Are you adopting a child for the first time? Are you wondering how you can balance a career with a new child? This post will share four things new adoptive moms can do to ensure that they can balance their hectic home and work lives.
Adopting a child can be one of the most emotionally draining and psychologically taxing (but at the same time immensely rewarding) experiences of your life. The elaborate, time-consuming, and expensive paperwork, the uncertainty of the outcome, and loneliness experienced by many parents throughout the whole process can place even the most enthusiastic couple under tremendous strain.
A working mom may have to place her career on hold to bond with and nurture her new adopted baby or child.
Different employers will have different leave policies for adoptive moms. Pregnancy and childbirth policy policies may define maternity leave as ‘short-term disability leave,’ and in most cases, this does not pertain to adoptive moms. New moms use unpaid leave, and this puts additional strain on already stretched family resources.
Here are a few things that new adoptive moms can do to ensure that they can balance their hectic home and work lives with a newly adopted child at home.
1. Take Care of Your Emotional Needs
Adopting a baby or child can be a highly stressful process, so ensure that you are prepared for all the baggage that comes with it. Securing legal counsel, like those of Orange County CA Adoption Lawyers, can help you complete the formalities efficiently.
Adoptive parents often feel left out at moms’ meetings and neighborhood get-togethers. Birth mothers bond over pregnancy, labor and delivery, breastfeeding, and perhaps other health complications. Whereas adoptive mothers may feel that they have nothing to contribute. But these are feelings you that need to learn to accept and understand.
Parenting is not a very easy task. It is an unpredictable, highly emotional, unique, and very subjective experience.
There are many things that a new adoptive mom can do. Of first and foremost importance is the need for you to reach out and seek support. There will be support groups, forums, and self-help communities that support adoptive families in your area. Network with new moms who are also dealing with post-adoption stress. You will realize that you are not alone with your struggles and that there are solutions for all problems.
2. Celebrate This New Chapter
Adoptive mothers often report feeling unacknowledged and slighted when they are left out of the typical fanfare, traditions, and celebrations that are reserved for pregnant women and new moms. It will not be helpful for your health, or that of your baby’s, if you are going to let little things bother you. These are things that are usually not granted to the adoptive mother because her family and friends are not sure whether the new mom or mom-to-be is ready for it.
As any woman who has gone through the adoption process knows, there is a whole lot of uncertainty between finding companionship with an expectant mother and completing the adoption process. If you want to have a baby shower and accompanying events, then let your loved ones know that you are ready for it. It is also perfectly fine if you do not want to have formal events. What matters the most is that you stay happy and calm, and deal with the process as well as you can. There is always time to celebrate once your bundle of joy comes home.
3. Take Advantage of Flexible Work Schedules
A new baby at home can turn your daily routine upside down. You will have to get used to a new way of life where you will be the primary caregiver to a little person. As a new mother, the unfamiliar role, erratic routine, and unending responsibilities can prove to be quite cumbersome.
In addition to that, you will also be exhausted by the long-drawn adoption process and the resulting emotional toll that it takes.
An adoptive mother needs to spend considerable time bonding with her child, and getting used to him or her. The little one also needs to get accustomed to your presence. If you are not adopting a newborn, then you will have to learn the routines of your growing child, how he or she can be soothed, and what his or her dietary and sleeping habits are.
If taking an unpaid break from your job is not possible, then you will have to work out a schedule that suits you and your child. Many companies provide work-from-home opportunities to new mothers. Check out whether your employer offers flexible work hours and home-based job options to suit your temporary needs.
Financial stress can toss your life into turmoil, so ensure that you maintain your income and earnings potential. If viable, you can consider working fewer hours, or for a smaller company, which may not pay as well as your earlier job, but will afford you the flexibility that you require.
Most couples combine paid vacations, sick time, and personal leave to facilitate time with their baby. Spending quality time with your child will help you minimize the lack of quantity.
Related: How Working Moms Can Use Flex Time
4. Focus on Quality Over Quantity
Feelings of loss and missed milestones are common among parents who adopt toddlers or grown kids.
Do not feel guilty if you cannot spend as much time as you would like with your child. Remember that lack of time is one of the foremost problems that challenge parents today. Do the best that you can and enjoy whatever you do. A happy and contented mom is very important to your adopted child. It will help him or her to be assured that their presence has brought happiness to the family.
Avoid bringing work home. Ensure that your child gets your undivided attention and do not let work pressure overwhelm you. A happy, healthy, and stress-free home atmosphere is essential for your little one to grow and flourish.
Adoptive parents have a very challenging role to play. Adoptive parents consider themselves lucky to have their baby in their lives. With proper planning, determination, grit, and support from friends and family, you will be able to manage the initial years of parenthood well. Try to maintain a separate personal and professional life. With consistent effort, you will be able to combine the two seamlessly.
This post was written by Samila Chehrzadeh, an associate attorney at Sarieh Law Offices. Her practice focuses primarily on family law and immigration law.