The joys and challenges of new motherhood
…and the benefits of breastfeeding
Balancing a robust career with the joys of motherhood is the main challenge of brand-new mothers.
By PATRICIA NADINE MIRASOL
Wife to Mark
Mother to Rafa, 14 months
Thriving in I.T.
Joy relates, “I’ve been working at Company X for more than 12 years now. It was actually my first job right out of college. Surprisingly, I was accepted for a programmer position despite the fact that I wasn’t even an I.T. graduate. In the beginning, I was competitive. I felt compelled to work hard to prove that even non-I.T. people can succeed in this industry given the right attitude and mindset. I eventually worked my way up to my present position.”
On trustworthy yayas and exclusive breastfeeding
Being a mother for the first time six months ago presented a new set of challenges for Joy. The first and immediate concern was finding someone trustworthy enough to entrust her precious newborn. Upon finding a suitable yaya, she and her husband also decided to set up CCTVs for their peace of mind.
The next significant challenge was providing milk for Rafa. Joy found it very challenging to stock up on supply before returning to work, and equally challenging to pump milk while working. “Initially, I’d go to the designated Diana rooms in our office to pump milk but I found it to be too time-consuming. After a week, I decided to just pump milk in my cubicle with a nursing cover. My cubemates eventually got used to hearing the sound of my dual electric pump.”
When a difficult project was assigned to her right after her maternity leave, Joy was presented with yet another challenge: “My typical day would be to go to the office around 8 or 9 a.m. so I’d be home at 6. I’d still continue working and taking calls until midnight, though, and my husband wasn’t too keen about that. Thankfully, the project was completed in 3 months and I was able to resume my normal shift.”
Joy can relate to career-oriented women because her mom was also one. Her main priority now as a mother, though, is to be present for her child and build lasting memories with him. “I want him to grow up knowing that he’s important to me and that I’m honoring him by spending time with him. Call me idealistic, but that’s exactly the kind of bond I’d like to build,” she says. She’s working doubly hard now so she can retire early and have all the time to spend with her child.
Insights of a brand-new mom
* Work will always be there. Your baby will go through his/her infancy phase only once. Set your limits and non-negotiables to get the understanding and support of those you work with.
* The challenges of working moms are real! “Totoo ang chismis,” Joy shares with a chuckle. “You will find it incredibly hard to go to work because you don’t want to leave your baby behind.”
* Having a family is not necessarily a setback to one’s career. Most of Company X’s leaders are family-oriented women. It’s a balancing act and you determine which way to go.
* Motherhood made me a better person. It’s not without its obstacles, but motherhood has made me more patient, compassionate, understanding, and loving.
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Thank you to my friend Joy for this interview. This definitely gave us some insights as to new motherhood and breastfeeding. Breastfeed your baby if you can. According to the Department of Health, breastfeeding is good for you and your baby. 🙂
Image courtesy of Joy.
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