"Being a new parent is wonderful, but at times it can be really difficult and stressful, too," offers Dr. D'Arcy Lyness, behavioral health editor for KidsHealth.org. "This can generate feelings of guilt for a mom or dad who isn't enjoying every second of being a new parent. But it's important to remember that it's okay to want -- and to take -- a break from the baby every once in a while."
It may sound like something college roomies do, but setting up clear guidelines and expectations will circumvent a slew of resentment and disagreements. Decide who will do which household chores, early feedings, and other tasks to help you return to work and balance daily duties.
Making the most of your drive time can turn your stressful commute into time to unwind. Listen to an audio book, walk or bike to work if you are close enough, or people watch in the lanes around you to gain some stress-free you time. Or, consider carpooling or taking public transportation so you can enjoy a good book, socialize on the phone, or daydream to chill out before you get home.
Once your newborn makes his way into the world, your priorities will need to be rearranged. After a long day at the office, letting chores slide until the weekend or waiting until baby is off in dreamland to go through the mail may help you keep your sanity. Just remember to make some couples time with your partner a high priority on your list in order to achieve true work and family balance.
Reduce the amount of time you're spending in the kitchen. There are tons of fabulous meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less, and others that can be made ahead of time. Or, pull out that slow cooker for a meal that is ready when you walk in the door.
Whether it's working extra hours one day a week to get off early once a week, or working from home part-time, it doesn't hurt to ask your employer for a flexible work schedule. Or, have your partner drop off the baby at daycare so you can start work an hour earlier and pick up your infant earlier to cut down on babysitting hours.
Most importantly, you need to cut yourself some slack. Often, the pressure of finding work and family balance are put upon yourself. So, in order to return to work and balance life with a newborn, brush up on these 6 ways to juggle your job and your new baby and soon you'll be managing work and your expanded family like a pro!
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