a stay-at-home mom. My heart and soul feel light and happy as I clear anything negative holding me back. I’m ready to make my time at home count,” she notes.

She emphatically recommends moms find their own mom tribe, citing a quote from an unknown source: “Behind every successful woman is a tribe of successful women who have her back.” There are a variety of ways to find your tribe. Some include striking up a conversation while swinging your child in the park; exchanging phone numbers with a mom you see regularly at your neighborhood coffee shop or gym so you can arrange a play date; or scheduling a brunch date with a group of your friends once a month. Develop activities that make you feel connected and give you something to look forward to.

Mental health counselors are good sources of assistance and can help explore the concept of self-care. Where do you rank in the list of your priorities? Often, it’s dead last. Being a good mom doesn’t necessarily equate to being Supermom, and feelings of guilt for taking care of yourself are counterproductive. Quit looking at those perfect moms who have it all together, Helms advises. Not everybody bakes elaborate cupcakes and keeps a spotless house. Many are lucky to get the peanut butter and jelly on the bread and the sippy cup lid on tight.

“When I got pregnant, I didn’t decide to quit my job until after my daughter was born,” explained Sarah Beaman, a school counselor. “It was a huge change for me. I missed the interaction with other people,and almost went into full-blown post-partum depression. I made it through by getting out of bed each day and making sure to at least wash my face and put on clothes instead of just wearing my robe all day. I kept a journal by the coffee pot so I could write down my thoughts for that day, even if it was just, ‘It sucked cleaning the diaper pail a minute ago!’”

I know from personal experience that comparing does not help anything. You are you and your child is your child. Kristin agrees, noting, “Only YOU have the answers to the questions you pose, the validation and self-worth you seek and the happiness and fulfillment you desire. Stay in tune with yourself through the course of motherhood, because you have all the tools to create a beautiful life. Stay kind to yourself, true to your values and prosper in the simple knowledge that what you do every day, raising tiny humans, matters. Embrace this season of motherhood as a time to thrive.”

Remember, you are in charge. Good, concrete points to consider daily include making a plan the night before for the next day while the kiddos are sleeping. And by all means, get out of the house, even if it’s just to the grocery store. Explore every playground within minutes of your house. They are free. So are libraries. Exercise, whether it’s a yoga video while the babies are sleeping or running around the living room with your newly walking toddler. Carve out time for yourself at least once a week. Get your husband, babysitter or aunt over and get a mani/pedi. Those massage chairs are the bomb.

The happier you are, the happier your kids will be. ■

Sources: scarymommy.com, kristinhelms.com and thepragmaticparent.com.