When my daughter is born, my heart was ready to explode by the overwhelming love and joy I have to carry my baby in my arms. We have to admit it, we are totally focused on our baby and we will do anything to make them happy. Without knowing it, day after day, you will master several skills to follow the routine of your baby as well as running a house and manage other tasks.
You will become an expert at organising, making mental lists of everything you need to have and to do to make your life easier – shopping food online, paying bills, cleaning, washing machine, find the new Airbnb flat for the next holiday, make the appointments to the pediatrician, attend stay and play sessions, baby yoga massage for your bundle of joy, meal planning, visit to family abroad etc… and this is just a brief view of what I used to manage. You are also fantastic at multitasking, you know exactly what you can do in a specific time to get things done efficiently and also to have a chance to do, for instance your workout or tidy up the kitchen.
You are also a skilled project manager, yes, we do not realise it but between breast-feeding, nap time, you stay in touch with the rest of the world by managing the next visit to see friends, family as well as the first birthday party of your child in two countries (if your family is not living in London) or (and I did it!) the christening of your child. I was thinking ahead about the next trip abroad to attend a friend’s wedding at Amsterdam and already making a mental list of everything I needed to book in advance : flights and train tickets, hotels or find a great Airbnb flat in the centre of a city I did not know, food planning, clothes and especially do not forget the comforter of your child !
You are also excellent at problem solving and time management. You have no choice sometimes because you cannot be in control of everything, you need to find an alternative solution to move forward and comply with the deadlines which can be for instance, feeding your child in 10 minutes because you know it by her routine. This is not easy at first but after this is a piece of cake because you start to keep a cool head in difficult situations. You will be fantastic to step back when your child will cry or make a tantrum because you will look or already understand the reason of it… and therefore be able to handle these bumps in the road quickly and wisely. It is a learning curve as well as a fantastic time to get to know your child.
And for my point of view, the last ones are communication and negotiation. Because you want the best for your love, you will read books, guides, listen to other mums to be a master in communication. You will also interact with so many new persons : Key person, pediatrician, health visitor, manager, nurse that you will learn quickly how to deal with all these persons. In regards to negotiation, negotiate with your child is challenging, particularly when she know your tricks and is strong-willed like you. You have to negotiate, compromise, explain numerous times sometimes before to see the end of it. And sometimes it can be the same with the daddy, trust me, it can be a real mental workout.
In a nutshell, you will come back at work with more valuable skills than before and don’t ever think that your maternity leave is negative for your career, to the contrary !! It will give you time to rethink your career or even to develop a portfolio career, you never know what is around the corner ! Ultimately being a mum is one of the job I love most.
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