Intern Life

Life As an Intern and New Parent: You Are Not Alone

You have just graduated and are looking to start an internship to gain more experience in your field of choice. You are bright, motivated, and eager to make a good impression. You are also a new parent.

A previous article discussed the importance of balancing your work and life. As any parent of a newborn baby can tell you, though, newborn babies tip that scale in their favor and with good reason. They require that attention to survive in an environment that is new to them.

The Question is: How does a new parent juggle the demands of their new child with the demands of a new internship?

While it may not be apparent at first, there is common ground into what you and your newborn baby are experiencing. Both of you are experiencing environments that are different than what you are used to. The anxiety and stress over new situations and environments can be overwhelming.

In such a situation, one thing you can do to relieve some of that pressure is to build and use your social support network. A social support network can include friends, family, and even coworkers. In fact, being around supportive and caring coworkers can increase your satisfaction at work. Talking to supportive coworkers during your break or at lunch can help you reduce the anxiety and stress that you are experiencing from taking care of a newborn.

Having supportive friends and family can also help you cope with your anxiety and stress. Reaching out to your friends and family for help when you are feeling overwhelmed for help with daycare, advice, and comfort can help ease some of that burden and enable you to recharge so that you can give your full attention to your baby and career. Having an unpaid internship can also place new parents in a unique situation because interns whom are also new parents have more expenses without the income to cover them.

Having a supportive spouse, partner, and even parent can ease some of the financial challenges of having an unpaid internship and a newborn baby. Additionally, if you are living in the United States, there are resources that you can find from your local government. Programs such as California CalWORKs and Florida Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) are examples of resources that you can use for support.

Both you and your newborn are experiencing new environments. It is important to note that you can visit your medical doctor if either you or your baby has difficulty in coping with your new lives together. Remember to keep your doctor appointments, to take the time to rest, and to enlist the help of your social support network. Most importantly, remember to take a step back and enjoy the time that you have with your newborn.

 

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Gilbert Franco

Gilbert Franco works and volunteers his time as an independent HR and business consultant. He is a clinical supervisor at the McAlister institute where he supervises master's level interns and trainees. He is also the author of Chronicles of Essencia: My Lost Wing and has completed his dissertation on "Productivity standards, marriage and family therapist job satisfaction and turnover intent." For further questions, email Gilbert at gilbert_franco@hotmail.com