This week, I attended two births. Both my doula clients had beautiful births and both days, I left the office during the workday to be with them yet was home in time for bed and a full night's sleep. Anyone who does birth work will recognize how rarely this happens, especially twice in a row, and as I sit hanging out with my toddler today, well-rested and no longer on call, I am thanking the universe for her generosity.
Pregnancy has definitely thrown a wrench in my work in recent months and drastically changed the course of my fall plans. As I mentioned in my first post here, this second pregnancy was planned, but still arrived sooner than expected, so we've had to make some minor adjustments to our family's timeline. And while working for myself means that I get to call the shots in terms of how I manage my workload, the particular line of work I'm in -- wholly unpredictable and physically taxing -- makes working while pregnant a lot trickier this time than it was when I had a 9 to 5 office job in my first pregnancy two years ago.
Last night, I came home from the second birth utterly exhausted, which surprised me. Sure, I'd been either at the office or with my client since 8 that morning, but still -- a 13 hour day? That's nothing. Or, at least, it used to be nothing, back before I was gestating.
My kiddo went to bed late last night, but got up at her usual time this morning, so I wasn't sure how the day would go. We had breakfast, then went out for a neighborhood walk. We stopped at some local shops, grabbed a snack, and came home. I was tired, she was tired, and I was calling an early naptime. Normally, her mid-day nap is when I get things done for myself, whether it be dishes, writing, or catching up on emails, but today I decided to join her instead. Two and a half hours later, we both woke up rested and in good spirits and it was clear I'd made the right call.
One of the toughest things about this pregnancy so far is remembering to take care of myself. With a demanding (yet amazing) job and an extremely active toddler, it's easy to forget that I'm working all the time. Even when I'm relaxing on the couch, my body is hard at work. I've been actively working on my nutrition in the past week and can already see a difference in my energy levels. Now I need to start focusing on sleep, excersise, and finding balance. I don't intend to stop working for a couple of more months, but it's clear I need to improve on my self-care habits so I can continue to take care of myself and my clients to the level we all deserve.
How did you find work/life balance while pregnant? If your job was physically or emotionally taxing, what sorts of adjustments did you have to make in order to take care of yourself while continuing to do your job well?