How Listening to Podcasts as a New Working Mom Saved My Life
Find out how podcasts helped me through motherhood and returning to work, and how they really saved my life.
I started listening to podcasts in 2012 after I became a new full-time working mom. Let me tell you how podcasts not only changed my life, but also saved it!
I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THE CHALLENGES OF NEW MOTHERHOOD
I was naïve about what parenting would look like, and was not prepared for all the challenges that come with motherhood. Parenting is a legit 24/7 job! I'm sure if you're reading this, you know what these new parent conditions are like. Sure, the baby sleeps a lot at first, but not where it should or when it should. Who knew babies needed a schedule for eating and going potty? Even with the perfect baby and the most supportive and supported mom, this would be hard. If you add medical issues, unknown emotions, unsupportive partners, not being a natural at it, and the mysteries of motherhood, it's hard enough to survive the day, let alone transition to daycare and working.
RETURNING TO WORK AS A NEW MOTHER INCREASED MY SLEEP DEPRIVATION
Three months after having my first baby, I was already returning to work. My schedule was: wake up, get ready, drop off baby, commute, work, breast pump in the bathroom, work, commute, pick up baby, and home again to care for my baby until bedtime (and care for her through the night too). There was no longer time (not even a moment) to rest, catch up on missed sleep, run errands, do housework, grab some food, read a book, watch a show, go to a movie, go shopping, etc. My schedule had worn me out, I was sleep deprived, I forgot who I was before my baby was born, and I felt like I had nothing left for me.
COMMUTING TO WORK WAS LITERALLY THE ONLY TIME IN MY DAY I WAS ALONE
With rising traffic conditions, I had to commute to work longer and longer every day after dropping my daughter at daycare in the morning. But I was grateful for the commute in one specific way, because it was literally my only alone time (unless you count pumping or peeing in the bathroom). I'd either drive in silence while thinking or listen to the radio.
DUE TO SLEEP DEPRIVATION, NEW MOMS ARE THREE TIMES AS LIKELY TO GET INTO A CAR ACCIDENT
When I was listening to my local radio station while driving to work, I was often nodding off. When I caught myself "microsleeping" several times while driving, I knew I needed a fix. My car was headed in the wrong direction in a split-second several times, the rumble strip on the side of the lane jolting me awake. Sleepless nights are one of the reasons new moms have nearly three times the accident rate as the general population (Source). I was happy my baby girl wasn't in the car during my commute, but that wasn't enough to ease my mind. Because of the likelihood of a car crash, I had to find a solution, and I couldn't let my baby grow up without me. My life was at stake and the livelihood of my young daughter.
QUALITY AUDIO CONTENT ON THE ROAD WAS A LIFE SAVER
It was a Godsend to find audiobooks on Audible. I was interested enough in the books to stay awake while driving, and not just that, I learned to thoroughly enjoy the content. With my Audible subscription, I was listening to two audiobooks a month, but I still had time in-between. On a tight budget, the cost of the plan was high, and the audiobooks themselves were expensive. After that, I found podcasts with a lot of topics of interest and they were all free. I loved the free content that kept me awake, entertained me, and added value to my life. Who wouldn't?
PODCASTS SAVED MY LIFE WHILE I WAS SLEEP-DEPRIVED BEHIND THE WHEEL
By listening to podcasts, I found the cure to my safety issue, and the cure to losing myself as a commuting and full-time working new mom. Suddenly, I also had something to look forward to for myself. There was safety on the road again, every day, as podcasts continued to save my life.
SKIP FORWARD TO 2022: PODCASTS CONTINUED TO HELP ME THROUGH NOT ONLY THE PANDEMIC, BUT ALSO LIFE, EVEN THOUGH I WAS NO LONGER ON THE ROAD
During the COVID Pandemic my commute was erased and now my two kids were home, which also erased my alone time (am I right fellow parents?). I was disappearing once again. That's when I knew I had to keep podcasts in my life, so I started listening to them while I was working from home. Podcasts are my brain candy and they are: an escape into a story, the encouragement you need in your rough day, the laugh that you require, a mystery explained, gossip without the guilt, coaching through your issues, acknowledgement of the struggle, and the focus to steer your brain onto that beautifully brave and meandering path of you.
LET ME HELP YOU
This story is why I want to be a part of the creative and technical process bringing podcast content to the world. If you have a podcast, I would love to be a part of the process.