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Encouragement for Moms going back to work, and believing in Angels

pino's mother and daughter.jpg
My head is a running sound track and when under pressure my mind goes straight to David Bowie's "Pressure, pushing down on me..." Life is less "pressure" and more beautiful if you believe in angels.

I think of new moms going back to work this time of year with school about to begin. I remember exactly how that felt; I hated walking out the door. I still do today, but I know it can be done. You must believe that your babies are being looked after with loving eyes and caring hands. Things usually work out for the best; you find a nanny, a childcare provider, or if you are really lucky, a mother or grandmother who unselfishly gives her time, energy and love. When it feels right, you know it. I am extremely lucky and have had both a wonderful mother and nanny who love my children. I felt good about leaving them each day. For a working mom especially, it really does take a team, and perhaps a mountain of angels.

Coming home from work was the most difficult part of the day because my children had been with someone else they love all day and needed to reconnect with me. I get in as much time as possible before I leave for work in the morning and then coming home later in the day to do dinner/bath/bedtime. It's not easy, but it can work!

I think the ultimate is to be a part time working mom. If you are lucky enough to have that, thank your lucky stars then thank your boss!
New mothers coming back to work can be extremely sensitive. Co-workers might say: Are you glad to be back? You must be so sad. Was it difficult to come back? To all of which you want to throw your hands up and scream, "I want to go home and be with my baby!" I think most people mean well but hormones may not be back to normal. The good new is, it gets easier.

I love it when people ask, "What do you do?" I have an answer I am proud of: I'm a mother and a teacher. I love the feeling that I am contributing financially. But best of all, my family is really proud of me. My daughter likes to pretend to "go to work!"

In preparation for going back to work I wanted to share a few tips that have helped me, and I hope you can find them useful.

• Try getting up at the time you will normally wake up a week before works starts so that a new schedule can be adapted.
• Choosing your clothes the night before to eliminate stress in the morning.
• Preparing and freezing dishes are also helpful, especially if you find you can double a recipe. I call my freezer my "bank!" I try to cook double on Sundays so I can have an extra casserole in the "bank!"
• If possible, return in the middle of the week. A short week is less overwhelming.
• Once you return to your job, seek out other moms at your workplace. I think you will find most co-workers will be very supportive. Moms are a wealth of information and most are happy to share advice and give a helpful hand.
• I find getting everything ready the night before can make for a smooth morning routine. It is an absolute must that you always put your purse, keys, diaper bag... in the same place each night.
• I am the queen of sticky notes and usually attach them to the garage door or do strange things to help me remember like putting my keys in the fridge with my lunch.
• Ask your child's caregiver to take pictures during the day so you can see your child's happy face.
• If you're a breast feeding mom it's nice to bring something to help you relax when you're pumping your baby's milk for the next day. The let-down is easier and faster when you're mind is relaxed. Reading material is a must because it takes your mind off of time. I loved my pumping time because it was ten minutes of quite to think about my baby and read. It was truly like meditation.

I believe we have angels among us through our friends. I think of my friend Laurie who graciously picked up my class from lunch and read to them so I might spend a few extra moments nurturing my baby who my mom would bring up to the school during lunch time. Laurie is one of my angels on Earth and I will never forget her kindness.

If you are lucky enough to have an angel in a friend or relative, accept support from them: babysitting, a homemade meal that saves you preparing dinner one night, or just a friendly voice. Help (like Martha says) is a good thing!

For those seasoned moms... Do you ever notice when we care for others we are happier? If you start paying attention to others around you, you'll see opportunities to be an angel and give your love and kindness. Small gestures make such a big difference to others and they ignite the best in our heart.

Giving feels so right! When we give our attention, our listening ears, our assurance, and our presence, we are being a true friend. Have you heard... our friends shape the path we travel? Well, when we surround ourselves and our children with those we trust, we can't help but feel nurtured and protected.

Life is a beautiful dance, a movement, a musical flow. It becomes more rhythmic and beautiful when we become angels to one another, guiding each other on this journey of life. We can become those dancing angels and when we do our life has more meaning and we are better mothers and friends.

This ABBA song always makes me smile, and just saying aloud, "I believe in angels" gives me a good feeling all over. To all the moms about to go back to work, never fear, angels are with you and your children!

I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I'll cross the stream - I have a dream

Photos: Simone Martini's Angel Gabriel (The messenger of God), and Pino's painting of a mother and child that reminds me of my daughter.

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