Q&A: What is the most crucial career advice you would give new moms?
Going back to work after a new baby can seem really big. What is the most crucial career advice you would give?
I'm your host, Tiffany Sauder. And this is Scared Confident. I feel like whenever I have a baby - somebody put my life in a blender and just pushed pulse and then left me all alone, like on an Island.
And I even have a huge support system around me. So if it feels a little like that, you're right on track. I think the first thing that I tell young women when they ask me this question and probably dads too, but I can't really speak to that perspective as much - is it like the first six months will not be the rest of your life.
And you just have to tell yourself that because this idea of having a baby is like very new and exciting. And you kind of feel like your first experience is going to be what it is the whole time. And right now I have a six-month-old and I have a 12-year-old and a couple in between there, you know, I've gotten a range of experiences and it does change. The energy that a newborn baby takes them not sleeping at night.
And the toll that that takes on your body and your mind and your like clarity. And for me, it totally wrecks my self-confidence. That is not going to be the rest of your life. That is not going to be how it feels like the whole time. And that doesn't change that it's hard, but I do want you to rest. And the fact that that is not what it's going to feel like to be a working mom for the whole time.
I think, as a leader and in any role, like your job takes from you. And so in the evenings, you're used to having some way that you recharge and kind of like put yourself back together and, and like get energy. So that the next day you can kind of go at it again, when I'm in that real extreme baby stage, you don't get that rejuvenation time in the same way.
And so you do just feel really flat. And for me, it's just a time where I just have to be like, You got to buck up right now, Tiffany, it's not going to be forever. This is kind of hard. You are not probably delivering tens and your days. And I just have to give myself a little bit of grace that that's just where I'm at.
And sometimes I zoom out too and say, okay, if I work for 40 years, It's just not true that I'm going to have 40 years, that we're at 12 on a 10 scale. Like you're going to have some years where you were just a little flat. And I know when I have years where I come back after babies, it's not that I don't still do my job.
It's not that I'm not still highly accountable to what I need to do and how I need to perform. I just know those years are going to be a little bit messier. But it's not going to sit that way forever. The other thing that I tell myself is don't make any real big decisions that first year after having a baby, because you are still getting acclimated to what is the energy take to get through a day?
What does a baby need from you? Not that your kids don't need you when they're older, because they certainly do, but it is a different kind of energy when you're able to sleep through the night, when you're able to have two hours after they go to bed and, you know, kind of recharge and have adult time in the beginning, it's just this mush of craziness.
And, you feel like you've sort of sold out to all of that for the rest of your life, but it comes back, especially if you fight for it as the baby starts to sleep through the night. And then I'm big on just creating systems. If you used to be able to come home from work and sort of make a leisurely dinner, and now you have to do it faster, like maybe you have to start meal planning because that makes those first minutes after you get home from work just a little bit easier.
And there's fewer decisions to make. So identify and take some time to see: Where is your mind really getting fatigued or where are you not being able to show up very well for yourself or for your spouse and re-engineer those moments so that you can do it more swiftly. The other thing I've learned and know sometimes it's cold out, but when I would get from home from work and just take a five-minute walk outside and not go straight into, like, making dinner and like all the tasks that were waiting for me at home.
And I just took five minutes to just like, feel the air, smell outside. And just take a second, like nothing was going to break if I took five minutes, that that totally reset my energy for coming back into the house and kind of powering up for the next round of things that I needed to do. And so that also again, is just sort of recognizing my own energy and space that I needed that minute and paying attention to that.
So, yeah, it's hard, but it's not impossible. And I have found for me, fighting for my career has been such a rewarding place. And if you're overwhelmed in these micro-moments and don't know how to solve, like ask the questions and those specific pieces where you feel like things are just really breaking, or this is pushing me over the edge, reach out and ask other people around you, or ask me, ask this place, ask this community, because I think people, women really want to help one another.
I think families really want to help one another do this well so that we can feel like we're showing up and really great ways for ourselves, for our families, and for our jobs, even in these really big changing moments.
So what else is on your mind? Text me (317) 350-8921 (317) 350-8921. And be sure to follow along on your favorite podcast app. Thanks for listening today.