Having made a shift away from the corporate world, I thought that I’d share what you can expect.
Manage Your Expectations – give yourself 1,000 days to get the hang of your new role. Today, my daughter calls me her Second Mommy but we didn’t always have that sort of relationship.
Don’t Expect A Thank You or a Favorable Performance Review – in the corporate world I loved tests, projects and feedback. They were objective measurements of how great I was doing. You won’t be getting any of that kind of feedback from your preschoolers. Measure success via hugs and I-love-you’s.
Learn To Support Your Spouse & Others – you’re going to need a lot of support. Get support by letting your helpers know that they are essential and appreciated.
Here are some lead ins…
- Thank you for XXXX, you really made a difference.
- I think you did a great job when XXXX.
If you are working parent then make a habit of using the above, frequently, with your spouse.
Schedule Your Self Care – the equivalent in the corporate world is “there’s always a good reason to skip a vacation.” If you struggled to unplug at the office then be wary of thinking that every action of your child is your domain. Schedule your self-care in your diary => I’m ruthless with sleep, exercise, date nights and alone time in silence.
Keep More Help Than You Think You Need – from six months BEFORE our first child was born, I have been pushing my spouse for additional childcare. She’s resisted me every step of the way. Even if you think you don’t need help, your spouse needs support. Childcare supports a healthy long-term marriage. This is an area where women can do a better job of supporting each other. It’s OK for a mother to ask for help with her children.
Engage Your Mind – I need to engage my intellect (in something other than preschooler conflict avoidance). My method is reading and the challenge of trying to write a world-class blog. What’s your strategy?
When I explain my life to people, they often say, “I could never do that.” Mainly because their children trigger anger and unresolved personal trauma. Own your fears and face your difficulties. Overcoming personal challenges is what creates a life with meaning.
Stick with it.