The pressures of being a working mother are numerous and can impact both personal and professional aspects of life.
Being a mother is a full-time job in itself, and balancing the responsibilities of work and motherhood can be a challenging and overwhelming experience.
Add in other ‘roles’, such as being a wife, the pressures continue to build.
In this blog, we will explore some of the pressures of being a working mother and provide tips on how to manage them effectively.
The Pressures and How to Manage Them
1. Balancing work and family
The biggest pressure of being a working mother is balancing your work and family responsibilities. It can be difficult to juggle the demands of a job with the needs of children, such as school drop-offs and pickups, doctor’s appointments, and extracurricular activities.
The key is to prioritise and schedule tasks effectively, communicate openly with your employer about your needs, and seek support from your partner, family, friends, or childcare providers when necessary.
A useful and visual method could be a weekly schedule that can be added to a white board in a focal point. All household members can add to the calendar showing their commitments.
The board could also be used to keep a shopping list, birthdays that are coming up or events that need to be prepared for to help with advanced planning.
Something along the lines of the below from Amazon could work well:
As a working mother, you may experience feelings of guilt for not spending enough time with your children, or missing important milestones. It can be worse if you travel as part of your job.
It’s important to recognize that these feelings are normal and to practice self-compassion. You are working to provide for your family, and doing a great job of it.
As your children grow up there will be more times when they do more without you. It can be comforting to know they will be ok and as long as you are there for the big stuff (that you plan around) the smaller things will be ok.
It’s also helpful when you return, or are able, to create quality time with your children, such as reading a book together before bed or having a family game night. They can tell you all about what you missed and you can enjoy their storytelling.
3. Lack of time for self-care
As a working mother, finding time for your own self-care can be challenging, or feel impossible. However, self-care is crucial for mental and physical health.
Make time for activities that make you feel good, such as exercise, reading, or spending time with friends. This may be able to be combined with another activity such as a playdate for the children.
It’s also essential to prioritise sleep, healthy eating, and stress management techniques like meditation or yoga.
Overall, it is important to get some headspace from the day to day responsibilities. To give yourself a boost, a recharge and a time out.
Make a list of things you can do to grab that time for you and use it to plan how you can built that into your schedule.
4. Judgment and stigma
Unfortunately, there is still a stigma attached to being a working mother, with some people believing that mothers should stay at home with their children.
I had this very topic brought up to me via the comment ‘You shouldn’t have kids if you can’t be at home to look after them’ when I was pregnant. Ironically, it came from a childminder who would be out of business if everyone took her advice!
This can lead to feelings of judgement or insecurity, but it’s essential to remember that every family is different and there is no one right way to raise children.
Focus on what works for you and your family and don’t let outside judgement affect your choices. This is your life, you deserve to get out of it what you want.
Remember, if your child sees you as a happy parent, who is successful in their career, it will build a positive mindset towards the world of work and all that it brings.
5. Career progression
Finally, as a working mother, you may feel pressure to balance your career aspirations with family responsibilities.
It’s important to communicate with your employer about your career goals and explore flexible work arrangements or part-time work options that can allow you to maintain your career while also prioritising your family.
And don’t think that you should not have a career because you are a mother. As long as you and your employer are clear on the boundaries and it is acceptable to all, the sky’s the limit!
Being a working mother can be a challenging and overwhelming experience, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone.
There are bound to be women in the same situation as you at work, maybe some of them have set up a networking group or you could suggest it, for additional support.
Balancing work and family responsibilities, managing guilt, finding time for self-care, dealing with judgement and stigma, and maintaining career progression can be challenging.
By prioritising and communicating effectively, seeking support, and practising self-compassion, you can, as a working mother, manage these pressures and thrive both personally and professionally.
If you want help to work through this and set the foundations you need to thrive, contact me here.
You are not alone.
Your happiness and self fulfilment matters x