Mom life: Returning to work after mat leave

While the first few days feel like I blur I still remember the feeling. The feeling of utter joy to have my new baby in my arms but I also remember just feeling so overwhelmed, anxious, scared, and of course tired. I remember wishing away the early days. I can’t wait until he sleeps through the night or I can’t wait until he no longer has to feed every two hours.

But then the days started to fly by, and those early sleepless nights were a distant memory. As someone once told me “The days are long but the years are short.” And it’s so true – this year flew by in the blink of an eye. And 13 months since I said see ya later to the Weather Network to embark on this incredible new journey as mom – it is time to head back to work.

This year has been my biggest year of growth yet. It has taught me patience, kindness, love (like I have never known before) and what is truly important to me. It has been a year full of memories, laughter, tears, and now it is time to turn the page on the book again and start a new chapter.

I was speaking with my therapist the other day about the anxiety I am having around finding the perfect balance. A balance between work and life they say but it is so much more than that, work, life, family, friends, my baby, and myself. It sounds like something only a superhero could do. I was feeling so overwhelmed that this wasn’t possible. And you know what – finding that perfect balance might not be humanly possible -but we decided I would just take it one day at a time.

Before having Max my life was my work – I had worked for 10 years to get to where I am and I finally found a job that I actually saw as a career that I love. After years of working part time, freelance, hard news and all the in between moments. At the Weather Network I have finally had a chance to tell real stories, ones that matter. Bringing important information to people, while also focusing on climate change and sustainability – which is something I care deeply about. I have had a chance to even create my own documentaries on these topics. I love my work – it has allowed me to travel and explore. I have seen the Northern Lights in the Yukon, the glaciers that tower over Whistler, the grizzlies of the Great Bear Rainforest. I have been given so many incredible opportunities and I am truly excited to see what comes next as the videographer and bureau chief for the Weather Network out here in British Columbia.

But now I have this new priority in my life. Gone are the days where I can just pack a bag and go. Gone are the days where I can just drop everything and run out to cover active weather. It is going to be a new balancing act for sure – one that I am nervous to try and conquer, but also one that I am excited about. I am excited to write this next chapter of my life – of our lives.

I know it isn’t going to be easy, there are going to be hiccups, and bumps and challenges – but that is the world we live in, and now I know just how challenging it is to be a working mom, but I want to be a mom that my son is proud of.

So mommas I see you, I feel you and I am here with you as you start to write new chapters of your own lives.

xo

Mia

What you can do about work related health issues

I have shared quite a bit on my social media channels how much I love my job and how lucky I am to be part of a team I care about doing work that  I am passionate about. One’s job should have a positive impact on one’s life, but let’s be honest, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. And sometimes, when we don’t take the time to check in, the work life balance can tip a little too far one way and impact your health. It might not be a physical impact, but more so a mental one that you might not even know is effecting you until it is a little too late. So I wanted to share with you some ways that you can make sure your work doesn’t impact your overall health.

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

Start Moving More 

It’s easy to forget, especially since many of us have had to pivot to working from home and may be at a computer for longer hours than usual, but humans were really not supposed to sit down as much as we currently do. While it can be comfortable to sit, comfort in itself is probably overrated! Here is the thing, many of us are now going from our bed to our office chair to the couch in the evening and then right back to bed, and that is too much sitting! Research suggests that this might have severe long-term health consequences. The solution? Move more. You can take regular walks throughout the day, get a standing desk, or even cycle or run to work. I also wear an apple watch to remind me to get up for at least a minute each hour. 

Better Work Set Up

As well as sitting, humans were also not really designed for typing all day long. We get used to it, but it can have a harmful impact on certain aspects of our bodies, most notably our wrists and hands. Mine is doubled because of a previous life as a tennis player. If you’re feeling pain in this part of your body, then visit a hand surgeon. I recently booked an appointment and found out that I have a cyst in my wrist. Other common concerns could be carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a common consequence of typing in an incorrect position. Beyond that, it’s about reviewing your work setup. There are ergonomic keyboards and mouse setups that are easier on the wrists. 

Work/Life Balance

It’s normal to feel a little bit of stress at work. But if you’re feeling overly stressed, then there’ll be a problem. This level of stress can have short- and long-term impacts on your health, not to mention your overall enjoyment of life. If you can’t see how your working life will calm down, then it’s important to take steps to improve your work/life balance. Having a cut-off time for work, doing relaxation activities, and taking time throughout the day to get some headspace will all prevent a build-up of stress. Whenever I think I have a busy or stressful day ahead I try and start my day with meditation to clear my head and get me ready for the tasks ahead. 

Maybe it is time for a career change 

I must say I am so lucky to have a job I love, but trust me before working at the Weather Network I had many jobs I did not love. Sometimes I was working several jobs at once and the stress was just overwhelming. I understand making ends meet, I bought a condo straight out of university and so money and finances is important, but it isn’t everything. Sure making a steady income can take a lot of the stress away. You know that you can pay your bills each month, you can invest in activities that have a positive impact on your overall health, and you can do things that do create a healthy lifestyle like purchasing a gym membership or healthier (and usually more expensive meals). Maybe it is time to ask for that raise that you know you deserve. Or if you don’t think it is the right fit and it isn’t benefiting you both financially and emotionally, than maybe it is time to move on.