Author Topic: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?  (Read 1691 times)

dinkhelpneeded

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Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« on: August 02, 2017, 05:14:01 PM »
I used to love my job, and on paper things are great, and its a highly visible, rewarding project I am working on. However I feel like sinking into the ground and disappearing. I am shirking work, moving it around and generally feeling stuck. I used to be a high performer. I have a masters degree and 6+ years of work experience, I am in general a highly independent individual and can do mostly everything I put my mind to.

I have felt this way (no motivation) since the baby came around (1 year ago) - I moved to a new role thinking that would help, but no, nothing. Company is great, pay is good, flexible but I feel shitty. I also attribute it to us being frugal all these years and knowing that we will be OK on one income.

I described it to my husband as "I feel like I want to be taken care of" and "I want to sleep". I tried outsourcing many tasks but in general it feels unhappy and some of those tasks I do feel like I want to do them "as a mom". I also get this sense that I dont fit well with the "corporate structure" and maybe I will be better off on my own as self employed or a complete career change. I also understand that the toddler ages coming up my son will be more challenging and I will probably need to rely on continuing daycare (even if I quit my job).

I dont see myself doing "nothing", but I definitely am confused. I've been dragging my feet at my job for a year now, and I can hang on for longer, but I want to make some changes quick.

  • Its a first world problem I get it, but i would like to know if anyone else has felt this way?
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okits

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 11:35:47 PM »
When you say "I want to sleep" is that because you get inadequate sleep (quality/quantity) or because you feel tired and demotivated all the time?
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gooki

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2017, 02:30:59 AM »
As a new dad, my solution was to sleep on the sofa at work, and accept my priorities in life have changed.
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2Cent

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2017, 03:51:26 AM »
After delivery your hormones will be crazy for more than a year. It should slowly start coming back to normal. Make sure you get sleep, exercise and eat healthy. Also, maybe part time work is a good option. My SIL did this and loved it. It was for her the right balance between being around adults at work, and staying with the kids.

But be careful you don't overload. Check yourself for symptoms of burn-out.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2017, 11:23:15 AM »
It is perfectly normal to have your priorities shift after having children. Many women find that what was once super important to them becomes less important, or even annoying or harmful, after they have children. Family often takes precedence over career aspirations, even for women who were highly driven in their careers prior to pregnancy/parenthood. I once saw a study that showed that the majority of women do not actually prefer or want to work full time after having kids...they want part time work. This is probably reflective of those shifting priorities and values. What you are describing seems like it is spot on for many people.

I went through something similar after I lost my first pregnancy and the feelings continued through my successful pregnancy with my first. Before we were trying to conceive, I was that superstar employee who always gave 200% and was extremely committed to my job. I felt really like I was doing valuable work even though it was quite stressful and I was overworked. After I lost my first, I quickly began to see things with a new perspective. Why the heck was I sitting in a cube all day doing work that made other people look good? Why was I so stressed about projects I wouldn’t get credit for but I was responsible for? Why the hell was I wasting most of my life getting paid mediocre money to stress out about things that seriously will not matter in the long run? I began to resent that my job made me stressed, anxious, tired, and run down…it didn’t feel worth it anymore because my priorities had shifted. What used to be badges of honor I was proud of (my long hours, my meticulousness, my promotions and career progression, my ability to always be the “go to” person for my department and team) all of a sudden became liabilities, things that were holding me back from having a family oriented life. My health, ability to have a baby and be with my family became my priority. Before that, there was nothing to really conflict with my job/career. After, I felt like I had to choose.

At the end of the day we decided I would be a SAHM and do very part time work, just to keep a foot in the workforce and my resume current. The plan is to go back to full time, enjoyable and rewarding work once all out kiddos are in elementary school (so we are talking a solid 8 years out of the full time workforce). I'm almost 2 years in, with another kid on the way, and the arrangement has been perfect for our family. I feel like I get to prioritize my health and my family, but I also get to make a little money and stay active in my field. It’s a win win for us.

dinkhelpneeded

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2017, 12:28:04 PM »
When you say "I want to sleep" is that because you get inadequate sleep (quality/quantity) or because you feel tired and demotivated all the time?

Yes lack of sleep and we are constantly sick (with daycare bugs) and such. Its been 3 months of continuous back to back sickness and I just cant really function anymore.

SisterX

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2017, 12:52:53 PM »
I've been feeling this way for the past few months, just since getting pregnant. I'm once again realizing how many other super important things there are in my life, and why am I bending over backwards for a relatively small paycheck and a job that's making our lives way more complex than it needs to be?

Current plan is to quit when this baby arrives, and work on my sideline more while I'm home. I can always get another job later down the road, we can thrive on just my husband's income, and babies are only that small for a short period of time. Thankfully. Quitting will allow me to prioritize sleep and everything else that's important after a baby is born.

gluskap

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2017, 12:53:29 PM »
Yes I totally feel like this and I agree it was right after the birth of my daughter.  The first year is really hard.  I almost thought about being a SAHM but in the end I didn't really want that either.  What I really want is a good paying part time job but it seems that in my career that doesn't really exist.  So I've resigned myself to not being the best parent or the best worker I could be if I was just doing one or the other and hopefully I will just need to work for another few years and then retire.  The only thing is I don't think we'll realistically be able to retire until another 10 years and by then my daughter will be mostly grown up.  So we'll see...we might have another kid so at least I will be more there for the second one and there's always a chance if we really ramp up our savings and the market does well that I can retire and have more time with family.

But to answer your question, it does get better.  Especially after you get more sleep.  It's okay to have different priorities and "having it all" is just not that realistic.  But you will find a balance that you are happy with and that's what's important.

okits

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2017, 12:55:17 PM »
When you say "I want to sleep" is that because you get inadequate sleep (quality/quantity) or because you feel tired and demotivated all the time?

Yes lack of sleep and we are constantly sick (with daycare bugs) and such. Its been 3 months of continuous back to back sickness and I just cant really function anymore.

Our second child is just over a year old, so memories of bad sleep deprivation are pretty fresh.  I just could not think straight and my emotions and judgment were affected.  (I get more sleep now, so I'm not usually at the point of passing out from fatigue, though still tired.  Baby still gets up once a night, toddler 0-3x a night but can get herself back to sleep sometimes.)

I suggest you pay for a night nurse for a week (yes, it's expensive.  But the next time you sleep eight hours uninterrupted you will feel like a million bucks.)  Or, if there's no medical reason against it, try different approaches to getting your baby to sleep more (not necessarily hardcore sleep training; could be sleep hygiene practices, for instance). Once you're not desperate from exhaustion you'll have a more normal frame of mind to consider your lack of enthusiasm for your job.  I really think lack of sleep is a really powerful influence post-baby; it's a risk factor for post-partum depression and I had a hard time feeling interested or motivated in anything when I was always running on fumes.  It's a suboptimal place from which to be making big decisions.
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mm1970

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2017, 02:44:05 PM »
I would say that your problem is that ... you are highly normal.

Sleep is a big problem.  I didn't sleep enough the first 18 mos to 2 years with both kids.  My output dropped by 1/3 both times.  Your memory goes.  You simply cannot do as much as you could.

I remember telling a friend at work once "the LAST time you ever want to take a new job is right after you have a baby".  She was offended that I would "limit myself and others that way", but I just looked at her and said "come talk to me when you are exhausted, hormonal, up many times a night, and spend breaks pumping". 

It's really a time to go on auto-pilot.

The good thing though (for me anyway), is that it gets better.  Around age 2, the hormones start to wear off.  Around age 4, I started feeling like my old self again.  (My kids are 6 years apart, oy, so I got to do that whole process all over again).

(I'm a type-A, go-getter, engineer.  I get it.  Auto-pilot.  Even with auto-pilot, there were times when I got very little done.)

mm1970

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2017, 02:48:07 PM »
When you say "I want to sleep" is that because you get inadequate sleep (quality/quantity) or because you feel tired and demotivated all the time?

Yes lack of sleep and we are constantly sick (with daycare bugs) and such. Its been 3 months of continuous back to back sickness and I just cant really function anymore.

Oooh, I feel you there.  Kid #1 born in March.  From November 1 to March 31 that first winter, I was sick constantly.  I was healthy for *maybe* 30 days total in 5 months.  I was working FT.

Kid #2, born in July. I learned my lesson and cut my hours to 32/week for the first year.  That was great.  He was in a smaller daycare, and was healthier.  Alas, years 2-5 he got sick a lot more (he's 5 now).  His daycare got larger, then preschool (even more kids).

If it makes you feel any better, kid #1, sick constantly as a baby...that kid NEVER gets sick.  He's 11.  It's extremely rare for something to take him out.

FireHiker

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2017, 03:24:35 PM »
Oh the daycare germs are the worst that first year. I remember the back to back sicknesses for months. Throw that on top of sleep deprivation, and it's hard. I was fortunate that I had been with my company for several years, so I was able to coast through the first couple years until we were healthier and I was getting more sleep. You are definitely not alone in feeling this way.

lizzzi

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2017, 03:33:41 PM »
The OP sounds just as normal as normal can be. Having a little one at home is a full-time...more than full-time...exhausting job. It isn't "doing nothing." I think society does women a disservice by not acknowledging that being an SAHM is probably harder than going  out to do  paid employment in the workforce. And combining motherhood with a full-time job can do you in. I'm not saying the OP should quit her job and stay home...unless they can afford it and she wants to. Or maybe the OP can go part-time, or leave the little one in daycare a little more...whatever works for her. But the lack of motivation at work and the fatigue is just par for the course, IMHO.

And remember--little ones don't stay little very long. They grow up in an eye blink, and you will wonder where the years went. So I hope the OP can find a good balance that allows her to enjoy both her job, her child, and reasonably good health and wellness for herself...so she will look back on these years with happiness. All the best.


Bliss

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2017, 06:57:39 AM »
After delivery your hormones will be crazy for more than a year.

Around age 2, the hormones start to wear off. 

As a SAHM with an 8 month old, I'm curious about these two statements. I don't feel "hormonal" at all and am wondering if these hormones are more stress-related than baby-making related. I tend to hear these types of statements more from moms who work outside the house.

I can't even imagine trying to work a job outside the home with an infant. Kudos to you, dinkhelpneeded, and please go gentle on yourself!

2Cent

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2017, 08:22:59 AM »
After delivery your hormones will be crazy for more than a year.

Around age 2, the hormones start to wear off. 

As a SAHM with an 8 month old, I'm curious about these two statements. I don't feel "hormonal" at all and am wondering if these hormones are more stress-related than baby-making related. I tend to hear these types of statements more from moms who work outside the house.

I can't even imagine trying to work a job outside the home with an infant. Kudos to you, dinkhelpneeded, and please go gentle on yourself!
It will differ per person ofcourse. Here is a more scientific description: http://www.hotzehwc.com/2011/07/how-childbirth-affects-hormones-estrogen-dominan/
It seems after birth you become less able to deal with stress. (Cortisol released more when you are stressed, and causes a lot of health issues.) So if you don't have much stress, I suppose you'll not notice the change so much.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2017, 10:32:54 AM »
After delivery your hormones will be crazy for more than a year.

Around age 2, the hormones start to wear off. 

As a SAHM with an 8 month old, I'm curious about these two statements. I don't feel "hormonal" at all and am wondering if these hormones are more stress-related than baby-making related. I tend to hear these types of statements more from moms who work outside the house.

For me, I didnít feel hormonal or even sleep deprived at 8mo postpartum (we got insanely lucky with a great sleeper in our first baby). But my hormones were definitely still out of whack from birth and breastfeeding, as evidenced by the fact that my periods were far more erratic than usual until about 16mo postpartum. At first I appeared to get them right back like clockwork Ė 6.5mo I got my first one (3mo after I stopped breastfeeding), then I had a few that were on a pretty predictable 30-32 day cycle so I thought I was in the clear and back to my old self. But after about 4 cycles, my body went nuts for the following 3-4 cycles with abnormally long/heavy periods, cycles that were way too long for me, followed by shorter ones, etc. They were so unusual, I even had to go in for an ultrasound to make sure I didnít have fibroids or something. Nope Ė just my body still being funky from having a baby a year before. My midwife said its totally normal for womenís bodies to remain in hormonal flux for a solid year after giving birth, especially if they breastfeed for a few months or more.

okits

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2017, 10:59:31 AM »
After delivery your hormones will be crazy for more than a year.

Around age 2, the hormones start to wear off. 

As a SAHM with an 8 month old, I'm curious about these two statements. I don't feel "hormonal" at all and am wondering if these hormones are more stress-related than baby-making related. I tend to hear these types of statements more from moms who work outside the house.

I can't even imagine trying to work a job outside the home with an infant. Kudos to you, dinkhelpneeded, and please go gentle on yourself!

I think there's a wide range of individual experience.  I recently went through a brutal hormonal shift when my baby was 13 months and I followed his pediatrician's advice to reduce breastfeeding to 4x/24 hrs.  I felt really emotionally terrible for nearly a week, had a crazy heavy period, ovulated, then things evened out a bit (where I'm at, now)...  But I haven't had a period, since (one missed month).  I was surprised, since he was over a year old I didn't think I'd get hit so hard with port-partum/BF hormonal changes (especially since we were just reducing BF, not weaning).  Maybe stress was a factor but it wasn't job stress as I'm still at home with bub.
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dinkhelpneeded

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2017, 01:06:55 PM »
Thank you, thank you! I was dreaming up giving in my resignation just so I could go home and crash. I had a fever last night. I have decided that I will coast wrt the job, I have already outsourced as much as I can with house hold stuff (cleaners, folding laundry etc). I also have two auto immune diseases, that make me even more run down than usual.
From the above posts, I made a quick list for myself:
- night nurse (my husband and I have been alternating nights so we each get a good 6-7 hours of sleep but when sickness hits this takes a toll).
- I lost all my pregnancy weight in the first month post baby and then gained it all back six months post baby. Its so weird, and I probably need to get my thyroid tested.
- I really need to prioritize my health (and not just the baby). I know this in theory but execution is failing.
- I probably need to track my periods

I cant imagine having another kid and still working, that just seems like insanity at this point. Like "little_brown_dog" said below I do think my priorities have shifted - I do value my health and our family's collective health and wellness over the paycheck I bring in or a certain title. I do like the "adult interaction" and feeling of doing something that results in the growth of the company.

How do women find the motivation to actually grow in their careers post baby? Who are these women?

lizzzi

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2017, 03:32:15 PM »
Well, you do start to think about how you're going to pay for their college...not to mention all the stuff they like to do growing up...horses, whatever...and you'll need to find the extra money for travel to and from the grandparents, if they're not local. It gives you lots of motivation to build up your career...and your paycheck. : D

ysette9

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2017, 04:05:29 PM »
Quote
How do women find the motivation to actually grow in their careers post baby? Who are these women?

I'd advise you to just take a step back and be kind to yourself. The first year+ is REALLY REALLY REALLY hard. As in, the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Harder than chemical engineering at a top-rated university, harder than leaving my home and friends and family for a year to be a foreign exchange student in a country where I didn't speak the language, harder than working full-time while doing a master's at a top-rated university. If you aren't sleeping well yet than you are still full in the thick of the really rough patch and just need to accept that everything except for the core basics of staying alive and functioning go to the back burner for now.

I, too was on total auto-pilot for the first year after I went back to work. Thankfully I had a wonderful boss who thought I walked on water, but I was mostly worthless at that point.

The other thing is that priorities really do change. I think it is unfair or at least incomplete to describe that as something that happens to women. It happens to parents. My husband and I used to have conversations about our careers and advancing. Now he says bluntly that he just wants to stick with what he's got, stash the money away, and come home to play with us. Management is no longer on his wish list for career progression. As for me, my career did gain back some of its former luster and satisfaction. I actually struggle mightily with this right now about how far to push the career. The thing is, you've just squeezed in this second really important priority into your life that competes for time, attention, and resources. I don't know what the answer is still, but I know that family is way high up on my list and the career will progress so far as it allows me to also be home when I want.

It might just be major sleep deprivation speaking, but I wonder if you should go to your doctor and get screened. Perhaps there is another underlying health situation that could be addressed, perhaps you have post-partum depression, or maybe you just really need sleep. I am dreadful without enough sleep and I got a baby who couldn't figure out how to sleep. At 9 months she was still waking up 5+ times a night to scream. I can't even describe to you what a disaster I was. Everything in life suffers as a result. Just focus on doing what you can to make you healthy and well and let the career stuff settle itself out later. It really is way down on the priority list at this point.
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milliemchi

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2017, 09:16:59 PM »
I had a very strong and sudden demotivational shock after #1 was born. Went from 'superstar' to really not giving a f*ck as soon as maternity leave was over. Sleep deprivation had a lot to do with it, but just generally, you care about your kids more than you care about work, then you spend more time at work than you do with your kids - that's just wrong. Now I have a 12yo and a 5yo and I've been back to caring about work for about 3 years or so already. Back to 'superstar' performance, so things get back to normal, if that's what you want to call it. In fact, I am sitting here at home right now making plans for how to dial down the enthusiasm and carve out more time for myself and family.

As for bugs... My theory is that the kids need to go through a number N of germs to build up their immune system, and it's just a matter of how those illnesses are distributed. Usually it starts when they enter daycare, because they finally get exposed to bugs, and they will be sick N times, and then they're done, because they've had them all. Or you can keep them home and healthy and then they will get sick at 5 when they start kindergarten. You will pay your dues either way. But - if you are constantly sick with your kid, then something's wrong, and you know where to start - get some sleep. We paid for both a nanny and daycare at one point (it was actually less crazy than it sounds), but it paid big dividends healthwise.  Also, if you have some sick leave left, consider talking to your doctor about fatigue or whatever and see if they can get you a week or so off work to recover. When they write a letter to the employer, they don't need to put the diagnosis on it, they just need to say that you need time off. Then use that time to recover: kid to daycare, mom to sleep.

Acorns

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2017, 11:49:32 AM »
What you are feeling are totally normal and even necessary for the survival of the species! The human race could not be perpetuated if babies didn't become their mom's #1 priority. I worked f/t for my first child's first year and I was stressed out and sick pretty much the whole time (daycare germs are the WORST!), and I'm pretty sure I had postpartum anxiety. It is just not biologically "normal" for baby and mom to be separated for 12 hours a day. I was already planning on quitting, and when I got pregnant again before my first child was 1 y/o, I knew we could not continue the crazy, exhausting lifestyle. I do miss having two paychecks in our household, but I still work part time and I might work a little more once all the kids are school age. I really found that could couldn't be both the employee I wanted to be, and the mom I wanted to be, and in the long run, my time with my kids is way more important than any paycheck or professional accolades I could earn.

If you can possibly cut back while your kid(s) are young, I would suggest doing that. Otherwise be gentle with yourself and lower your expectations for professional performance. Also, most families I have know where both parents successfully and happily work f/t have in home childcare, either a nanny or au pair. Not having the young children in daycare really helps cut down on illness, and not having to get the kids up and fed and out the door with all their paraphernalia is much less stressful for everyone.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 12:02:37 PM by Acorns »

mm1970

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2017, 03:35:17 PM »
After delivery your hormones will be crazy for more than a year.

Around age 2, the hormones start to wear off. 

As a SAHM with an 8 month old, I'm curious about these two statements. I don't feel "hormonal" at all and am wondering if these hormones are more stress-related than baby-making related. I tend to hear these types of statements more from moms who work outside the house.

I can't even imagine trying to work a job outside the home with an infant. Kudos to you, dinkhelpneeded, and please go gentle on yourself!
Stress, lack of sleep, poor memory - I should say, for me, the hormones wore off about 6 months after I stopped nursing (so, at around 15-18 months), and then it was 18 mos-2 years, or thereabouts, where I was finally sleeping.

ABC123

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2017, 03:38:05 PM »
My boys each started daycare and I went back to work at 12 weeks.  I was blessed with very good sleepers and extremely healthy kids, so I feel pretty rested and they very rarely get sick at daycare.  I also have a great boss who allows a lot of flexibility.  That said, I work an office job and have no desire to move up.   When I leave the office, I don't think about it again till the next morning.  I have many times desired to give it up and stay home with the kids, but financially we can't do it.  Sounds like you would be ok without your income, so maybe put some thought into taking a break?  If you quit can you go back in a few years? Would an extended break cause difficulty in going back?

mm1970

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2017, 03:39:45 PM »
Quote
How do women find the motivation to actually grow in their careers post baby? Who are these women?

I'd advise you to just take a step back and be kind to yourself. The first year+ is REALLY REALLY REALLY hard. As in, the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Harder than chemical engineering at a top-rated university, harder than leaving my home and friends and family for a year to be a foreign exchange student in a country where I didn't speak the language, harder than working full-time while doing a master's at a top-rated university. If you aren't sleeping well yet than you are still full in the thick of the really rough patch and just need to accept that everything except for the core basics of staying alive and functioning go to the back burner for now.

I, too was on total auto-pilot for the first year after I went back to work. Thankfully I had a wonderful boss who thought I walked on water, but I was mostly worthless at that point.

The other thing is that priorities really do change. I think it is unfair or at least incomplete to describe that as something that happens to women. It happens to parents. My husband and I used to have conversations about our careers and advancing. Now he says bluntly that he just wants to stick with what he's got, stash the money away, and come home to play with us. Management is no longer on his wish list for career progression. As for me, my career did gain back some of its former luster and satisfaction. I actually struggle mightily with this right now about how far to push the career. The thing is, you've just squeezed in this second really important priority into your life that competes for time, attention, and resources. I don't know what the answer is still, but I know that family is way high up on my list and the career will progress so far as it allows me to also be home when I want.

It might just be major sleep deprivation speaking, but I wonder if you should go to your doctor and get screened. Perhaps there is another underlying health situation that could be addressed, perhaps you have post-partum depression, or maybe you just really need sleep. I am dreadful without enough sleep and I got a baby who couldn't figure out how to sleep. At 9 months she was still waking up 5+ times a night to scream. I can't even describe to you what a disaster I was. Everything in life suffers as a result. Just focus on doing what you can to make you healthy and well and let the career stuff settle itself out later. It really is way down on the priority list at this point.
This is all really true for me too. (Also a chem e!)

My husband also is over the "work work work".  He works hard, but he has no desire to do overtime and bring home the big bucks and go into management.

Luckily?? My company hit hard times and stopped giving raises (while hiring on new folks at market rate), so...I just figured it's a good time for me to coast, and bug out when my kid has baseball practice or swim lessons.  See ya tomorrow!

milliemchi

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2017, 09:12:54 PM »
I really found that could couldn't be both the employee I wanted to be, and the mom I wanted to be, and in the long run, my time with my kids is way more important than any paycheck or professional accolades I could earn.

This was what I found too. I was totally dismayed at the fact that I couldn't function at the level I expected myself to function. I talked to a therapist who did not have kids, but had many 'new mom' clients, and she said all of them were dismayed by the fact that they have to be either a crappy employee or a crappy mother. This made me feel much better, to see that it's not just me, but for a long time I was still mad at and offended by a society that makes me choose. The developed world outside US allows women more room to excel.

I stuck it out because I had no choice, and things are now much better. I always liked what I do, and I always took pride in doing things better than others, and I'm back there. Kids still need a lot of support, e.g., homework, but it's so much easier now. Mind you, we consciously underschedule our kids, and I sit back and stare in wonder at our many friends who both work and have kids in 3+ activities each. I have no idea how they do it, and I don't care. My mom is critical of course, she thinks we're not giving our kids the life, experience, and opportunities that she gave me and my brother (which is true), but she doesn't live my life and can't relate, so it's in one ear, out the other.

"It gets better."

kimmarg

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2017, 09:22:06 PM »
After delivery your hormones will be crazy for more than a year.

Around age 2, the hormones start to wear off. 

As a SAHM with an 8 month old, I'm curious about these two statements. I don't feel "hormonal" at all and am wondering if these hormones are more stress-related than baby-making related. I tend to hear these types of statements more from moms who work outside the house.

I can't even imagine trying to work a job outside the home with an infant. Kudos to you, dinkhelpneeded, and please go gentle on yourself!

I think it varies a lot by person. I stopped breastfeeding at 9.5 months for a bunch of reasons. About a month later (after a stupid long period) it's like a veil was lifted and 'old me' was back. After that I was able to shake the post partum depression over the next few months, and now DD is 20 months and I've felt 'back to normal' for a few months.   But yea I was barely functioning at work from when I went back at 3 months through a year or so. Having pushed through it and felt better now I'm glad I did. Honestly the only reason I didn't quit that first year is I was the only income so it was not an option.

milliemchi

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2017, 09:33:31 PM »
The major drive of saving and investing and hoping to retire earlyish (<65, blah) is to be able to help my daughter when her kids are born and spare her all the suffering. Women who had their mothers' help daily all did much better than I did. But we do what we have to do, and hope our kids will have a better life.

9patch

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2017, 11:10:41 AM »
It is really hard having a baby, and hormones are out of whack for so long. I would just say be kind to yourself, and focus on sleeping, eating healthy food, and exercise. Coast at your job for a while, and coast at home (don't clean, etc).

ysette9

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2017, 01:51:22 PM »
It gets better.

It gets better.

So true. The first year+ was brutal for me. Years 2 and 3 have been so joyful I constantly reflect on how blessed I am in life.
"It'll be great!"

Sister C

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #30 on: August 07, 2017, 06:10:58 PM »
When you say "I want to sleep" is that because you get inadequate sleep (quality/quantity) or because you feel tired and demotivated all the time?

Yes lack of sleep and we are constantly sick (with daycare bugs) and such. Its been 3 months of continuous back to back sickness and I just cant really function anymore.

Oh my gosh that says it all.  I have a 14 month old and we have had three bouts of gastroenteritis in the past two months!  If you are breastfeeding, things got a lot easier for me once I cut way back on nursing (and stopped pumping, hallelujah).  Baby still nurses once a day but I feel much much less nutty- in particular less anxious.  I don't cry at work any more either.*  Those post-partum/nursing hormones are for real.

I went back to work when he was four months, at a new job.  And it sucked big time.  I missed my boy so much, I worried about the quality of daycare (rightfully so as it turned out), pumping broke up my day/productivity and made me feel so emotional.  I pumped and cried for months.  I was pretty much treading water at work, and avoiding taking work home 99% of the time (even when I should have!) I told myself I would stick it out for a year because of where I am in my career.  But these feelings have not gone away, so I'm cutting back to three days/week this fall so I can spend more time with my boy.  If that's not enough I will quit my job and freelance minimally (5-6 billable hours per week). I do like a little (good quality) daycare for socialization.  But if there's ever a number two we will do a babysitter/me combo until kiddo is between 12 and 18 months.

Some unsolicited sleep advice: if you are interested in helping him/you sleep better (outside of when he's sick), I highly recommend Kim West's Good Night, Sleep Tight.  It's a pretty gentle and fairly evidence-informed approach to teaching your baby to sleep better. 

*Except one time last week where it was totally justified self-care.

waltworks

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Re: Serious lack of motivation (at work) since baby - tips?
« Reply #31 on: August 12, 2017, 01:33:11 PM »
I would quit. You said you can live on one income. You're probably spending a ton (and being sick a ton) on daycare.

So the solution seems pretty simple. There will always be jobs down the road for motivated, capable people. Your kid will only be a kid once - you'll blink and she'll be in 1st grade.

When our first was born we tried having my wife keep working but the bottom line was that her priorities (and mine) changed permanently once we had kids. There was no "hormone" issue - we just were less interested in working and more interested in being around our kids. So she quit, and I work evenings/odd hours to maximize time with the kids. Works great for us.

-W