Back to Work Confidence

Confidence.

It takes a real beating from the second that test shows positive doesn’t it? What if I’m not a good mom? Will I be able to handle labor?…. the list of “what if”s and “will I”s are endless.

Your parents raised you to believe in yourself. Your teachers sung your praises and abilities in school. Your friends tell you you’re strong. Your partner tells you you’re beautiful. Your boss has rewarded you with promotions and raises over the years….. and yet for many of us,  all that confidence and self-belief seems to crumble once a baby enters the picture, particularly when it comes to returning to work.

Is time out going to hurt my career?

Will I be able to do my job when I go back?

Will my boss view me in the same way?

Will I cope?

Marie Hunter, a working North County mom of two (3 and 5) and friend of Babies in Bloom, shares her experience.

CASE STUDY: A Working Moms Thoughts

“It’s immediately hard because you are at a phase in your life where you just don’t recognize yourself right now. You are desperately seeking something familiar but can’t find it anywhere. NOTHING that has happened in your life is now comparable to this moment, so sometimes it’s good to hear from other Moms who have been through it and come out the other side.

I learned that the worst thing you can do is try and prove you are exactly the same person you were before the baby. I did and it was exhausting. Not to mention completely unsuccessful.  Because you are not exactly the same person. And never will be again. That’s not a bad thing – it’s a NEW thing. Embrace the change, don’t fight it like I first did. You WILL find your new rhythm, I promise you.

I remember my first few weeks back at the office after my first. Not only was I experiencing separation anxiety, I felt completely out of the loop, was sleep deprived and still a victim of baby brain (ohhhh, the fog struggle is real, even months…WAIT, years on). It was an overwhelming cocktail – I can’t even imagine the added pressure for those moms milk pumping at work. I’ve so much respect for those ladies.

The first few days I cried. At my desk. In the bathroom. And that’s ok. It’s normal. Let it out. I was lucky, I had good people around me, and speaking from someone who has done this twice now, I can assure you, this doesn’t last.

Sure, you might be a little rusty here and there. Don’t beat yourself up about it. There are plenty of people that feel rusty and forget their work email password after a week’s vacation, let alone what you’ve been through over the past few months. Give yourself permission to gently transition back into the role – and simply start with enjoying the adult conversations, the uninterrupted lunches and the piping hot coffees.”

Her three top tips to any mom returning to the workplace after a baby would be:

  1. It’s a new you right? So, get some new clothes. Walk into the office feeling good about yourself. It might sound shallow but it was an important part of my mind set. After months of yoga paints, it really helped me get back into professional mode.
  2. Start your child in their day-care a few days, even weeks earlier, if you can. This will get you used to being away from your baby during the day. It can be a hard adjustment at first, so try and stagger the emotional punches – don’t try and make everything happen in one day. First get baby and you settled into a new routine, then tackle the job.
  3. Start saying NO at work. Don’t feel like you have anything to prove when you go back or you will take on more than you can handle. You have drop offs and pickups to make now, you have tea time, bath time, story time AND bedtime to deal with when you get home. You don’t want to be taking additional work home with you if you can help it. I did for a long time and I felt like I was always rushing my evening time with the kids so I could get back to work. You will hate yourself for it. Focus on better task prioritization and better still, delegation, instead of trying to do it all – this is also a sure way to impress your boss!

Thanks for sharing, Marie!

At Babies in Bloom, we know that moms make fantastic workers because they ARE moms, not in spite of being a mom. For starters, we are already used to calmly dealing with lots of crap (literally, ha ha!). We’re multi-tasking queens. And we are so respectful of timeframes that we’re super productive, because we all want is to leave on time and get home for those snuggles.

To any Mom out there planning her return to work, good luck! We believe in you – the glorious new you!

 

 

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Postpartum Depression Awareness Month

lactation-consultant-san-diegoMay is Postpartum Depression Awareness Month. Year after year we are seeing more and more brave mothers come forward to talk about their depression experiences – and long may it continue. Postpartum depression comes in all shapes and sizes, with no age, race or social class bias, and it’s so important for society to truly understand how far and wide this mental issue spreads.

One of the most powerful articles about postpartum depression that we’ve come across  is this one. Katherine Stone, founder and author of Postpartum Progress, asked her community of depression and anxiety survivors, to share a photo of themselves that could be captioned by filling in the following sentence:

“When this picture was taken, I was suffering from ______________. You can’t tell by looking, but I felt / was going through _____________.”

The responses were incredible, revealing just how well postpartum depression can be hidden, and stay undetected by friends and family. One mom said:

“I told no one. And all everyone said was how great I looked.”

The pictures Katherine received showed smiling moms snuggling with their babies – just one of the many types of pictures you see splattered across social media daily. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, and they should also say ‘don’t judge a photo by a smile.’ Behind the biggest of smiles can hide the most heartbreaking of struggles. Another mom posted:

“When this picture was taken, I was suffering severe depression. You can’t tell by looking, but I had to force myself to leave the house, was crying all the time, and hated being a mom.”

Just like there is no one type of sufferer, there is no one type of symptom when it comes to postpartum depression. It’s important for moms, both first timers and seasoned moms, to know this. Having a baby, be it your first or fifth, can involve a difficult and confusing postpartum transition for many women.

A safe, non-judgmental outlet for moms to discuss this issue, whether they are suffering or not, can be so helpful and inspiring. To support postpartum depression month, our Blooming Mamas postpartum group with Rachel Davis, MFT will be free of charge throughout May (Thursdays at 1 pm).

Some believe it takes a village to raise a child. We believe that it can also take a village to help raise a mom up. The village mustn’t ever forget to look after mom, too.

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International Day of the Midwife

May 5th is the internationally recognized day for highlighting the work of midwives. To celebrate the “International Day of the Midwife,” we gathered photos and thoughts from several of our birth center clients. One thing is clear, families seem to love their care providers as much as midwives love their families. Enjoy!

 

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BabyFest 2017

Our 2017 expo is over and our hearts are full!

The venue this year was on Babies in Bloom’s very own doorstep, with over 50 tents and booths lining our sun drenched street. We can’t tell you what it meant to us to peek out of the window at 9.30 AM and already see a long line of glowing mamas-to-be, their partners and other excited family members waiting to get in.

To all our visitors: thank you for letting us be part of your growing family’s exciting journey.

And to our wonderful exhibitors: thank you for all the support, wisdom, reassurance and encouragement you shared with our guests.

Together, we formed quite a village at BabyFest 2017. A place where no question was too foolish, no fear went unheard and where judgement simply wasn’t tolerated. Because we know that no two families are the same – each will tell their own beautiful story in their own special way.

For those that couldn’t make BabyFest this year, you can still visit some of our booths virtually!  Check out our BabyFest 2017 Facebook event page. A roaming camera at the event filmed live action at booths to give those at home a sneak peak of some of the wonderful products and services showcasing at the event.

We also dare you not to smile when you see the Groovaroo impromptu flashmob dance that took place on the street. It’s AWESOME! Check out the baby snuggling dance moves here  – plus take a look at the new Baby TULA ‘Free to Grow’ carriers being used (usable from 0+ – 4 years!). Groovaroo classes are hosted regularly at the boutique – check out our events calendar for more info.

For many, the expert talks are always an expo highlight. This year, we had certified babywearing educators showcasing the different types of baby carriers out there in the market, as well as Jennifer Aprea from Spray Pal answering all sorts of questions about cloth diapering. Our car seat safety expert Katie, was also on hand to explain the latest laws to parents and help them choose the right seat for their family.

‘Meet the Midwives’ is also an annual favorite. These local midwives couldn’t love their job any more and have delivered thousands of beautiful babies between them. They know more than anyone that how you birth matters and are committed to delivering a personalized experience to each and every family to help them have the birth they have always dreamed of.

If you missed the talks, don’t worry! The boutique regularly hosts classes and workshops on these topics and much, much more – from lactation and hypnobirthing to first aid and sleep coaching. You can also book car one-on-one seat safety checks with Katie via the boutique – free if you purchase a seat from Babies in Bloom. Again, just visit our events calendar page for more details.

So, while we’re sorry you couldn’t all make it down to BabyFest 2017, it’s never too late to join the Babies in Bloom family. Our doors are always open – hope to see you soon!

 

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