Heya beautiful souls, hope you are all safe from the COVID-19 and taking good care of yourselves and families.
As I am trying to get into a lot of detailed discussions, this is going to be a series of the blog post and a bit lengthy one, I hope you will not be bored 😉 since this is a serious topic to discuss I hope I will have all your attention and you are free while reading and there is no chaos in the background you are sitting right now.
I might sound a little harsh this time but even before I utter a single word on planning, I hate to hear from a lot of people cribbing “I don’t have time!” Back of my mind, a voice asks, the whole earth has 24 hours a day!
Well no offence to you, I can totally understand why you feel this way. Most of us think that we struggle often in making decisions when it comes to career. We get into the dilemma of choosing between personal life and work. Especially at the time of our marriages and pregnancy breaks. Running between responsibilities, managing parents, adulthood is frustrating at times. Especially when you are jumping from a Bachelor’s life to the responsible married-woman or even more, being a brand-new-mother!
One thing I would like to tell you, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. It is just that we haven’t seen others suffering the same problems. It feels lighter when we get to see some more people who can actually understand what we go through in the rough patch.
Coming to the point, today I would like to share some of my ideas I have experimented and has absolutely worked out for me. I am also adding some points that I have suggested to my fellow Entrepreneurs and female friends who are happily balancing their Motherhood and the Business.
Plan your career, just like you plan for your baby/marriage!
This is the crucial part of everybody who is about to get married or for the mommies-to-be.
When you know that the marriage date is decided, there will be a lot of urge towards shopping, listing down things to buy, planning your romantic destination for honeymoon etc. The moment you get a positive on the pregnancy test, you will tend to do the nesting for the baby and start listing down its needs, your diet plans etc.
Just exactly this way, with the same excitement, you can plan how many days would you need a break from your career. When are you going to get back to the work etc. If you are working full time, you can look out for Freelance opportunities. You can check it here(in the link) the types of freelance opportunities and ideas I have collected for you!
Taking a break!
I am not really sure if I can say this, but it is ideal to go on a marriage and a pregnancy break together. You can talk to your spouse and plan for the baby within a year of your marriage. The perk is, it helps you build your rapport with the family, the in-laws and mainly you will have enough time to rest! You can prepare mentally the moment you start to plan for the marriage. By doing this you get the following benefits:
- You will have approximately 18 to 20 months of time including Pre and post-pregnancy.
- You will not have the anxiety of working at the office, managing home and the baby altogether. You will be the superwoman to multitask and the best part is “You will actually be enjoying doing all these and not by just managing or struggling to balance”
- You can have a long career break that helps you build your skill, relax while you still be earning money and financials are not disturbed!
Lets get started!
Of course, the choice is yours and keeping the health, complications in conceiving etc I am trying to give my insights to Marriage+Pregnancy break, or the break-at-your-pace tips here.
Talk to your spouse about your financials and plans
You need to first list down your expenses, earnings, savings etc as a family and as an individual you and your spouse will be spending on. You can also talk to your inlaws, parents or whomever the financials are involved with. Once you know how much money you need to earn/month, you will have clarity on how much time you need to dedicate for working in your day. Remember you will not be on 9-5 job, no traveling time and you will be at home. So planning your financials is the first step to optimise your time.
DO NOT think of a time table
I have seen everybody, yes everybody doing this mistake. Planning means not drawing a time table. Like I need to start from Monday, wake up at 6, 6 to 7 exercise, 7-8 refresh, 8-9 cooking….. uuugghh!!! We plan this and Monday morning when the alarm hits, we definitely know what we do. We just go back to sleep. We might maximum push it to a week and eventually feel monotonous and exhausting. Do we really enjoy? This means planning means not like a school time table. Prayer time, lunchtime, playtime etc. We need to unlearn this habit and find a way what our mind goes ease with and learn to become more productive.
“Waste” your time!
If you observe I have been using the term “rest” relax” so many times already. Soon you start your break, take a break. From everything. You have your financials sorted. You have plans ready so why do you worry and what do you worry about? Stress, to me, is a psychological illusion, it is a pressure we create in our own minds and causes so much of chaos in the mind. So at least for 15 to 20 days of your initial days, your only work is to eat, sleep, repeat. Yes, just this. You are anyways planned with spending earnings etc, so the main burden of carrying your responsibilities is already taken care of. Spend the time, actually waste the time how you want!! It could be going on a short trip, watching movies, hanging out with friends, or whatever.
There are people I have seen struggling to make time for hobbies and eventually even that becomes a burden. You, music classes, hitting on the gym or any recreational activities/classes will have a specific time and we end up taking that also as a burden. Come on girl! recreation, entertainment is meant to help you relax and enjoy. So don’t say you don’t have time for it!
So, taking a break is absolutely taking a break. Make sure you get enough sleep and intake food. Do not focus on diet, health consciousness etc. Eat whatever you feel like and sleep how much ever you want. I did this for about 4 months doing just nothing but sleeping for 15 hours a day! I had a loan on my head, a company to manage, rent, financials etc. But I stepped down a staircase and relaxed. With this, my mind was so damn relaxed and I could fill in more energy and once I was back to my planning, I was feeling like a super-hero. I had so much of rest my skin was so glowing, no hair fall, happy pregnancy, the scanning reports were perfect and I was more confident never before. So by doing this for at least 15 to 20 days, even for a month, your mind will be satisfied being lazy.
In yoga therapy, the main focus is to relax. While you go to a gym or Zumba etc, they give more exercises, focus on burning fat etc. While in yoga, they do not help you reduce weight etc but help you in breathing exercises and between every Aasanasa or exercises, they focus on “relaxing” your body. Implementing the same idea to our mind and consciousness before doing any work, clear your room(mind) for a new thing. Clear your mind with thoughts and give enough space for positivity.
Managing your day
During the pregnancy, you can work till the end of the second trimester. however, your body demands a sufficient food intake, sleep and rest. If you are working you will ideally have the following time pattern: Sleep – 8 hours, work 8 hours, commuting to the office – 3 to 4 hours, managing the house and rest everything in the leftover time. You are Jampacked!! There is nothing really left for you to do. You will be taking leaves a few days before your delivery and max 3 months post-delivery. And managing the baby and work, I don’t even want to think of it, damn stressful. Amidst of all, your health is going for a toss.
To counterpart this, I suggest you go on a marriage+pregnancy break together and go for a long 18-20 months of break or take an early break the moment you become pregnant. You can do the following. Set up a home office. A comfortable chair, a table, well-ventilated room, a music system. with your financial plans, if it demands more than 8 hours of work, split the day. 3 hours – 3 hours – 4 hours -2 hours etc of work. Add other activities in between this time. You can take a nap, watch a movie simultaneously, listen to music, or anything of your choice. By doing this habit, your one-stretch working will be avoided and the main cause of stress is totally taken care of.
NO, do not worry about work targets, client calls etc. Plan weekly, monthly, bi-monthly etc and share your calendar to your team and prepare them. Unlearn the monotonous work and learn to be productive. you will definitely be thinking “Does this work? Is it really possible?“ Like I said we are used to this work culture from ages and our mind has created an illusion called stress. Our education system and the employer has trained our brains for the “Slavery or labour lifestyle” to be that way. You really need to get out of this comfort zone and think out of the box. All our planning goes for waste if you stick to monotonous- working culture. So you need to learn the new way to schedule calls/work a day prior and plans your days conveniently. Few days go here and there as per the work but make sure on a macro level you will have sufficiently break from work and scatter your time for everything.
Remember there is no rule that your gym time has to be done at 6 am ONLY, work has to be done at 9-5only. there is always a mix and match option that will work out for you.
We all know the baby will have its own time of sleeping cycle and it’s own way of spending its day. This is the crucial part for us, the mom’s to plan our day that goes hand-in-hand with theirs.
Some helpful tips:
- Track the sleep cycle, eating and all the activities in a book/calendar so that you are analysing the baby’s routine cycle. Next time you will know when your baby is going to take a nap and you can utilise that time.
- List the number of work you need to accomplish, like washing, cleaning shopping etc. Dedicate 3 hours(it’s your convenience to schedule no of hours) for house chores and mop the floor one day, washing clothes on the other day and shopping on some other day. So you will have enough time to manage everything. Remember do not keep all the work on the same day. Also, it’s okay if you do not sweep the floor every day. It’s okay if you do not take a shower for a day. It’s okay to skip some of your work in order to compensate the other. But make sure the things you do not compromise is your sleep, food and mental peace. Do not barter your happiness to any of these.
- Block your calendar/time for everything and make sure you follow that. Stick to spending less time in the kitchen, have limited utensils so that you do not pile up in washing all of them every single day. Use limited clothes, re-wear them so that you do not wash too many times. Literally compromise on everything that saves your time. It is funny sometimes but I have read newspaper sitting in the toilet so that I can save time! I have mastered the multitasking skill so well, I can do three to four things at the same time. Read here on some of the multi-tasks that I do to save my time.
It is very tough to decide your career versus personal life. If you feel the domain is important(Like your designation, job role and not willing to do freelance stuff). If you are a techie or manager etc that requires more time. If your resume is more important, then you must take your time in deciding. You can probably go for a career counselling, or talk to the high-end authorities and plan well. Otherwise, if you need a career that satisfies your financial needs and you are able to enjoy managing home, the baby, husband and your hobbies etc., there are freelance job opportunities for women on career break like a content writing, graphic designing, movie editing, voice dubbing, etc that helps you earn at least up to 50k per month that you can take it up. These jobs do not demand dedicated time, targets etc.
Remember once the baby is born you need all the attention and you will be confused about what kind of jobs to take up. So you can plan your day when the baby is sleeping, or you have few hours of time in a day and want to utilise that time, you back to the 3 hours – 3 hours – 4 hours -2 hours etc of work pattern. You will be practised to work this way already during the pregnancy and it will not be a burden to manage. You are expert in handling time by now.
However as already said, if you have a designated role and difficult to quit your job, I would say go to point 4, keep yourself updated about the industry and make sure you are not outdated or having a too-long break in the career. Be confident in persuading the employer and make them look like you are nowhere less than an experienced employee and the break you have taken has not damaged your experience in the past.
Balance and Maintain the consistency
Initially like I suggested to take a complete break, it helps you rejuvenate. Over a period of time, you will eventually feel exhausted. To maintain the harmony keep your weekends only to yourself, like spending quality time with family or indulging in any activity etc.
Make sure you DO NOT postpone any work to Sundays. Like, let me cut my nails on Sunday. Let me wash it on Sunday. Let me clean the room on sunday etc. Do the planned work on those specific days as you plan. By doing this, it helps you get rid of procrastination, becoming proactive, not piling up your work and utilise your weekends very well.
You will have time for everything!! Here is another post of how I plan my schedules. [link]
I hope this post has given you some helpful ideas and do let me know what you think.
Love and peace.
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