What Flex Work Means for New Moms

For new mothers, juggling the responsibilities of a career and a brand-new bundle of joy can seem next to impossible. New moms who are forced to go back to the office mere weeks after leaving the birthing suite often need to work quickly to establish a delicate and critical balance between motherhood and their career. Remote work is the answer.

Remote work is, by design, flexible. It gives mom a chance to further her career and earn a living, while devoting much-needed attention to the baby. This inherent flexibility is a game-changer for a new mom’s mental health, her professional relationships, the family dynamic and so much more. Here’s a closer look at what flex work means for new moms.

A chance to recuperate, body and mind

While pregnancy is a beautiful process, it’s also a traumatic one. While a new mom’s priority will always center around caring for her new child, she needs to take care of herself, too. A new mom needs to recuperate from the trauma of pregnancy, as well as deal with private struggles like postpartum depression or any complications that may have stemmed from the pregnancy.

Most new moms can’t afford to take additional time off from work—and heading back to the office isn’t anyone’s idea of recuperating. For moms who need to return to work soon after having a baby, remote work offers a chance to earn a living and further a career, all while allowing time for much-needed recuperation of the body and mind.

Remote workers enjoy so many perks, like cutting out the time and stress of a daily commute, working more flexible hours and so much more. Flex work gives back more hours of the day to new moms—valuable time for self-care.

Better balance for work and (new) life

Newborns are too young for childcare—they need mom’s full attention during their critical first moments of life and development. Many women are in important positions, though, and they can’t afford to take extended time away from their jobs. They may need to provide direction to subordinates, contractors or companies, or they may need to be present for critical moments of a big project.

Remote work makes it possible for new moms to continue working like they would in the office, but it also lets them be moms. It’s up to new mothers to embrace the benefits of remote work and take the time to establish clear boundaries that separate work from motherhood. Some strategies include:

  • Try to stick to a schedule. While life with a new baby can be unpredictable, try to set a schedule and stick to it. Remember, though, that you don’t need to be available and online all the time. Make sure your team knows exactly when they can reach you, so your time is yours outside of work.
  • Use communication tools. Communication tools built-in to apps like Slack can indicate availability, so your team members understand when they can get in touch with you. Other apps like Google Calendar can automatically decline events outside your schedule. Take advantage of these tools to indicate your online and offline hours.
  • Take breaks with the baby. New moms need to balance work and life by taking frequent breaks throughout the day to pay full attention to their baby. A few minutes away from a desk or computer helps you get personal tasks done, while giving your brain a chance to recharge.

Flex workers who find balance often report being more productive, both in their career and their personal lives. Without the daily grind of getting ready, commuting, chatting in the office and other things that take up time, it’s possible for a new mom to spend more time doing things that are meaningful.

The ability to transition into motherhood

The first few months in a baby’s life are critical when it comes to establishing a relationship between mother and child. It’s important for moms to be present with the new baby as much as possible for breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact and bonding with their newborn. Remote work gives new moms a chance to stay at home with the baby and devote critical attention to them.

At the same time, becoming a mother is a huge transition. It can up-end just about any routine or standard in a woman’s life. Adjusting to motherhood may take longer than you think, and the time you need differs from person to person. By swapping the in-office job for flex work at home, new moms have more time to successfully navigate this adjustment period and settle into motherhood.

While it’s impossible to avoid the chaos that accompanies bringing home a new bundle of joy, flex work makes it simpler to adapt and adjust as new routines develop.

An opportunity to focus on the baby

Newborns need tons of attention, especially from their mothers. From feeding to changing, a new mom’s job is round-the-clock. Babies born with complications—including preemies with specific medical needs—require an even greater level of care.

Flex work gives moms more agency over how they divide up their time in their everyday life. Now, mom has more control over when she’s on the clock in the virtual “office,” giving her the time she needs to focus on what’s most important: caring for the new baby.

Flex work is good for families

Flex work isn’t just good for new moms and their babies—it’s good for the whole family. After all, less stress on a new mom eases stress on partners, too. Without the stress of the daily commute, new moms who work remote have more time to spend with the whole family. They have more energy to spend on partners and children, strengthening family bonds.

At the end of the workday, flex work is all about giving people the freedom to do their best work around the schedule that’s most conducive to their lifestyle—and that’s exactly what new mothers need. It’s not only an opportunity for working women to maintain their professional identity; it’s an opportunity to give mothers the best of both family and career.

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