I know this is more of a pregnancy type of post, but when your partner or you are pregnant, the best thing you can do for your professional and personal life once the child comes is to plan and prepare. I know this seems like a very obvious thing to say, but you don’t realise just yet how much your life will change once you have a child, nor do many people really properly plan or prepare how their life will change day to day. That’s why it is important to ensure that you are able to properly prepare and plan the changes once you know what is to come, so I would like to make this post about ways you can make those changes and properly prepare.
I spoke at length about this on my previous blog post but I will summarize what I have previously posted and how you can prepare. Once you have a child your professional life will change immensely for a variety of reasons. It is not just the lack of sleep which will affect your professional life, but a lack of momentum and motivation in the earlier months that will hinder you more than most. The issue that you will have is just finding the time and the focus to actually complete your work, but there is a way that you can prepare for this in a way that I wish I had known about beforehand. It seems that the biggest obstacle that crops up once working after having a child is that you cannot seem to focus on the work at hand because you are more focused on your personal issues. This means that you cannot make the most of the time that you have on your hands day to day and deadlines seem to creep up on you with speed. So the advice I will give you for balancing your personal life with your professional life before the child comes is this:
Day to day, break up your working time in increments of half an hour and focus those increments on the most important tasks first. Once the biggest and most important tasks are out of the way, you will have time to speed through the smaller ones. The quicker you get into this pattern the better, since you will find that work WILL come secondary to the family for the first six months. Allowing you to be the most efficient as possible as soon as possible will put you into the habit of being able to tackle this issue before the child is even born, which will stop you from falling behind and may even put you in good stead to your bosses!
I would also suggest of doing the opposite of what some say, and get as much sleep as possible before the child comes. Although it is good to learn how to actually be awake and alert if only sleeping for an hour, I find tablets such as vitamins and ZMA’s before you fall asleep will give you the exact same effects. They can help you stay awake for at least a few hours more than you would otherwise, and are really good for your health anyway.
Going to classes and learning how to be a parent are good for preparation also, but half of being a parent in the first few years is about balancing your personal and professional life. This is the main thing you can do as the main provider of the home, and would ease most of the financial burdens on the home. Ensuring that you can do the best possible job of this will relieve you of stresses that you would definitely not need in your life at the time as well. I would also suggest that you try to get as much work out of the way as possible before the child comes also. This will help ease the stress and burden that will be caused from the child coming, because it will feel like an increase of workload even if it won’t be.