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                       Table of Content

Introduction                                       3

Chapter 1 - What are My Child Care Options?        5

Chapter 2 -What are My Work Arrangement Options?   13

Chapter 3 - Survival Skills Required               18

Chapter 4 - Breastfeeding and Working              30

Chapter 5 - Balance – Family and Career            41

Chapter 6 - Mommy Time                             45

Chapter 7 - Is Mommy Guilt Eating You Up?          50

Chapter 8 - Working Mom Resources                  54

Conclusion                                         57




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                               Introduction

Congratulations on become a mom!

Motherhood is the best “job” in the world.

Now I must warn you the hours are long, the financial compensation is non-existent, and
your new “boss” is quite demanding. But the fringe benefits far out weight any of these
other minor details.

While as demanding as this new job is, many of us still need to seek employment outside the
home to help finance life‟s requirements such as food, shelter, clothing, baseball bats, ipods,
and of course iphones (when your child enters middle school). AND who can forget college
education?

I remember going back to work after my first son, Ryan, was born. I did not have a clue
what I was doing. Day care? You mean I should have gotten on a waiting list at the day care
I wanted my son to attend when I was still barely pregnant with him to ensure there would
be an opening available when I needed it?

Why didn‟t anyone tell me that Murphy‟s Law, which is if anything could go wrong it will,
was written for working moms! It never failed. When I had an important presentation or had
to go out of town, Ryan would inevitably get sick. My husband and I would have to
scramble to make alternate arrangements. (That is how I found out there are some hospitals,
that will take sick children who are on antibiotics but who cannot go back to day care for the
mandatory 24 hour waiting period, existed.)

I found myself saying over and over again, “Why didn‟t I know that?‟

You would think that after having my 3rd son and doing this working mom thing for 8 plus
years, I would finally have it figured out. But no, now managing 3 kids, a husband, and
corporate America proved to be even more challenging. New curve balls were being thrown
at me; ones I had never encountered or contemplated. I remember my husband and I
celebrated with a glass of wine after surviving my first full week back at work after having
Brandon, son number 3.

What I learned from those early years is that many of my friends and co-workers were
experiencing the same challenges. We faced the same daily struggles of finding the balance
between work and family. We would help one other by sharing information on ideas that
worked for us.

Soon I found myself writing down information in notebooks and on memo pads. This
information included great websites to help solve the “daily dilemma” or fantastic ideas on
how to do something from other moms that “have been there, done that.”


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This ebook is the compilation of the some of the many wonderful ideas and tips I received
from other working moms and information I gained from countless hours of research and
observation on what other working moms are doing to survive and thrive in this ever-
changing world. It also includes some of my life lesson on what worked for me and my
family.

I hope you will use it as a resource or a guide and reach for it what you think “What have
other women in this situation done?‟ I pray it will be a manual on how you can enjoy
motherhood and have a meaningful career. If I can eliminate one of the “Why didn‟t I know
that” moments for you, then I have accomplished my goal.

Enjoy your life, enjoy your family!




                                                                                        4
                                   Chapter 1
                      What Are My Child Care Options?
Whether you plan to go back to work part time or full time, you will need to look for
someone to take care of your child. However, leaving your child in somebody else‟s care for
three to five days a week is not an easy matter and should not be taken lightly. As a parent,
you always want the best for your child and you also want the assurance that he is safe, well
taken care of and happy. This is why finding someone to take care of your child while you
are working can be a very daunting task. Getting the best child care service does not happen
overnight. It requires some research and deciding what kind of environment you want for
your child.

My second son, Austin, was born 7 and half weeks early. As a preemie I had to seek out
special day care arrangements for him. I thought the best option for Austin was to have a
nanny come into our home. I interviewed many potential nannies. I also visited many day
care centers that had experience with dealing with preemie. In the end I was able to find a
center with a nurturing, calm environment that helped Austin thrive his first 12 months.

With that said, this chapter provides you with information on the different kinds of child
care services available and what their advantages and drawbacks are.


                      The Importance of Quality Child Care
One of the most important resources for a working mom is a trusted caregiver. However,
finding a great daycare provider can be difficult, especially if you live in a city with a high
demand for child care. To improve your chances of finding a quality daycare, get on the
waiting list for your ideal daycare center as soon as possible, so that way you will have a
greater chance of being offered a space for your child by the time you have to go back to
work.

Daycare Centers

In daycare centers, teachers or qualified individuals take care of children, from babies to
toddlers in groups. There are many different kinds of daycare centers that you can choose
from. They range from government run to private companies, which include franchises such
as Kinder Care Learning Center, The Children‟s Courtyard, La Petite Academy, Montessori,
Primrose Schools, or single-owned operations. Some daycare centers are also affiliated with
local churches. There is also a new trend where companies have their own on-site daycare
centers, or have daycare centers near their offices for their employee‟s benefit. Google, Inc.
in Mountain View, CA offers their employees child car at special rates. Besides having their
children close to the Google offices, Google chefs prepare nutritious meals daily for the
children.

                                                                                             5
One of the advantages of daycare centers is that they have to adhere to strict standards and
laws set by the state government. Most daycare centers, especially the franchise ones, are
stringent with details like curriculum, cleanliness and ratio of adult to child.

Another advantage with daycare centers is the number of adults supervising your child.
When your child is in a daycare center, you can be sure that there are plenty of adults around
to look after your child, and to make sure that he is not being neglected or abused. These
adults are not only the director or the daycare teachers, but other parents as well.

Daycare centers are an ideal place for your child to learn to play with other children her age.
This gives her the chance to learn plenty of different types of activities and social skills with
other children in her room. Most daycare centers have good curriculum and activities, so you
can be sure that your child is engaged in educational activities even while playing.

Many times children in daycare centers have easier transitions like bottle weaning and potty
training, because the other kids in the room are learning the same thing. Another major
advantage of daycare centers is that if your child‟s normal teacher is unavailable or absent,
your child can still attend daycare. Substitute teachers are available to take care of your child
on those days.

If you are planning to enroll your infant baby at a daycare center, you will need to plan early.
Due to the low adult to infant ratio and limited space, infant positions typically fill up fast
and have a waiting list at more popular centers.

I did not realize the best time to begin your process of finding the right day care center is
when you first find out you are expecting. Many of the high-quality day care center‟s infant
rooms have waiting listings. So you need to check into this right away. The National
Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies is a great online resource to help
you start your search if you are not familiar with the daycare centers in your area.

Daycare centers have strict policies regarding immunization requirements as mandated by
the state they are located in. Your baby must have all of his immunizations before he can
attend. Plus, you will need to continually update his immunization records everything he
receives another shot or booster. The BabyCenter.com has a handy immunization schedule
in case you need one. Or check out the government site Center for Disease Control and
Prevention for immunization requirements.

However, if you decide to use daycare centers for your children, you will want to have back–
up arrangements ready in case your child gets sick. Daycare centers have certain rules and
routines that they adhered to. One rule is if your child is running a temperature of 100
degrees or higher, you will be required to pick her up as soon as possible. Another rule is if
your child has been sick, then she must have been on antibiotics for at least 24 hours before
she can return to daycare. This is to help protect the other kids from getting sick, but can
cause extra stress for you as a parent trying to figure out what to do with your little sick one.
Another disadvantage of daycare centers is high staff turnover. Your child may have to go


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through a couple of teachers in a certain period of time. Most kids at a young age need
consistency in their lives. Having to get use to a new teacher every few months can cause
unnecessary anxiety in your little one.

Even though there is a low adult to child ratio, adults still have to keep an eye on several
children at once, and may not solely focus on your child. The average child to adult ratio for
children below 2 years old is 3:1, and the child count increases as group age also increases.

According to Runzheimer International, in 2005 the U.S. national average cost for full time
day card for a 2 year old child is $611 a month. In larger cities, such as Boston and New
York, the average monthly rate is over $1,000. In smaller cities, such as San Antonio, the
average monthly rate is $400. Visit National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral
Agencies for up to date information on the average cost of child care in your state.


In-Home or Family Day Care

Also known as a family day care center, an in-home day care center works like a regular
daycare center, but is set at home. Most of the time, an in – home day care center is usually
run by a mother who takes care of her own kids, and takes care of other children at the same
time. She may have other people or family members to help her in watching over the
children.

In– Home Day Care centers are less expensive than day care centers. In fact, it may be the
least expensive setting among all the other options. Parents sometimes feel more
comfortable that their children are in a less formal setting, and that one person is taking care
of their child. In Home day care centers are not so formal in structure as day care centers, so
children can play and interact with children of varying ages.

In-Home Day Care centers need to be licensed within their operating state. The National
Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education website is an
excellent source of information to learn more about In-Home Day Care center regulations
and requirements.

However, like daycare centers, there are fewer number of adults to look over the children,
and if there are any assistants, they may mostly be relatives of the caregiver. Because of this,
any sketchy behavior towards your child and other children is less likely to be reported to
you. Some in – house daycare centers are unlicensed. Or if they are, you cannot be too sure
as most licensing procedures and standards are somewhat looser for in – house daycare than
that with daycare centers. Like daycare centers, you may need back – up care giving service
in case your child gets sick and has to stay home. This also applies if the care giver is sick or
takes a vacation.




                                                                                               7
Family Members or Relatives Watching Over the Baby

Some lucky parents may have relatives living nearby, or even far away, who are willing to
take on the job of taking care of your child. The care giver may be the child‟s grandmother
or grandfather, aunt or cousin.

This is one of the most convenient options, especially if your child is still an infant because
you can be sure that he is well looked after and gets one – on – one attention. As a parent,
you feel more comfortable because you are leaving your child with somebody you know and
trust. And this relationship not only stays with you and the relative/care giver, but extends to
your child also. The bond grows between your child and the caregiver is set upon an existing
familial bond, and this is likely to last a lifetime. Most of the time, you and your family
member share the same goals and values when it comes to taking care of the child.
Moreover, your relative may offer the service for free, or at a very minimum cost. You can
also save on transportation and time, because you do not have to bring your child to daycare
every day.

Another significant advantage of having a family member watch your little one is when he
gets sick. You most likely do not need to make alternative arrangements, because your family
member will be able to still take care of him.

This set-up however, also has drawbacks. Toddlers need social stimulation, and this option
may cause him to lack the interaction he needs in order to socially develop as an individual.
Maintaining boundaries is also a common issue in this kind of set up, as difficult to establish
when the care giver is a relative. The care giver, especially if it is your mother or your
spouse‟s mother, may have different views in caring for the child and may be comfortable in
ignoring your preferences when it comes to feeding, sleep and other matters. This can cause
disagreements to spring up. When arguments do happen between you and the relative, it
may affect the arrangements that you have. Also, if the care giver is an elderly relative, he or
she may not have enough energy or stamina in order to keep up with your child, especially if
he is a toddler.

One of my employees was fortunate to have her mom living with them. Therefore, when she
and her husband were expecting their first child, they decided her mom would quit her night
job and stay home with the baby. Generally, this arrangement worked well. But there were
some issues. The mom missed her social interaction with other people her age and the
mental stimulation a job provides. And my employee did not appreciate when her daughter
would reach for the grandmother instead of her.


Care in the Home (Nanny or Baby – Sitter)

You can choose from hiring a nanny or a baby sitter to take care of your baby in your own
home. You can hire a nanny or baby sitter by doing the research yourself (or with reference
from friends), or you can use an agency to help you with the research. If you can find a
nanny who‟s educated in child care and development and is trained in CPR, then you‟re


                                                                                              8
lucky. These nannies, however, are cream of the crop and may cost you more.

Having a nanny or a baby sitter at home gives you the same convenience as having a relative
take care of your child. You don‟t have to worry about waking your child early, packing him
up and sending him to daycare in the morning. Your child gets undivided attention and care
in comparison to day care centers. Most nannies or baby sitters, because of the one-on-one
setting, also grow on to love the children they take care of, and become like a second family.
Boundaries and rules are also easy to maintain. Because the nanny works solely for you, you
get to set up your own rules when it comes to feeding, sleeping, schedules and other matters.
Because your child is at home, he won‟t be exposed to germs as of that in a group setting.
Hiring a full time or stay at home nanny is very convenient when you work full – time, or
work erratic hours like night shifts when day care centers are not available to take care of
your little one. A baby sitter, on the other hand, may be the perfect choice if you have a
different work arrangement.

Even though there are many advantages of hiring a nanny or baby sitter, there are also many
catches in hiring someone to take care of your child at home. When you go to work, they
will be left unregulated and unsupervised, and no one will be there to report any shady
behavior. Your child also has minimal opportunities to meet and socialize with other
children. Your babysitter or nanny may not be available due to illnesses or vacation, and can
quit unexpectedly, which is why you always need to have back – up prepared. If she does live
with you, you have to deal with having less privacy. You also need to shoulder background
checks, employment eligibility verification, insurance and taxes like Medicare and Social
Security, and this can be very expensive.


Costs for a nanny vary greatly by region. According to BabyCenter.com, a nanny can cost
between $400 - $1,000+ a week based on the local supply and demand, the local cost of
living, and the qualifications you seek in a nanny.

To find a nanny, some people use a local agency, which can charge up to $400 or more to
locate a nanny, seek referrals from co-workers, or check classified ads like those on
Craigslist. Check out these nanny referral websites if you are considering hiring a nanny:

              eNannySource
              Gonannies.com
              Great Au Pair
              SitterCity.com




                                                                                             9
                         Looking For A Child Care Provider

When you start looking for a child care provider, there are important things to consider.
There are certain issues involved that you need to think about. Of course, you need to match
the child care service to that of the child‟s needs. Certain kinds of child care services fit well
with a specific age. For example, it would be more convenient to have your infant taken care
at home by a nanny or in an in-home day care where he can be given one on one attention.
Toddlers, on the other hand may benefit more from daycare centers and in-home daycare
centers with group settings. Budget is also an important factor, but it should not undermine
the quality of care that you and your child would be getting.

Where To Start

Start looking as far in advance as you can. No matter what type of child care you are
considering a day care center, in-house care or a nanny, finding the right child are option can
take some time.

Where And How To Start Your Search

Looking for daycare centers, in – home or family daycare centers, nannies and baby sitters in
your area is a lot easier – Thanks to the Internet! Create a list of possible child care facilities
you are interested in and research each of them. Learn what the licensing requirements are in
your area and check to see if the facility has had any complaints or violations. Prepare a list
of qualifications for your child care provider. While education, experience and age may be
common factors by which people gauge if one is qualified for a job or not, these things
matter little to your child. More important qualities, such as compassion, sunny disposition,
cleanliness and genuine love for children are more important things. Your child care giver
should be able to take over your role as a parent when you are not around, and that involves
more than just feeding or changing diapers right on schedule.



Do A Trial Run and Start Early

Getting in touch with child care providers also gives you a head start because you can run
some trial sessions with your provider before you go back to work. Have a couple of trial
sessions before you start working, so you can be sure that your child is familiar and well
acquainted with his child care provider before you go back to work. This way you get to
avoid stranger anxiety and face adjustment issues or look for another child care provider
while you still have plenty of time to do so.


What To Ask?

When scouting for child care providers, have a list of expectations and questions on hand.
That way, you get to gauge a certain option by matching their qualifications and their

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services with what you want and what your child needs. Ask all possible questions and raise
all possible concerns when you interview child care providers. Make sure that you let them
know about what is important to you and your child. Great child care providers understand
these apprehensions and do everything that they can to accommodate them.

Here are some things to ask and consider (or even take a look) when choosing a child care
provider. You can ask these questions for daycare centers, baby sitters, and nannies alike:

Environment:
      Is the environment children friendly and safe? Is the setting
      child – proof? Do they have a backyard, or an outdoor area
      where children can play? Where do the children sleep during
      nap time?

Health Issues:
      What is their philosophy on cleanliness? Are the rooms clean?
      Who handles the food or baby bottles for infants? If they serve
      snacks, are they age appropriate and healthy? How do they
      handle potty – training? Are the washrooms and changing areas clean?

Personal Habits:
      Does your caregiver smoke, are there teachers in the daycare
      center who smoke? If there are, where is the smoking area,
      and do they smoke close to the center?

Philosophy on Childcare:
       Is the caregiver passionate about kids? What is her/are
       their take on child discipline and caring style?

Activities:
        Determine if the care giver has knowledge about age
        appropriate learning activities for your child/children.
        What activities do they have for children?

Experience:
      How much experience does they/he/she have in taking
      care of children? Have they/he/she taken any courses on
      CPR, first aid or child care?

Rules and Guidelines:
       What are their policy on illnesses and emergencies? Ask about
       extended hours options.

Breastfeeding:
       If you do breastfeed, ask them what their guidelines are for
       breastfeeding. Can the care giver, for any reason that you


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       need to nurse your baby in the office, bring your baby there?
       What does she/do they feel about the extra work of thawing
       and heating milk?

Adequate Staffing:

       Are there enough trained adults available to children on a regular basis? Are there
       enough caregivers to fill in if one is ill or on vacation? Do the child-staff ratios and
       the size of the groups of children fall within the nationally recognized standards
       below?



              Age                 Child-Staff Ratio            *Maximum Group Size*
         Birth-12 months                3:1                              6
          13-30 months                  4:1                              8
          31-35 months                  5:1                              10
           3-year-olds                  7:1                              14
          4-5-year-olds                 8:1                              16
          6-8-year-olds                 10:1                             20
          9-12 year olds                12:1                             24



While you may think that these questions seem to be too probing, don't worry. Good child
care providers understand that you want the best for your child, and expect these type of
questions! Ask all possible questions and give possible scenarios so you will know what to
expect. You can also bring you child (if he is old enough) to the daycare/family care center,
and ask him how he feels about the area.

Be attentive and keep an open-mind, and most of all, always trust your intuition. If you feel
comfortable about the person or the place, then put it on top of your list and give it a try. If
you aren‟t so keen about the environment, then move along to the next option. Bear in mind
that you have plenty of options for child care providers, and that you should not settle for
the first one available, even if it is convenient, it meets your standards and fits the budget.
Try to look at a couple of choices from the different types of options. This way, you can
compare one option to the other, while building a list of child care options as well in case the
first one does not work out.

Remember that you will be trusting somebody else with your child, and above all things,
your child‟s welfare should always come first.

Stay Involved

The work isn‟t over when you have decided on your child car provider. You and your child
care provider are now partners!

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Here are some ways to stay involved with your child‟s provider:

              Have regular meetings with your child care provider and ask questions on
               why your child is doing.

              Offer to volunteer when needed, such as if they have clean up days, fixing
               broken toys, etc.

              Visit your child at child care center and read a book aloud to his class.

              Join in special events, like field trips and holiday parties.

              Go a little early some afternoon or stay a little longer at pick-up to join in on
               the activities.

Visiting and participating in events at your child’s provider sends a strong message.
It tells your child and child care provider that what your child is doing and learning
is very important to you.




                                                                                            13
                                   Chapter 2
               What Are My Work Arrangement Options?

Working normal hours may take a toll on your family life, and while you think quitting is the
best option so you can have more time to wash the dishes – don't. If working full time,
eight hours a day (sometimes even more) five days a week sound too difficult for you, maybe
you should look for an employer or a company that's family-friendly. Family-friendly
employers support you and your need to find balance between your career and work. It is a
fortunate fact plenty of companies and employers all over the United States are now family
friendly, and offer policies like work arrangement options for their employers.

Visit WorkingMother.com to see a list of their Working Mother 100 Best Companies based on
the companies‟ family-friendly benefits and programs.

Work arrangement options are practices in the work place that allow you to work without
having to sacrifice too much time for your family. These options give you more flexibility in
work – regardless of where you stand in your company's organizational structure. This does
not matter if you're a service worker, a business manager, a teacher or an executive officer.
Work arrangement options are for everybody, but are most especially helpful when you're a
mom (especially a new one). These options help you structure your life in a way that you
meet your work needs as well as your family needs.

Your home life, your child/children and your financial needs are the important factors that
will help you choose the work arrangement option which is best for you. But you don't have
to do that just yet! Read on about the most common work arrangement options to what the
pros and cons of each are.


Part-time

Do you find yourself too tired after working eight hours a day? Does taking care of your
family become so tiring that it is like having a second job once you get home after a long day
at the office? If this becomes your scenario, then a little cut back on your working hours can
be just the thing for you. You can opt to work part - time instead of full time. This means
that instead of working 40 hours a week, you can work part time job hours that may range
from only 20 to 32 hours (or variations of that). In the past, part time and flexi - time jobs
were only for low paying jobs. Today however, the concept is common, as companies have
found that one of the most important keys to employee happiness is providing them with
flexible time options. Now, more that 50 percent of work places are offering a variation of
work times and start/end times.



                                                                                           14
Working part - time brings you these benefits:

       More Family Time. Even if you choose to keep the same job, you can work part
       time and have enough hours to take care of your family, especially your child. This is
       a very helpful set - up, especially if your child is very young because you are there
       to take care of him most of the day.

       Breastfeeding Friendly. This set - up is also great for breastfeeding mothers.
       Working part - time in the morning or afternoon means that your       child is away
       from the breast only once or twice a day, and that you only have to pump one or
       two bottles every day.

However as inviting as part – time work may seem, it also has some disadvantages, and
among these are:

       Salary Cut. When you work part – time, your ability to earn is much lesser than by
       working a full forty hours a week.

       Not Appropriate For Some Types Of Work. While working part time may
       suit some types of work, it may be difficult for jobs that require you to manage
       or oversee people.

       More Stress. You may find your job a bit stressful than when you were
       working full time. This is because you may have the same workload but work lesser
       hours. So your amount of work now becomes huge in proportion to your lesser
       number of hours.

       Home Time Mismanagement. Another common scenario with part - time
       moms is that they find yourself getting busy and spending more of their time doing
       household chores, and this might happen to you too.

Compressed Workweek

If, for certain reasons, you cannot reduce your work hours from 40, you can still work and
have time for your family as well. By using the compressed workweek schedule, you can
work 40 hours a week in less than five days. The most common schedule used is that of 10
work hours a day for four days every week. There is another arrangement, which is called the
"five four nine". This is where you work one whole week, for nine hours a day, and then you
work the following week for four days only, still at nine hours. With this compressed
workweek variation, you get an extra day off every other week. This work arrangement is
common in work places that require twenty four hour coverage such as hospitals,
telecommunication offices or manufacturing companies.

Choosing compressed workweek as your kind of work arrangement option may bring these
benefits to you:


                                                                                          15
        One Day Off. And I'm not talking about your regular weekly day – off. With
        the compressed work week arrangement, you get one whole day off work every
        week or every other week for you to spend with your family. If this day off is
        set on a Friday, then you get to enjoy a long weekend with your family.

        Full Time Income. Because you still work forty hours a week, you still retain
        your full - time income.

        Rush Hour Dodge. Because your work shift ends later than usual, you get to
        dodge after work rush hour traffic, making your commute from home to work faster
        and less stressful.

However, like all work arrangement options, compressed workweek also has its downside.
And these are:

        Physical and Mental Stress. While working more than eight hours a day is
        becoming a norm for plenty of professionals nowadays, working ten hours or nine
        hours may be mentally and physically draining for you.

        Limited After - Work Time. On the four days that you work, you have to
        squeeze in regular after - work and family activities into such limited time.

        Child Care Issues. Your choice of child care services to match the compressed
        work schedule may be limited. Most daycare centers run during work hours, and
        children are usually picked up between 6 and 6:30pm, when usual working hours
        end. Plenty of daycare centers are stringent about pick - up and closing times, so you
        might have to scratch this child care option out of the picture, unless you find
        daycare centers that run into the evenings.

Split shift

You can also choose to work split shift, but you need to include your partner in the decision.
Split shift means you and your partner can both work but during different shifts, he may
work during the day and you may work at night for example. Another version of the split
shift is an overlapping shift. You may work from 9 – 5 PM while your husband may start
work from 12 – 8 PM, so you'll only have to schedule child care for approximately five or six
hours per day. The benefits of split shift are:

        Less Expense on Childcare. Because both of you work two different schedules,
        both of you can watch over your child in shifts too, and you may not even need to
        hire a care giver at all. Less expense on child care means more money to spend on
        other things.

        More Baby Time. You and your husband personally get to take care of your child,
        erasing worries about negligent care givers


                                                                                           16
However, split shifts also have some downsides, and these are:

       Less Family Time. Because your work times are erratic, you may face lesser time
       with the family, especially for you and your spouse.

       Not Suitable For Everyone. There are only few jobs that can allow this type of set
       – up. If you and your husband both work in office settings, then this set – up might
       not be suitable. This is perfect, however if one of you works in companies or
       establishments that need 24 – hour surveillances such as hospitals, care homes,
       police departments and the like.


Telecommuting

With the advent of the Internet and mobile connection, telecommuting can now be a choice
for employees, and it can also be your work option of choice too, if your work allows it.
Working from home or telecommuting allows:

       Improved Productivity. Because you do not have to spend time commuting and
       face fewer interruptions that inside an office, your potential to accomplish things in a
       workday is magnified than when you work in an office.

       Personal Time Management. Telecommuting allows you to work on your own
       time, which is essential especially if your child is young and you find constantly
       waking up at night.

       Breastfeeding Friendly. Telecommuting allows you to continue breastfeeding your
       child without worrying about pumping milk or leaving him or her to your caregiver.

Telecommuting, however, also has its flaws and these are:

       Tendency to Overwork. Because you work at home and work on your own time,
       you may face the tendency to over – work and do more than what you should in
       comparison to being in an office.

       Isolation. Isolation stifles your social growth as a person, and lack of supervision
       may even cause you to slack on your job.

       Time Mismanagement. Working at home may give you the notion that you no
       longer need child care, and because you are at home, you may be too engrossed in
       running the household instead of working.




                                                                                            17
Job Sharing


Job Sharing is generally a flexible work arrangement in which two employees share the
responsibility and benefits of one full-time position with another employee. Some
employees prefer to work fewer hours in exchange for a lower salary and reduced
benefits.

One employee may work mornings and the other afternoons or they can alternate days.
Job sharing works best if the two employees have complementary skills and can
communicate well.

Some of the benefits of job sharing include:

       More Family Time: With job sharing you have more time off away from work and
       can spend it with your family. On your days off you will find you probably are not
       rushing around quite as much to get everything done.

       Ability to use your Skill and Talents in the Marketplace: If you are like many
       women, you went to college and earn a degree that you applied to your occupation
       prior to having children. A job share arrangement allows you to continue to use your
       skills and talents in the work place.

Depending on your company and position within the company, the following are some of
the potential drawbacks to job sharing:

       Less Promotional Opportunity: In some companies job sharing partners have a
       difficult time being considered for promotions. Some of the factors, which can
       influence the success of being promoted, relies on how well the job share team
       function and what position they are applying.

       Work More Hours without Compensation: There are times when one or both of
       the job share partners have to work more than their normally scheduled hours
       without being compensated for it. If the job share team has to travel, attend
       important meetings together, or have to meet a deadline with a special project, they
       may not be compensated for it. In some cases when this does happen the boss can
       elect to give the job share team time off to help compensation for the extra hours.

While the different types of flex time or alternate work schedules have their downside, some
may also have the perks that you want in order to help you balance your family and career.
Some companies may even allow you to combine two types of work options according to
your needs. Whether you choose to work part - time or split shift, what's important is that it
is well approved by your employer, suits your work and family needs and that it keeps you
happy (and sane too!).




                                                                                           18
                             Chapter Three
                             Survival Skills Required
Nearly everyone in the world has heard all about the trials and tribulations of motherhood,
and it does become more challenging when you put the word "work" in the picture. Now
that you have to leave the bliss (or perhaps boredom) of maternity leave behind in order to
go back to work, how do you make sure that your transition is smooth and easy? Though
juggling work and motherhood is never easy, this chapter aims to help guide you though all
the challenges and potential pitfalls to make sure that you easily come through.

                           Get All Your Things Together
Before you return to work make sure you have created a list of everything you need for your
baby. Aside from baby furniture and items like cribs, strollers and car seats, which you may
have bought prior to childbirth, here are some important items that you should have on
hand all the time.

Having all of these articles and items on hand saves you time, money and hassle from last
minute trips to the grocery store. Storing them properly and remembering where you placed
them are just as important. It will save you trying to find some thing you need for the baby
later on. Imagine being late for work because you had to run to the grocery store to buy a
package of diapers or formula, or having to search through your closet just to find a clean
onesie that fits your growing baby.

       Baby Clothes
       Sure, you already have those. In fact, you may even have lots of them inside the
       closet. Have you ever experienced going through the whole closet just to find the
       right pair of socks? Time consuming, right? As a working mommy, you don't
       have time for these little things, but you also can't send your little one to day care
       wearing socks that don't match!

       To save time on choosing clothes for your baby to wear, start with having a
       separate drawer or closet for his clothes. Arrange the clothes into type, like shirts,
       shorts, pants, dresses, underwear and socks. Sleepwear and clothes for inside the
       house can be piled separately too. Here is a cool web site that has a lot of
       information on how to organize your baby‟s closet: Unique Baby Gear Ideas.com.

       Before you go back to work you may want to stock up on some of the basic baby
       clothes, such as onesies, sleepers, and receiving blankets. You can never have enough
       of these items on hand. You might also want to have some clothes on hand that are
       the next larger size for when your baby experiences his first growth spurt.


                                                                                                19
Diapers
Newborn children usually end up using 8-12 diapers per day, while older babies use
only around 6 to 8. Most new parents end up with disposable diapers that are made
for older children. Disposable Infant diapers are sized from 1-6 or S-M-L-XL.

If you are environmentally conscious, you might have invested in good quality leak –
proof cloth diapers for your baby. While these cloth diapers offer lesser protection
that disposable diapers (by holding only at least two wettings), they come in different
styles and sizes and are leak – proof for the first two wettings. Take note that unlike
disposable diapers, cloth diapers need washing and drying.

You can refer to the weight suggestions on the packaging to find out which diaper
best fits your baby or your toddler's needs. Brands such as Huggies and Pampers are
great disposable diapers. However, many store brands are just as absorbent and are
less expensive. These are ideal to use instead of the name brand if your baby is going
to attend day care centers where they changes the baby on a regularly scheduled
basis.

Diaper Service
Although each diaper service may operate a little differently, here is a general idea of
how the process works.

Diaper services are professional laundries, who rent reusable cotton diapers to
families of infants, hospital nurseries, and day care centers. The diaper service
delivers clean diapers, and picks up the soiled diapers on a weekly basis, and launders
them, using professional equipment, and specially developed laundering formulae.
The service essentially rents you the use of the diapers your baby needs, sized for the
baby's age. Diaper services also sell or rent diaper covers to make using cloth diapers
as convenient as using single-use diapers. Diaper services launder diapers to rigorous
public-health standards that you couldn't possibly match at home, with thirteen
changes of water and high-temperature drying that eliminates bacteria.

The service supplies a special hamper, with a professional quality deodorant, and a
heavyweight plastic bag/liner for the hamper. Services will also provide professional
automatic-closure diaper covers, if the customer wishes.

Price is based on the number of diapers contracted for, and the number may be
increased or decreased, as needs change.

For more information on the pros and cons of using a diaper service, you can visit
the National Association of Diaper Services web site.




                                                                                      20
Bath and Washing Essentials
Imagine doing some paperwork in the den or living room, while your baby is in his
playpen next to you. Then you need to change his diaper. Wouldn't it be easier if you
could simply do that right there and then, instead of having to go upstairs and do it
in the nursery? Or what if your toddler wants to spend some time in the backyard,
do you find yourself running upstairs just to get that sun screen? It is a good idea to
have your baby changing supplies in several different areas of your home. This
simple idea will help save you a lot of time in the long run.

Now that you have your cleaning area, the next thing you need to do is gather are
your baby items. Take a basket or a box (one with divisions can be really helpful) and
stock it with essentials such as:

   ▪   diapers
   ▪   wipes
   ▪   cotton balls/tips
   ▪   burp cloths
   ▪   a change of clothes
   ▪   lotions
   ▪   diaper rash cream, such as Desitin or AquaPhor
   ▪   waterproof changing pad
   ▪   and other things necessary



Baby food
Many people believe that the best nourishment for a newborn is breast milk. There
are speculations that the use of breast milk is linked to the baby‟s positive growth
and development. Breastfeeding also strengthens the bond between mother and
child. If you plan to continue feeding your child with breast milk, be sure that you
leave enough in the refrigerator. Pumping ahead of time and storing them also
assures you that you have plenty of milk supply for your baby.

However, breastfeeding is not for all moms. For all you mothers who have problems
with breastfeeding or choose not to breastfeed, there is no need to worry as there are
plenty of good alternatives in the market today, such as powder formula milk, milk
concentrate and ready to feed liquids. Powder form is the most inexpensive and
needs to be diluted in water. Concentrate form comes in liquid and also needs to be
diluted in water. Ready-to-feed liquids are the most convenient type of formula,
especially when traveling or out of the house as it requires little to no preparation.
Enfamil and Similac are both excellent brands and offer many different types of
formulas to fit your baby‟s need.

You can also make feeding stations of some sort – just like your diaper cleaning or
changing stations. If you are formula feeding, you can keep a couple of bottles and a
can of formula downstairs and another set upstairs.

                                                                                    21
When your child is six months and older, he needs food for nourishment. You can
either buy pre-made ones in jars or boxes (just add water) or make your own and
store them in the fridge. Baby food that comes in jars can save you time in
preparation, but can be very heavy on the budget. Another time - saving alternative is
to make your own baby food in batches and freeze them. For older babies and
children, you can make batches of cookies or other snacks for them ahead of time.
Gerber is an excellent brand of baby food you can buy and offers quite a variety
food at the different stages for your baby.


First Aid Kit

You will never know when sickness or accidents can strike, so it's always best to be
prepared. These items are must haves for your home:

   1.    Prescription medications, baby ibuprofen or acetaminophen
   2.    Thermometer –Digital Temporal Thermometer or digital thermometer
   3.    Liquid soap
   4.    Antibiotic ointment
   5.    Sterile bandages
   6.    Tweezers
   7.    Sunscreen and lip protection with SPF 15 or higher
   8.     Insect repellent
   9.    Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream
   10.   Cold pack
   11.   First aid pocket guide
   12.   Oral Dehydration Salts/ Electrolyte Replacement Solution
   13.   Ear drops for ear aches
   14.   Mylicon for infant gas relief
   15.   Doctor‟s office number, nurse‟s hotline and after hours number


Bottles, Cups and Pacifiers
Have enough baby bottles and sippy cups for babies so you don't have to worry
about washing them or sterilizing them every now and then. The trick is to have
enough to use for two days, so you can sterilize them every other day to save time.
Do make sure that you first rinse bottles right after using them. Any milk          or
milk residue can spoil and sour, and the smell tends to stick to the bottles
(especially if you are using plastic ones). Keep extra nipples, spouts and straws
on hand.

Baby Slings/Carriers
Baby slings or carriers keep baby close to you (and they love all that warmth!) while
keeping your hands free to do other things. Baby slings, wraps, carriers and
pouches can be used by mommies from newborns and toddlers alike! You can use


                                                                                   22
the computer, do the dishes, vacuum or even cook while wearing your baby. And            aside
from the fact that it helps you multi - task, it has a lot of benefits for baby as well. Babies
        tend to cry less, fuss less and experience less colic because of the    close body
contact.


                              Packing Before You Leave

Before you leave home, or before you take your child to daycare, make sure that all his
essentials are ready. Depending on your childcare situation, you may need different
approaches in preparing your child's essentials.

For children taken care of at home, make sure that the child care provider knows where to
find such things:


            ▪   Diapers and Wipes.
            ▪   Grooming Essentials (Soap, Shampoo, Diaper Cream)
            ▪   Baby Medication and First Aid Kit
            ▪   Bottles of Milk (expressed breast milk or formula) for babies
            ▪   Change of Clothes (for inside and outside the house)
            ▪   Blankets and Crib Sheets
            ▪   Age - Appropriate Food
            ▪   Milk or Juice for Older Babies
            ▪   Entertainment (Stuffed Animals, Books, Musical CDs)
            ▪   Pacifiers and sippy cups
            ▪   Instruction List for care provider

Packing for children at daycare can be a different thing. Fortunately, you don't have to bring
as many items since daycare centers have cubbies where you can place the essentials and
items that don't have to be used everyday. However, you still have to do a great deal of
packing everyday, so it's great to have a list prepared so you won't miss out on anything:

Cubby Items

            ▪   Diapers and Wipes (Make sure to replenish this supply weekly)
            ▪   Diaper rash cream
            ▪   Baby/Child Medication
            ▪   Pacifiers and Sippy Cups
            ▪   Extra Crib Sheets and Blankets (Replace Seasonally)
            ▪   Change of clothes – Extra Onesies
            ▪   Underwear (a couple more if potty training)
            ▪   Socks
            ▪   Towel and Swim wear (Depending on season)
            ▪   Snow Gear (Depending on season)

                                                                                             23
Make sure his name or initials are on everything you take with you to day care. By labeling
your child‟s things, it helps the day care center keep track of them.


Things To Pack Daily

           ▪   Age Appropriate Food (although some centers provide them)
           ▪   Bottles of Milk (expressed breast milk or formula) for babies
           ▪   Milk or Juice for older children
           ▪   Appropriate Clothing (and outerwear)
           ▪   Special toy/stuffed animal

Find a sturdy bag with lots of pockets and sleeves for little items. Make sure that expressed
milk is kept chilled on the way to the daycare/family care center. While there are bags that
already have insulated pouches/bottle containers where you can place bottles of expressed
milk, you can also place the bottles in separate insulated bags or coolers.

Prepare as many things as you can the night before (except bottles of expressed milk, juices
and snacks) so that you do not have to rush around in the morning. The more organized you
are the less stressful the morning routine will be for you and your baby.


                          Get Your Household Organized
Sure, you may have your child care needs and your baby covered, but isn't there a house to
take care of? And what about the older kids – the ones who go to school? Now this is
perhaps one of the most perplexing questions a working mom can ever ask herself, "How do I
meet my home and work obligations?"

True, there's tons of paperwork, there's that business meeting on Friday, shopping for
Brandon's school presentation costume, the dishes, the dirty floors, the baby bottles that
need to be washed and the list can go on. How do you keep yourself on top of these without
working yourself to the bone (or going insane, for that matter)? Here are a few tips to help
you balance your two full - time jobs, the one you have at work and the one you have at
home.

Put everything in proper place

Nothing makes life easier than an organized home. A clean house is easier to live in and
easier to maintain, so why not start before you go back to work? While the words spic n'
span and kids do not usually go together, there are a couple things that you can do to help
you have a more organized home.

       Have Places for Things. Are your keys inside the refrigerator? And did you just
       throw that bill in the trash can? And where are your favorite black heels that go

                                                                                          24
       perfect with your black pinstriped suit? Little things like these can take up much of
       your time and energy. Looking for something and not being able to find it can also
       be downright frustrating.

       To avoid these things, place everything where they belong, and have proper places
       for your kids‟ school bags, shoes, letters, baby items and the like. If you must, buy
       containers or little baskets/boxes for things that easily get lost or tend to pile
       up into clutter like mail, subscription magazines, keys, etc.

       De – Clutter. A cluttered house makes chores and other home obligations harder
       to do, plus a cluttered view makes your mind cluttered as well. It makes thinking
       difficult – thus, jobs get done way out of time too. Clutter can also be
       distracting. Now, you don't want to be thinking of cleaning up the coffee table
       when you have a report due, right? You want to focus on the report.

       If you don't have time to place things and items where they belong, then de –
       clutter by taking away things that you don't need. Before you start worrying though,
       you don't have to chuck out everything that's cluttering your work/dining/coffee
       table. Store all the clutter that you find inside a box or a drawer, and make it a
       point to sort through it once a week, keeping things you need and throwing out the
       things you don't. .

Get Everything In Writing

You are less likely to forget something important if you get it in writing. Write down
important things such as:

           1)   Appointments
           2)   Chores
           3)   Grocery Lists
           4)   Bills to Pay
           5)   Deadlines
           6)   Work Assignments
           7)   Things to Buy
           8)   Easy Cook Recipes
           9)   Phone numbers

Keep a pad beside your telephone or carry one around wherever you go. Make sure to
update your list and check it every so often, or integrate in into your schedule calendar
(instructions below).

Get Things On The Calendar

Set your schedule and keep it up to date. Put in everything that needs to be done -
appointments, meetings, school activities, grocery shopping etcetera. Just like at work learn
to prioritize things by choosing the most important ones first, then ones that can wait until


                                                                                           25
later. Organize your schedule into things that you should do daily, twice a week, weekly and
those that just happen once.

To make your schedule more visible, you can purchase those calendars that have huge boxes
for you to write on or you can make your own by creating one on your computer.

Writing tasks and chores down on one huge calendar makes sure that everybody in your
family is on the same page and is kept updated with the things that need to be done. Use
different colored pens to denote different family members and their chores or their specific
appointments to help you stay organized.

Google offers a free online calendar which you and your spouse can access at home or at
work.

Talk About It

Before doing anything (even before going back to work), it's best to talk about household
chores and other things to do with the people involved. Running a full household can be
overwhelming but remember that you are not alone and you can enlist the help of other
people around you like your husband/partner/boyfriend, your older kids and relatives that
you live with (who might also be the people taking care of your child).

Set aside a “meeting time” and talk about things that need to be done at home. During this
meeting, you should be able to identify the things that should be done in the house as well as
everybody's daily schedule.

Talk to your spouse and create Plan B's and C's – what to do during an emergency, what to
do if the caregiver does not show up or if your child is too sick to go to daycare and the like.


Plan Your Meals

This may sound like a simple idea, but planning your meals ahead can save you plenty of
time, not just during cooking but even during shopping. While planning ahead, create a list
of what you're supposed to buy in the grocery store. Better yet, arrange the items on the list
so they'll follow your usual grocery store aisle route. This way, you don't have to go back
from one aisle to another just to get what you need.

Look for recipes that are easy to make and cook, but won't compromise your family's health
as well. There are some recipes that you can cook ahead of time, store in the refrigerator and
simply heat during meal time. Sunday afternoon is a good time to fix a couple of different
casseroles for your family‟s meals early in the week. Casseroles are great meals, because you
can warm them up when you get home from work at night.

Rachel Ray offers several great cookbooks on how to fit 30-Minutes Meals that are
nutritious for your family. Allreceipts.com also offers many ideas on what to have for dinner!


                                                                                             26
Delegate

Being able to delegate chores and duties is actually the whole point of meeting and talking
about your obligations or chores. You don't have to do all the washing, scrubbing or laundry
because you can always delegate. To make delegation easier, make a list of chores and duties
that need to be done and specify if these chores should be done daily or weekly (or twice or
thrice a month). Then assign chores and duties that are age appropriate and time appropriate
as well. Young school children can help with chores such as setting the table or clearing it up
before and after dinner time, while your husband can pick up the kids after work or do the
laundry on Sundays. At the end of the meeting with your spouse or kids, you should be able
to assign some chores and obligations to other people according to their schedule, and make
sure that everyone agrees with the work distribution.

Create a schedule of your own chores too, so you won't find yourself doing everything at the
same time.

If you don't have anybody to share the workload with, and if you're having a hard time with
some chores, don't punish yourself too much. Take some time off and hire a cleaner or
someone to do the laundry once in awhile if you can afford one. You'll be doing yourself
one great favor.


Communicate With Your Child Care Provider

Establishing your expectations and needs during day one is essential, but once you get
started, it does not mean that the communication with your child care provider should stop
there.

It is essential to keep the lines open and keep track of how your child is doing.
Communication with your child care provider can come in the form of reports, special
achievement awards, lesson plans or even email. But at the end of the day, nothing beats a
good face – to – face conversation to reassure you about your child's well being and
development.

At most day care centers you will receive a daily report about your child. This report will tell
you when he napped, what he ate and some other information on how his day was. The daily
report is extremely valuable, because it helps you understand how your child‟s day was and
what to expect that evening. If he didn‟t nap very long, you know that he will probably go to
sleep earlier than normal.




                                                                                             27
                               So, What's Your Plan B?
As clichés go, change is inevitable and life is unpredictable. With that, even the most careful
and the most well – organized working mother will, at some point in time, find herself in a
situation that might call for drastic measures.

Think about these scenarios: You're getting ready to go to work, everything is in place and
the baby sitter calls to tell you she is ill, or your son catches the flu and can't go to daycare. It
shouldn't be a problem if it happened during an ordinary day, but what if it you have a
meeting with the big bosses and you just can't excuse yourself?

Just because you have found the perfect day care center or the most adoring and most caring
baby sitter does not mean that everything is going to go smoothly. This is why even before
such crisis happens to you, you should start developing your back – up plan in case
something comes up.

Mothers with family members living near by may have an easier solution than those who
don‟t, but here are some things that you need to prepare in case the unexpected happens.

Talk To Your Spouse. This goes for two parent families. From the very beginning, you can
develop a back up plan with your spouse by comparing your work set up. Whose work
arrangement is more flexible, whose boss is more understanding, and who has better
benefits are just a couple of questions to consider while creating a plan. Some companies
may allow their employees to telecommute, absent themselves from work on short notice, or
even bring their child with them to work. By studying these options, try to figure out who
would best take of your child in case your child care giver is unavailable or your child
becomes ill. Deciding this beforehand helps eliminate those last – minute arguments over
who goes to work and who stays home to take care of baby.

Talk To Your Boss. If you are a single parent who does not have anyone to share the
responsibility with, let your boss know your situation beforehand – not thirty minutes before
you decide not to show up at work. Once you go back to work, or even before that, let your
boss know about your current situation and the possible things that might happen in case
you your child's care giver does not show up or your child becomes sick.. You can work out
a compromise by putting in more hours the following week, or your boss can allow you to
work from home that day.

Talk To Your Child Care Provider. During the initial interview, ask your child care
provider about any special off – dates that you should know about. Or ask to see a calendar
or a schedule for the year, so you can make plans ahead for those dates.

Illnesses and other abrupt leaves or absences are another story though. Daycare centers may
not be so much of a problem, since kids may simply be shifted to another teacher's class if
the teacher is absent. Relatives, nannies or babysitters however are usually on their own. Ask
them if they have other friends or if they know other people who might be willing to take
care of your child in case of sudden illnesses or absence.

                                                                                                 28
If your child goes to daycare, ask them ahead of time about their policies on children and
illnesses. Some centers may admit children who have mild illnesses like cough or colds.
There are also nearby hospitals that allow your child to stay for the whole day even with
minor illnesses, but keep in mind that children who are sick are often more comfortable at
home.

Talk To Others. Take some time out to befriend other working mothers from home or
from your neighborhood. Some moms establish a support network that aims to help each
other out when it comes to child care issues. Some moms might be able to have your child
taken care of by their children's care giver (at an additional cost, of course) in case of
emergency. Or a stay – at – home mom friend may offer to take care of your child for the
day. These friendly services may come at lesser price, but they also come with strings
attached, so be sure that you are in for it. You will not always be on the receiving end
though, so be prepared to help out your other mom – friends as well.

Never underestimate your neighbors too. You might have neighbors who are willing to help
you out in times like these, so it's always important to keep your communication lines open.

Do Your Research
Ask a couple daycare centers and family care centers if they accept drop – ins for the day. Of
course, do this beforehand and not during the day you need to drop your child in. In fact,
while you are still looking for the child care of your choice, you may ask your prospects
about drop – ins and keep their numbers in case the day comes that you need them. Some
daycare and family – daycare centers have certain slots for drop – ins.

The key to surviving this kind of crisis is simply to prepare yourself. Like any other calamity
or natural disaster – it is some times simply unavoidable, but the best way to move through
the whole incident is by being prepared. Talk to your spouse beforehand and keep as many
emergency options as possible, so that when the day comes that you need an alternate child
care provider, you'll know what to do.

As a working mother, keeping your life in order may be challenging, but there plenty of
things that you can do to keep it uncomplicated, and we have just tackled some of them in
this chapter. Remember that you need to stay organized and prepared because when you are,
you can face anything with confidence. Let go of the thought of being perfect. While the
thought of having a great career, a well kept house and well looked after kids may be great –
do not fall into the trap of trying to be the supermom, because working supermoms simply
do not exist.

Learn to delegate home and child responsibilities inside the house to others – you are not
alone so do not hesitate to include your spouse, your family as well as others in your
community when it comes to raising your child. Learn to prioritize things and know when to
shoulder your responsibilities and when to say no. Saying no to some things when you're
overwhelmed is the best thing to do, and does not make you a bad person. Create schedules
and keep them, and teach everyone else in the family to stick to their schedules too. Don't be


                                                                                            29
afraid to communicate and keep your communication lines open with your spouse, your
family, your employer, your caregiver and other mothers that you meet.

Sounds overwhelming? You betcha. But keep in mind that although these tips are plenty,
most of them are just small things that don't take up much of your time, so follow them and
stick to them. But most of all, take things one day at a time. Learn to enjoy your job and
enjoy your kids, because being a well – rounded mom with your own passion in life makes
you better in assisting your child throughout his development and growth.




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                                     Chapter 4
                          Breastfeeding and Working
In the past, going back to work meant that you had to wean your baby from nursing at the
breast. However, with the availability of breast pumps and supplies in the market nowadays,
this fact is now fast becoming a myth. If you are a breastfeeding mother and if you want to
continue breastfeeding your baby when you go back to work, by all means, do so.
Breastfeeding is the one of the best gift you can give to your baby. However, you need to
start preparing now, so that when your maternity leave is over, you can provide your child
easily with breast milk.

                                How Can You Do It?
There are three ways for you to be able to continue breastfeeding while working and these
are:
        Finding a child care arrangement that allows you to breastfeed during work
           breaks like daycare center near your work place.
        Working flexible hours revolving around breastfeeding time.
        Expressing milk by hand or using a breast pump so that somebody else can feed
           your baby while you are at work.

While the first two methods are possible, not everybody can find a daycare center near the
workplace, and not all jobs allow flexible working hours. If you are among these people,
then expressing milk is the most convenient way for you to continue feeding your baby
breast milk.

                                Expressing Essentials
Pumping at home and at work are two different matters when it comes to supplies needed,
and there are different things to prepare. But here are the basic essentials for pumping
whether you are pumping at home or at the office:

        Breast pump (if you don't want to express milk by hand) and electrical or
         batteries.
        A refrigerator for storing milk.
        Milk storage containers.

Add a peaceful and relaxing location and you're good to go. But when you're pumping at
work, there are other things to bring, so make sure that you're ready. Prepare a bag, you can
call it your pumping bag if you like, that can hold everything that you need. Some high – end
breast pumps come with carry bags that come with space for other items, like:

        A small cooler and ice for storing and transporting breast milk pumped from the
         office to your home. Most mothers store expressed milk in the office refrigerator

                                                                                          31
            (if you have one) during the day, and then use the cooler when going home.
            Some breast pump or milk storage containers/bottles come with bags that have
            built – in insulators and can act as coolers too.
           Breast pads for leaking breasts
           Extra change of clothes or a sweater/vest in case of breast leaks. Patterns and
            designs on shirts make leaks harder to see.
           Breastfeeding/pumping friendly clothing with openings in front
           Nursing bib, blanket or shawl to use for cover up in case you need to pump in a
            common area.
           Baby cues such as pictures, clothes your baby recently wore or a voice recording
            of baby's coos and hungry sounds.
           Pillow for arm supporting.
           “Do Not Disturb” sign in case you pump in shared spaces like storage or
            conference rooms.



                                Pumping Milk at Work

Making Plans With Your Employer
It may be awkward, or even mortifying, but you need to speak to your boss about
breastfeeding at some point – and this should be BEFORE you even start going back to
work. You're lucky if you work in a family and breastfeeding friendly workplace with
lactation rooms and flexible break times, but not everyone is that lucky. If you don't fall into
that category, you need to speak with him or her regarding some things that you'll need in
order to provide your baby with breast milk while at work. Depending on where your office
is located or your work arrangement, you can bring up issues such as breastfeeding at work,
scheduling time around breastfeeding or pumping at work.


The Things That You'll Need:
You don't really need much but the bare essentials in order to pump milk at work or to
breastfeed your baby at work, but you'll have to ask your boss for permission beforehand so
as to avoid work conflicts. These essentials are:
    1. A lactation room. Some offices have rooms made specifically for the purpose of
       breastfeeding, and these have all the amenities that make pumping breast milk or
       nursing a baby an easy task. If your office does not have one, you can ask permission
       to use your office/cubicle, a conference room or a supply closet as long as it has a
       comfortable chair, good lighting and electric outlets. The bathroom is not a suitable
       area to pump milk. The same goes if your caregiver brings your baby for you to
       nurse during the day.
    2. Flexible hours for pumping. On a regular work day, you would need to pump or
       nurse around three to four times, so speak to your about allowing flexible work

                                                                                             32
        breaks for you, each being about 20 minutes. Some women need more time that that,
        while some women need less. These 20 minute breaks can be taken from your
        regular breaks and lunch breaks or you can make up for the time by coming early or
        staying late.
    3. A supportive policy by the company. While there are no direct laws regarding
       breastfeeding mothers and work, the US government has been pushing businesses to
       develop a supportive policy for breastfeeding mothers.
It's good to be well informed and ready when speaking to your boss, so you may need to
show him a note from your baby's physician and a letter for your employer/company.
Samples of these can be found on the last chapter of the book.


Convincing Arguments
Most women are surprised to find out that their bosses or employers are generally lenient or
relaxed about pumping at work. This is a common scenario, since there are no clear rules
about pumping milk or breastfeeding at work and nobody ever bothers, so it is never
brought up. But if your boss is a bit apprehensive about the whole matter, or just plain
stubborn, you may also need to have some supporting arguments as to why you should be
given all the support by your company. The following are supportive arguments that will
help convince your employer to support you and other breastfeeding mothers:
         There is lesser parental absenteeism in breastfeeding parents than parents with
          formula fed babies.
         Companies with lactation support programs for their employees have lesser
          employee turnover. They lose fewer skilled workers after childbirth and they
          companies have higher employee loyalty, morale and satisfaction.
         There is an excess of health care services brought about by formula milk feeding
          cost.
         There are plenty of diseases and conditions easily preventable by breastfeeding,
          and insurers pay billions yearly just to treat those diseases in infants.
         Breastfeeding is best for baby up to two years and is recommended by the
          American Academy of Pediatrics.


                              To Pump or Not To Pump
This part of the chapter tackles milk expressing methods. Some women have been able to
nurse their babies until toddler-hood without the aid of breast pumps. And you might be
able to if you give it a try. Milk supply, time and determination are important factors that will
determine whether you should use a breast pump or use hand expression – and you alone
can make the decision.

Using your hand allows you to express breast milk any time without needing any special


                                                                                              33
equipment. There are no pump parts to clean or to lug around, and it's basically free. Most
of all, plenty moms find that they respond and express more milk when using their hands
rather than using breast pumps, as touch enhances their milk ejection reflex more than
plastic parts.

Breast pumps on the other hand are convenient for moms who need to pump a lot of milk.
Dual pumps can pump two breasts at the same time, and can be done hands free. So you can
work on the computer, talk on the phone or do other things while pumping. Plenty of breast
pumps now mimic baby's sucking reflex with speeds that can be controlled for slower or
faster pumping.


                            The Art Of Hand Expression
If you're planning to express milk by hand, then congratulations on your choice. This
endeavor needs time and dedication but is worth all the effort as well, because it's all for
your baby.

But even if you don't plan to express milk by hand, it is important that you know at least the
basics of hand expression. Trust me, you'll be thankful for your hand expression skills when
you're faced with scenarios like power outage, losing a pump part or forgetting your pump at
home.

To master the art of hand expression, let me walk you through a little anatomy class first.
Your breast produces milk through milk producing glands in a region behind the nipple that
are connected to the nipple (or the exit). Yup, this is the part that swells with milk before
milk is ejected. Try to feel this region when your breasts are full because this is the key to
starting hand expression. Now all you need to do is to learn the technique to express the
breast milk from those glands.

The most common technique in hand expression is by holding your breast using your thumb
and fingers the way you would position the breast to meet your baby's mouth. Your fingers
should be right behind the areola, the thumb on top and the fingers on the bottom. Press
back gently towards your chest, and then roll your fingers and thumb gently towards your
nipple. Rotate your hands after some time so you'll be able to empty out all milk ducts. If
you do it right, milk will easily come praying out, so have a container or a bottle ready and
start practicing!

It's best to stimulate your breasts and relax before expressing milk by hand (this also holds
true with using breast pumps) and these techniques will be discussed later on in this chapter.




                                                                                           34
                            Choosing Your Breast Pump

If you plan to use a breast pump then you need to get a well working and effective one that
will serve your need for some time. Here's a lowdown on the three kinds of breast pumps so
you can choose the one that suits your needs best:

       Manual Pumps. They come in three different styles. The first one is the bicycle
       horn or rubber bulb, and while these are the earliest types of breast pumps, they are
       no longer recommended for use. They are difficult to clean and dry thoroughly and
       bacteria may build up on the rubber bulbs. Then there are the cylinder pumps like
       Medela's Manualectric and squeeze pumps like Ameda's One Hand. These breast
       pumps are quiet, easy to use and very inexpensive. But since you have to provide all
       the power, it requires a lot of effort on your part and is not advisable for frequent
       use.

       Battery Operated or Small Motorized Pumps. These pumps are powered by
       batteries, and are a good option for occasional pumps. They require less effort
       than manual pumps but can be very costly as their batteries need to be
       changed frequently.


       Electric Breast Pumps. High grade electric breast pumps are recommended for
       mothers who work full – time and need to express plenty of milk. While these
       kinds of breast pumps may be quite expensive, there's no denying that you're getting
       convenience for your price. Electric pumps are very comfortable to use, are
       automatic and can be used hands – free, and effectively pump out milk, retaining
       your milk supply. There are breast pumps that only pump one breast, while there
       are also those that pump two breasts at a time for more milk production.


To Buy Or To Rent
Buying a high grade breast pump may be quite expensive, and you may consider getting the
second hand one (used only twice or thrice, as the ad says) sold at Ebay at the fraction of the
original price. But before you read anything, read on.

Most breast pumps available in the market are labeled as “single user devices”. This means
that they should only be used by one user, and nobody else, even if it has been used only
once or twice by the previous user. Some viruses may be transmitted through breast milk,
and they may not be thoroughly eradicated even with frequent sterilization. There are also
parts of the pump like the diaphragm that cannot be replaced, removed and fully sterilized.

Most breast pump makers discourage the re – selling or re – using of breast pumps. Think
the breast pump as a toothbrush – even if it has only been used once or twice by another
person, I'm sure you wouldn't use it at all. While the previous user of the breast pump may
seem perfectly healthy, I'm sure you don't want to put your baby's health at risk. So to
eliminate the risk cross – contamination, buy your own pump or rent a hospital grade one.

                                                                                            35
What Do You Mean By Rent?

You might be confused by the contradiction of not buying a used pump but being able to
rent one, but do read on. While you cannot re – use single user breast pumps, you can rent
high end hospital grade breast pumps. These are safe to use as these breast pumps are
designed for multiple and full – time usage, can thoroughly be cleaned and sterilized and are
available for rent from hospitals and Lactation Consultants. Rental usually costs around $30
to $50 and you have to buy your own pumping kit to go with it (flanges, tubing and horns.)
These pumps are perfect for limited milk supply as it has plenty of settings and options and
is of excellent quality

When you plan to pump for a long time though, investing on your own pump just costs a
little bit more than renting one monthly. Renting one comes in handy though, when your
pump is broken or when your milk supply dwindles.


                            Your First Day Back At Work
Usually, it's the first few days that are the hardest because you have to get into the routine
and start adjusting once again. However, if you follow the tips and guides in this chapter,
you'll find out that the whole transition won't be as difficult as it seems.
You may find yourself getting skeptic looks and negative comment about how difficult it is
to combine breastfeeding and working, to downright insulting suggestions that you should
stop doing it because it will never work. True, breastfeeding and working may require more
time and effort than normal, but if you're dedicated and you're willing to commit yourself –
then by all means, nothing in the world can stop you from giving your baby the best milk he
deserves.




                                                                                           36
                                       Chapter 5
                            Balance - Family & Career
As a working mom, you may find yourself facing the biggest challenge of your life, and that's
how to balance your time between your career and your family. While you do want a happy
life outside the office, you also know that you need to make some sacrifices in order to
achieve your career aspirations. But how do you achieve your career goals without neglecting
your family? And how do you achieve a happy and fulfilled family life without neglecting
your career? How will you be able to fit yourself into the many roles that you play – mother,
wife, daughter, sister, boss, employee, worker and friend? These questions are baffling, but
there is only one answer to that – BALANCE.

The only thing easy about balance is saying it out loud. To achieve it takes proper planning,
organizing and prioritizing. Once you get past that stage, everything comes naturally, and
you can possibly have an enjoyable and rewarding family life and a successful career as well.


                            Get Rid Of High Expectations
Outside pressure and the expectations that you put on yourself can drive you crazy. While
television and popular media may portray the savvy working mom who has it all – perfect
career, perfect kids, perfect home – it's not all true. There are sacrifices that you have to
make, so get rid of your high expectations and accept the things as they are for the
meantime.

                                Stop Trying To Be Super

Stop taking the world on your shoulders and stop trying to be super woman or super mom!
Most of us fall into this trap of trying to do everything for everybody. Is it realistic to expect
that you can already clean the house, nurse your baby, fix dinner, and work at the office at
least 10 hours a day all the time? No! Something will have to give and many times it ends up
being a close relationship or your sanity.

Many women, who try to achieve this super mom status, suffer from what is often called
“Supermom Syndrome.” These moms, who try to do everything, are twice as likely as a man
to be stressed and depressed. Many can suffer from anxiety, sleep disturbances, weight gain
and even a low sex drive. This added stress can cause migraines and even cancer.

If you are suffering from “Supermom Syndrome,” here are some tips on ways you can
overcome the feeling of having to do everything for everyone all the time:


       Learn to say NO!
       Delegate


                                                                                              37
      Be more flexible
      Have the courage to be imperfect
      Foster and encourage competence in your partner and children
      Cultivate at least one totally family–independent hobby
      Evaluate life priorities, set goals, and assess progress (every three months)

Delegating and letting others do the work does not make you the Bad Mom. It just means
that you're being smart and practical and you're still looking out for your family's welfare as
well.

Delegate

Organize your chores and responsibilities according to how often it needs to be done, or
how difficult it is. If you can afford to have someone do the difficult (and time consuming
things) such as cleaning the house or mowing the lawn – then by all means, do so. By doing
this, it will save you alot of time and energy, which means you have more time to spend with
your family. Another idea is to write down everything which needs to get done over the
weekend. Provide the list to your husband and ask him what he would like to do to help you.
Enlisting his help this way is more effective than telling him what he needs to do. During the
week ask your husband to help with cleaning up after dinner or giving the baby a bath. This
will free you up to help your older kids with their homework. Also, you should ask your
older kids to help out as well. Older kids can take out the trash, wash dishes or even cook
from time to time, while younger kids can help set the table or clean up their rooms. When
delegating chores to kids, make sure that their chores are age appropriate.

Take advantage of delivery service. Have you ever heard of online shopping? Some grocery
stores offer free delivery, so take advantage of that. Think about the additional free time you
could have if all you had to do was wait for your groceries to arrive.

Shopping online is another idea which would save you a lot of time.

Set Boundaries and Schedules

Make it a point that everyone tackles a household task within the week so that you all get
some free time during the weekend. Remember the old adage, “Never put off for tomorrow
what you can do today?” This saying works perfectly. If you have time to do something
today then do it and stick to your schedule. That way, you'll free up more time during the
weekend.

Set Some Family Time

Set some time for you and your family as well. If you can afford to hire people to do a part
of your household chores, then you have more time on your hands than most parents. Use it
wisely between work and family time.



                                                                                            38
Family time doesn't have to be spent outside of the home, in fact you can even incorporate
family chores into family time. Preparing dinner would be an example. Your older child or
husband tidy up the living room and help you cook dinner, while a younger child can go
ahead and set the table. Yard work, or going to the cleaners can also be fun for kids.

Spend some true quality time with your kids. Give them 100% of your attention. Remember
that the quality of time you spend with your child is not determined by how long it is. A
fifteen minute story time each night with your full attention towards them is more than
spending the rest of the afternoon inside the same living room while you're facing the
computer working.

Establish Family Rituals

Weekends (or Friday nights) are the best time for family rituals, because that's usually the
time when everybody is at home. Rituals don't have to be rigid and stringent in nature, they
can be just about anything that you do regularly together as a family like

       Movie / Game Nights. If going out is too exhausting after a whole week of work,
       you can order pizza and watch a movie together, or play fun board game, such as
       Scrabble or Monopoly at the dining room table. Give each of your children a turn
       deciding which game the family is going to play.

       Mealtimes. You can plan a special family meal each week, such as spaghetti on
       Wednesday nights or “children‟s choice on Saturday nights. It's the time spent
       together that counts. You can also have special weekend breakfasts and meals during
       Sunday. After all, a week of pre-made dinners and cold cereal in the morning
       deserves a wonderful homemade meal during weekends. The kids can also join in by
       helping you cook or bake.

       Religious Service. Most families find that attending mass at church or service in
       their synagogues or mosques become their principal family activity for the week.

These are just a few of the family rituals you can establish that each member in the family
can look forward to.


Schedule Some Downtime

Schedule at least one morning every week that allows all of you to sleep in and relax. After
all, everybody needs some down time at some point, and what better way to do that than to
relax with the rest of your family?




                                                                                         39
Spend Some Special Time With Your Partner

It is important to keep romance alive after you have had a baby. Many new moms direct
most of their emotional energy towards the baby. They find themselves exhausted after
working all day, taking care of the family in the evenings and often forget to enjoy the
company of their husbands.

Even if you are not interested in romance at the moment, keeping love alive in your marriage
will not only make you a happier person, but it will also make you a better parent. The
happiest, most well-adjusted children come from a home where Mommy and Daddy truly
love one another, according to Ellen Kreidman, PhD, marriage counselor.

Here are a couple of simple ideas that you can do to keep romance alive in your marriage:

1. Hold Hands – In the grocery store, at the dinner table, or sitting in church. Any where!
   Having physical contact with the one you love is important!

2. Kiss Him Like You Mean It – Instead of giving him a quick “good-bye” kiss in the
   morning on your way to work, give him a long and lingering kiss, one which he will
   remember all day, that says “I‟m still crazy about you!”

3. Compliment Him – Show him you care by finding something new every day to
   compliment him on. It could be his cologne, how he combs his hair, or even the color of
   his eyes. We all like to receive compliments, especially from the ones we love.

4. Flirt – Remember to flirt! If you are both busy in the kitchen fixing dinner, what a great
   opportunity to brush up against him or to smile in a seductive way. Flirting does
   wonders and helps you remember how you felt about him when you first were together.

5. Text Him – Send him a quick text during the day to just say “hi” or to let him know
   you are thinking about him. Or “P.S. I love you.” This simple gesture shows him you
   really care and are thinking about him.




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                                      Chapter 6
                                    Mommy Time

                           Keeping the ME from the WE
When blessed with the cutest being to ever grace the face of the earth, mommies all over
have fallen into the trap of seemingly permanent melding of the former „me‟ to the all-
encompassing „we‟. It is well and good to love your child and to cater to his or her needs…
but even mothers need downtime away from their children.

You were also young and carefree once upon a time, but just because you have brought a life
into the world doesn‟t mean your life as an individual has to end. There are enough hours in
a day for you to enjoy your life as a mother. You just have to learn how to compartmentalize
your life and strike a decent balance between mommy fun and work, family.


                                Regain Self Confidence
I‟ve made mention of moms losing their confidence after months of being confined to their
whereabouts like house-work-hospital-grocery-work-house routine. Because of such little
exposure and the sudden transition of life, you may find yourself losing the vibrant
confidence you once had.

Being one of the human needs as illustrated by Abraham Maslow in his hierarchy of needs, a
need for self- esteem which is accompanied by being confident and sure about yourself is
important and so if it is, it is also something you really need to have. If you‟re on the verge
of losing it – permanently, then you should work towards regaining it. After all, no one can
else make you feel better about yourself than yourself. And a better feeling and happy
mommy can do and accomplish so many things, and is better at raising happy babies and
running happy households.

Getting Your Body Back
Getting your pre-pregnancy figure back can be challenging, especially after you go back to
work. Having a fit body makes you stronger and fitter so you can do more things at home
and at work.

Getting your body back may seem like a very daunting task especially if you're juggling work
and family at the same time but this is a mission NOT impossible.

       Breastfeeding. Many moms agree that not only does breastfeeding give the best
       kind of milk to their babies but it also has a good effect on moms. Aside from
       making the bond closer between the baby and you, breastfeeding helps you lose
       weight faster if you continuously feed your baby with breast milk. Breastfeeding is
       one of the easiest way for you to lose weight, and you don't even have to lift a thing
       (except your baby).

                                                                                            41
Water Therapy. Water has several known benefits to men and so drinking at least 8
glasses of water a day will not only cleanse your body but will also make you feel
fuller so you are less likely to eat when you feel the urge of munching even if you
actually aren‟t hungry at all. Place the water bottle in a position inside your fridge
where it‟s the easiest to reach among others so that when you open the door, it‟s the
first one you‟ll grab.

Walking and little daily exercises. Many studies have proven that little exercises
all throughout the day that aren‟t tedious are seen to be as effective as the sessions
that are long. It wouldn‟t hurt to do some crunches for 5 minutes if that‟s the only
time that you are available like when waiting for the water to reach its boiling point.

Or you could go walking every morning with your baby outside your house or at the
nearest park or in your garden. You can also take the office stairs instead of the
elevator, or park further from your office and walk the remaining distance (just make
sure that the area is safe). This does not only work your leg muscles but also your
cardiovascular system. Making this walk fun could also be helpful for you so why
don‟t you bring your ipod and play your favorite tune on your way to the park.

The things you once thought were a chore, now could be your motivation. What‟s
really important is that you do something about it and you find time to do it even for
only a few minutes everyday so long as you constantly do it. What‟s even nicer is that
you get to have a bonding time with your baby boy or girl outside home.

Eating right. When you‟re tired and worn out because of the day‟s challenges at
home, most of the time you may fail to be watchful to the food and liquids you take
in to compensate for hunger and weariness.

Or the case could be, because it‟s hard to eat well because of the lack of time, you
may resort to packaged food. Yes, it is easy and quick to prepare but along with this
is a very high calorie and fat content which will add up to your love handles. Belly
fest!

 So instead of grabbing these foods, why not prepare your own snacks? You could
place them in a container and stack it up in your fridge where it‟s easy to reach so
whenever you get hungry and has no time to prepare a great meal for everyone, you
can grab a bite of your healthy snack easily. Don‟t forget to minimize drinking
carbonated drinks as this will add up to unwanted fats also, so you better opt for
water or tea. This is healthier and quick! That‟s the way it should go.




                                                                                    42
                                        De- stress
Balancing work and family can surround you with a lot of stressors around you. Basically you
get this almost everywhere, when you do your regular grocery at your favorite store and
when there‟s a customer who doesn‟t know how to line up in the cashier, or while you‟re
driving to your way back home and the traffic is just getting worse and it takes you like
eternity there barely moving, or that insulting co-worker telling you to stop trying to pump
milk because it's not going to work anyway.

The hows and the whys of what makes you stressed are influenced by your surroundings,
daily activities and routine. This isn‟t only detrimental to your health but also to your
relationship with others because when you are stressed, you do not only become impulsive
and impatient but you also become too sensitive and dysfunctional. Of course that's the last
thing you want to happen because you play an important role in your family and you need to
function. Here are a few things to help you de- stress at home.


       Listen to feel good music. Listening to feel good music whether it is rock music or
       classics you prefer, it doesn‟t really matter for as long as that type of music you
       constantly listen to alters your current mood. If for example you are the type of
       person who goes for listening to Bossa music, whenever you feel tired after a hard
       days work at home, turn your compact disc player on, sit down, relax and breathe
       easy while closing your eyes.

       Feel the moment as your own and enjoy it. It will give you a relief after listening to 3-
       4 of your favorite tracks. Or you could play your favorite Britney Spears pop track
       and you can groove your booty! Once you‟ve set your mood already to the positive
       then you can go back to your chores if you still have any. Doing this every once in a
       while will surely aid you in de-stressing.

       Hot Bath. The only place where we can be ourselves at home is definitely inside the
       bathroom! And spending a quality time on our own inside this place is one sure way
       to de stress. Being stressed is tagged along with a tired body, so prepare a hot bath
       for yourself and soak inside the bath tub for a minimum of 10 minutes and you
       could go for more than that it depends on how much spare time you have. This is
       best done before going to bed and when the baby isn‟t hungry and or sleeping
       already. You could play a cool music along with this, or prepare a scented candle
       beside the tub and to add fragrance, splash a chamomile or lavender extract to your
       bath. The scents will help you relax and put you on a good mood thus giving you a
       very tranquil night sleep ahead. Now who doesn‟t want that? We all do. So treat
       yourself with this once a week or twice if you can. It won‟t hurt to give yourself, your
       body, a dose of loving and pampering.

       Eating what you crave. Chocolates, sweets, and ice cream are all known to be feel-
       good foods. Indulging yourself with it once worn out isn‟t bad at all. Keeping


                                                                                             43
the intake into minimum is the key though. You don‟t want you to overeat and
binge; you want to feel good so when eating, or taking a bite of your ever favorite
Cadbury bar, make sure that you savor the moment. Take note, this shouldn‟t be
done everyday, as this is only a solution when you crave.

Yoga. Yoga is a Hindu philosophy advocating and prescribing a course of physical
and mental disciplines for attaining liberation from the material world and union of
the self with the Supreme Being or ultimate principle. But in a more modern
approach, not only is yoga being practiced just to make union with self but this
ultimately gives the person engaging in such physical activity the peace of mind
needed. You don‟t necessarily have to enroll in a yoga class and have your personal
instructor to do this. You can just buy an easy to guide CD and while you and your
baby is in the living room, you can watch it and do it on the carpet, so long as the
baby doesn‟t distract you with his or her cry. If he does then you best do this while
he or she is asleep.

There is also another option, you can just read articles online and refer to the
body positions and read the instructions on how to perform it and do it
religiously. Here are some sites you can check: http://www.will-harris.com/yoga,
http://www.abc-of-yoga.com. Moreover, if you are still thinking now that it‟s all a
lot of work doing this and that, go to a place in your house where you feel most
comfortable of.

Breathe deeply, inhaling and exhaling properly for 10-15 minutes a day. I‟m sure
after that routine; you would feel lighter and will give you a kind of peace you don‟t
find elsewhere. Make this practice as a habit.

Get A Massage. If you can afford to take some time off to go to the spa, why not
get a 30 minute back or hand massage. Thirty minutes may seem like a short span of
time but the after effects will do you wonders. Massage Envy is a great company that
offers affordable massages or visit Spa Finder.com to find a spa close to you.

Better yet, schedule some down time with your partner and ask him to give you the
massage, not only will it help you de-stress but can also lead to an intimate time
together.

Pamper Yourself. Take time to wash your hair thoroughly, slather on some lotion,
paint your nails and dress up. Pampering yourself can be a perfect pick – me upper.
Looking good helps you to feel good. The days of maternity suits are finally over and
the time for exercise and getting your new figure under control is here. Buy a cute
outfit that‟s not exactly your size and work toward fitting it and looking great
wearing it.

When you‟re at home, don‟t get sucked into wearing ratty old pants and a stained
and smelly shirt. Wake up every day, take a bath and put something on that‟s nice
and comfortable. If you‟re bent on wearing sweats, then make them clean and cute


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       sweats. If you want to wear your husband‟s shirts, make sure they‟re clean and free f
       from funky baby smells.

       Make it your goal to be the best looking mommy on the playground. Your baby may
       not appreciate it now… but someday he or she will look back at his or her childhood
       photographs and wonder in awe about the woman who managed to keep it together
       even with all the stress that comes with raising a child, running a household and
       working at the same time.

                       Keep your dates with your girlfriends!
Women need their best friends more than ever during this time in their lives. It makes no
sense to stop communication or quit going out with your girls just because you‟re a mother
now. Think of all the new stuff you can share with them! If anything, a happy mommy with
a life outside of her baby and outside work is a healthier mother than the one sitting at home
waiting for the next cry to tell her what her child needs.

Remember, you can be devoted without devoting your whole life to this tiny little person
you love so much. Your baby deserves a mother who can take of her own emotional and
social needs while also striving to fulfill her duties as a wife and mother.

If you decide that wild nights out on town aren‟t your style anymore, you don‟t have to cut
the friendships off! You can restructure your life and work around building stronger
friendships around a new pastime. Let the people in your life know that you still value them
and want them around even if you have a permanent plus one living with you.

If you can't or don't want to get out of the house yet, ask them to come visit you once in
awhile. You can hang out while hubby or the caregiver can take care of your child. You need
to set a good example for your child by cherishing the friendships and commitments you
have made even before your baby came into your life. Healthy relationships are supposed to
be treasured and respected.

Generally, the point here is that having all the responsibilities and tasks brought about by
being a mom and a woman of the world should not suck out all the life from you. You play
different roles in life – mother to your child, wife and lover to your husband, daughter, sister
and friend to those around you as well that is why you are compelled to watch over and take
care of your own self. That is in totality implicate your physical, mental and emotional
being.

Life may be difficult and hectic, and you should not blame any condition or situation on
anyone, not even yourself for the choices you make. The only way to face everything is to
take it in stride. That's why you should be strong and along with it is taking care of your
body, and not depriving yourself of the things that you deserve.

Starting now, list Mommy Times as one of your “to-dos.” If you are more creative in making
use of your time then that is better. You just have to remember that since time is utmost


                                                                                             45
relevant here, you need to maximize your time as much as possible.

Today there are many social media sites that moms visit to socialize with their friends and
family without having to leave their homes. Or they can connect after the kids are in bed.
Here are some of my favorite sites:

       Facebook.com
       Mommy Blogger Club
       New Parents.com
       BabyCenter.com




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                                       Chapter 7
                       Is Mommy Guilt Eating You Up?

Mommy Guilt. The feeling that stems up from the pit of our stomachs when we want to do
everything for our child and we can't do it because we want to be with them at the same
time. In the perfect world that we see in our minds, we earn hundreds of thousands of
dollars to buy our kids their hopes and dreams, while keeping our eyes on them one hundred
percent making sure they don't develop rashes or get bitten by mosquitoes. But that's in the
perfect world.

Aside from love for her child, mommy guilt is probably the next thing that almost all moms
have in common. You are conditioned to think that, because you are responsible for
bringing this little creature out into the world, you should do everything for them and
provide them with everything you can give – your time, your care, the things they need,
protection, safety and a perfect world. And when that doesn't happen, you start to think
that something is really wrong with you, and it is magnified more when you are working.

Mommy guilt can take away much energy from you, and that's not a great idea since you're
already short on that. You need extra energy to function as a wife, as a mother and as a
productive member of the workforce. Of course, a minor guilt trip that can be cured with a
bite of chocolate is normal, but when it starts taking away your enjoyment of your everyday
life, when it interferes with your work – then it's time to address it. Better yet, you can start
zapping it out of your system before it even turns to worse.

This chapter offer tips to help you deal with guilty thoughts that might be plaguing you.
Here are some reasons for your mommy guilt and how to deal with them.

Work
As a working mom, you might have experienced thoughts telling you to stop working. That's
mommy guilt talking. But think about it, your child will not benefit anything from if you stop
working and feel glum about it. A child needs a happy and well rounded mother, and doing
what you love helps you become that kind of mother for him. Foster a happy home by being
happy yourself, even if that means spending some time away from your child to do the
things you are passionate about.

Leaving Them To Others
When you feel guilty about leaving your child at daycare or with a caregiver, try to think
about the reasons why you are working. Are you working for your personal fulfillment? Are
you working for his future? Keep these reasons in check because these reasons help you
move forward when you're stuck in a guilt rut.

You can lessen your guilt trip by making sure that you have chosen the best care giver that
you can find. That best care giver does not have to be the most expensive one; it just has to
be the one that you're most comfortable with. Because when you're comfortable with your
child's care giver, you're less likely to worry about his welfare.

                                                                                              47
Take some time to speak to your child's care giver. Ask him or her for the details of your
child's day and his or her development. Even if you aren't there the whole day, you will feel
more involved when you know what's happening to your child on a day to day basis.

Lack Of Time
Lack of time can cause you to have guilt trips. You may even start envying your stay – at –
home – mom friends who have all the time in the world for their children. But think about
it, will you be the type of person who will be happy letting go of your career? Will your
family be able to fare well when you'll stop working? What about your personal fulfillment?

You're not being selfish with your time IF you find ways to make time. Being at home is
different from spending quality time with your children. That's why it's called QUALITY in
the first place, because it is not measured by the number of hours that you are present.

When you're at home, make sure to spend some time with your child – and make sure that
you're all eyes, ears and attention. Your bed and bath – time rituals are perfect times for you
to bond. For older kids, preparation and mealtime can be great moments to get together and
have fun.

But if you're still feeling bad about not being there all the time, take some time off once in
awhile – spend the whole day with your child. If she's still a baby, lounge around in bed with
her, enjoy her new routines and skills that you may have not noticed before. Play with her,
take a look if she has developed any new rashes, and listen to her cry. Enjoy every singe
thing she does. If your kid is a little bit older, ask him to call the shots as to whether he
would like a movie, pizza, a trip to the park or the mall. Spend time with him and have fun.

This is also a great time to reassess your feelings about working, and for you to tune it to
how it feels to not work for a day.

Boredom
Let's face it, we all feel a slight tinge of boredom when we're playing with our child.
Especially when they grow up and start playing those pretend games and start pestering us to
play Teacher or House with them. You may suddenly come up with thoughts like, “I could
do so much work or get some chores done than playing this boring game.” Guilt trip again
for feeling bored.

Rather than feeling bad about yourself for being guilty, or slaving at the game for thirty
minutes, why not make a trade – off. Moreover, children are imaginative little creatures and
they do not need you all the time to entertain them. They can entertain themselves, or others
can play with them too. Why not set an agreement with your child, like “Okay, I'll play with
you for ten minutes, and then mommy has to get back to work, okay?” Be firm with the rule
you set and then play with your child and be sure to give all your attention.




                                                                                            48
Yelling
Yelling from time to time will always be part of motherhood. Like spilling milk and changing
diapers, raising your voice is inevitable. But if you find yourself yelling way more than usual,
then it's time to reassess how you deal with your child. If you lose patience easily, maybe you
should try counting from one to five other strategies that will help you cool down instead of
losing your temper.

Wishing You Had Freedom
Ever been invited to a night out and you had to turn it down because no baby sitter was
available? Ever wished you could just walk away from it all – from the sleep deprivation,
from the chaos, from the dishes? Don't worry, you aren't alone in feeling this. But this is an
example of a good kind of guilt, because this is telling you something – which you should
take time off for yourself and recharge.

Take some regular time off all for yourself and make it you time. Do whatever it is that
makes you happy and relaxed, and you will see the difference.

Your Child's Development
Your friend's son is nine months old and he's already talking but your little one hasn't even
said a word at ten months. Is there something wrong with your child? Is there something
wrong with you? Is it because you weren't there during her developmental stages because
you were working?

Before you go crazy thinking such a multitude of thoughts – STOP! First, stop comparing
your child to other children. Children are different in terms of development, preference,
intelligence, strengths, weaknesses and personalities. Let your children grow freely and just
let them be who they are meant to be.

As long as you're giving them the best that you can when it comes to nurturing and setting a
good example for them – there's nothing wrong with you at all.

Your Child's Behavior
Imagine this scenario – your three year old child yelling in the supermarket because you
won't buy him that yummy candy. You can always be the best mother to your child, and they
still won't listen to and follow everything that you tell them. You are responsible for teaching
your children right from wrong, but you cannot always control how they behave and they
will always make mistakes, so cut yourself some slack.

Unless you're being a bad example or neglecting your child severely, then you shouldn't feel
any guilt at all. There is no such thing as perfect parents and there are no perfect children. As
long as you accept their limitations and yours, you'll all be perfectly fine.

Hectic Households
New moms who are still adjusting to life with a child often experience households that
border on chaotic. What makes you more guilty, when you're in that position, is the fact that
you can't even run your own household.


                                                                                              49
So before all the chores and obligations pile up, create a do-able schedule and take care of
them when you have the time. Not having an organized schedule or to – do list makes you
slack off even more. Routines will help you live an easier life and will allow you to breath
easier.

Walk Away From Critics
People will always have something to say. They may not mean it sometimes, or they may say
something in a well – meaning way, but on the whole they may become guilt inducing words.
Walk away from people whom you know are prone to making criticizing comments, and if
you can't – keep this thought in mind: People have different beliefs, and they're entitled to
theirs. But that does not mean that you should be affected by them or that you should
believe what they think.

Then the last part is about another critic, and this critic your worst. This critic is yourself.
Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and just feel all the negative thoughts pouring
in? Get rid of your belief that there is a perfect mom because there isn't. And no matter what
you do as long as it's for them, you will always be the perfect mom for your kids.




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                                      Chapter 8
                                 Working Mom Resources

As a working mom, you will need all the help you can get – from finding work (if you don't
have one yet), to child care resources, to organization, scheduling and balancing resources, to
career tools and tips on how to run a household effectively.

While books and groups are effectively within your reach, there is nothing else as condensed
and as packed with resources for you than the world wide web. And with computers and
Internet connection being available to just about anybody, getting information and help is
easy as counting to three. Just go to any search engine and type in the keywords for
resources that you need.

Informational Websites for Working Mothers
Here are some web sites that focus on your needs and interests as a working mom:

www.workingmomslife.com
www.workitmom.com
www.bluesuitmom.com
www.momfinds.com
www.momslikeme.com
www.womenatwork.com


Employment / Career Resources
Looking for work or furthering your career is no longer difficult with the advent of the
Internet. From job posts in your local area (unless you live in a really remote place) to jobs
available on line for work at home moms, everything can be found online.

Here are some great websites for career and employment resources for moms:

www.jobsandmoms.typepad.com/jobs_and_moms/helpful_resources_for_moms/
www.employmentspot.com/employment-articles/work-at-home-moms-balance-
motherhood-career/
www.womenforhire.com/advice/career_resources
www.workingmothers.suite101.com/article.cfm/resources_for_working_moms
www.life.familyeducation.com/mothers/working-parents/34415.html
www.jdblissblog.com/2006/09/new_resource_fo.html
www.womensmedia.com/new/working-mothers-resources.shtml




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Child Care Resources
Looking for the best child care service for your child can be a difficult task. You have to
know where to find them, and how to select them. You don't just choose a child care service
by recommendation, you go through plenty of them, ask questions and see if they meet your
criteria. But first, you have to have a starting point!

Here are some websites for child care resources. These websites help you find childcare
services near your location and offer referrals that may be useful for you too:

www.naccrra.org
www.childcare.org
www.childcareaware.org
www.childcareresourcesinc.org
http://www.workfamilysolutions.com
http://www.childcareresources.org
http://nrckids.org/STATES/states.htm
http://www.medem.com/medlib/article/ZZZ3IIGC44D


To help you through choosing child care services, there are plenty of things that you need to
know, like the types of child care services available, questions that you should raise to your
prospects, things that you should look out for and the homework and research that you have
to do to be able to choose the best child care service for your child. Here are some links to
some useful child care information:

www.webmd.com/parenting/guide/choosing-child-care-service
www.kidshealth.org/parent/positive/family/child_care.html
www.nrc.uchsc.edu/RESOURCES/ParentsGuide.pdf
www.babycenter.com.ph/baby/workandchildcare/yaya/
www.thenewparentsguide.com/choosing-a-daycare-center.htm
www.thenewparentsguide.com/choosing-a-daycare-center.htm
www.careforkids.com.au/articles/article.asp?id=19

Here are some links for effective child care provider interviews:

www.secc.rti.org/display.cfm?t=f&i=11E
www.care.com/child-care-a04120759-interviewing-care-providers-101.html



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Breastfeeding Resources
Here are some websites that provide you with up to date information on breastfeeding,
expressing, storing breast milk and any kind of information regarding breastfeeding:

www.breastfeeding.com
www.llli.org/nb.html
www.breastfeedingresources.com
www.co.carver.mn.us/departments/PH/docs/Breastfeeding_Basics.pdf
www.breastfeeding.co.uk

Here are some websites that talk about breast feeding and working, tips on how to continue,
and tips and resources on issues like pumping in the office, requesting for lactation rooms
asking your boss or your company to support your breastfeeding endeavor:

www.breastfeeding.co.uk
www.familydoctor.org/827.xml
www.workandpump.com
www.promom.org/bf_info/bf_work.html
www.babycenter.com.ph/baby/workandchildcare/breastfeeding&working/

Career tools

Here are some resources for career tools that you may use as a working mother or
while thinking of becoming one:

www.job.am/career_tools/
www.che.com/career_tools/writing_and_presenting/
www.hotjobs.yahoo.com/careertools
www.caribbeanresumes.com/career_tools
www.quintcareers.com/career_exploration.html




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                                     Conclusion
                              Off To The Real World

Sooner or later, your maternity leave will be over and you'll be off to the real world. So enjoy
the time you spend with your child/children, but start preparing yourself for the next stage
to come. Remember that preparation and organization are life savers in this fast paced
world.

Motherhood is such a wonderful thing and it can be very demanding too, but that does not
mean that your life has to stop there. While adding work to the picture becomes a perfect
mixture for a challenge – the outcome of it is all up to you.

So I wish you luck dear mother, wife, sister, daughter and friend, as you embark on this
journey of becoming a mother and a woman out to seek her destiny. I hope you will be able
to put the ideas and insights in this Ebook to full use and that it will be able to help you, and
in turn you may be able to share your wisdom with other working mothers like yourself.

Go and fulfill your duties as a wife and mother, as queen of your household; and go and
fulfill your dreams and passions as woman of the world.

I would love to hear from you! Please email me at laurag@momreturn2work.com to share
your ideas and tips on how to survive and thrive after having a baby and going back to work.

Best Regards,
Laura Greenawalt




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