Moms get to hear a lot of “you’re a superhero,” “Oh, we know you’ll handle everything,” and “don’t worry, it’ll all be okay.” Some of us live for the compliments because they fuel our need to be perfect. But what happens when being a ‘supermom’ isn’t enough? What happens when these compliments feel like a burden weighing us down with the unspoken expectation of perfection?
The reality of being a working mother is the guilt that comes every time you have to leave your kids to go to work. It’s the dreadful feeling of letting your team down when you miss out on work to attend a school event. And it’s the sleepless nights spent worrying about whether or not you’re doing a good enough job at both.
So, what to do when you’re at your wit’s end and feel like you’re failing at everything? Let’s check it out.
Get Help Where Needed
There’s no shame in realizing and confessing that you can’t handle it all single-handedly. Putting all the pressure of work and family on your shoulders will only lead to burnout. So, ask for help when needed without feeling guilty about it.
It could be hiring a babysitter to help with the kids when things get hectic at work or asking your partner to step in and take over parenting duties for a couple of days. Or, you could even ask a friend/family member to look after the kids. But if your kid is battling a congenital disability, it’s not wise to leave them with anyone but a nurse. Professional supervision in this situation is crucial as they’ll know what to do if an incident occurs. Likewise, they can even guide you on resources like free legal consultation to attain financial support.
Drain the Mom Guilt Before It Drains You
Society believes a mother’s job is to sacrifice everything for her family. A woman shouldn’t “abandon” her house and kids, while a man must work to “provide” for the family. How sexist can it get? It’s 2022, people, and it’s time to break these stereotypes.
Put behind the image of “perfection” sowed by society and create one of your own. You aren’t “leaving” your kids to make your future or fill your bank account. You’re working to provide a better life and future for them. So, remind yourself of your goals whenever the motherhood guilt tries to seep in.
Save Time Where You Can
Time is a luxury that working mothers don’t have. You know this if you have an urgent meeting to attend on call while also trying to get the kids ready for school. In such cases, it’s best to save time wherever you can.
Luckily, there are a ton of time-saving hacks for busy moms out there. From using meal prep on the weekends to investing in quality children’s clothing that doesn’t need too much upkeep – make use of these hacks to save time during the weekdays so you can focus on work. You can also order groceries online to save time. And when it’s time for the family vacation, consider booking an all-inclusive resort to make things easier for yourself.
Let your Manager Know
The times when you had to sneak out of work to attend a PTA meeting or had to leave before time to pick up a sick kid are now long gone. In today’s day and age, most employers are understanding and supportive of working mothers.
However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep your manager in the loop about your familial responsibilities. Inform them from the get-go that you’re a mother and might have to leave work early on some days or work from home on others. This way, they’ll be more understanding and accommodating when needed. Plus, open communication will help build a stronger working relationship between you.
Avoid Time-Wasters and Distractions
We get it. It might sound unfair and brutal to cut down on the little “me-time” you get during the day. But to be productive at work, you must avoid time-wasters and distractions. It means saying no to last-minute coffee dates, social gatherings, and other commitments that will interrupt your work time.
It also means normalizing saying no to your kids when they demand your attention while you’re trying to get work done. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore them completely. Find a sweet balance between work and family time to give your best to both.
Reconnect with Your Partner
Among all things mommy and work-related, it’s easy to lose sight of your relationship with your partner. You might not talk enough, get zero physical intimacy, or have date nights. If this sounds like your disturbed relationship, then it’s time to reconnect with your partner because this isn’t healthy.
So, make some time for a date night when the weekend rolls around. It doesn’t have to be fancy – a home-cooked meal and a movie will do just fine. You can also try and schedule a weekend getaway once in a while to rekindle the romance. If you can, arrange some childcare and head out for a weekend by yourselves. Trust us; this will work wonders for your relationship.
Up Your Organization
Did you miss another sports practice? Or you couldn’t find the car keys when you were rushing out for that work meeting? If you’re constantly struggling with organization, you’re probably pulling your hair out by now. But instead of worrying and not getting things done, start by organizing your home and work life better.
Utilize a planner to stay on track with work commitments, set reminders for yourself on your phone, and create a central place in your home where everyone can leave their things. If you like keeping things digital, plenty of organization apps can help you get your life in order.
This way, you won’t have to spend valuable time looking for things when you could use that time to get work done or spend time with your family.
It’s not an easy role you’re playing—pat yourself on the back for being so dedicated and hardworking. But also, don’t forget to cut yourself some slack occasionally. Outsource when you can, whether getting takeout for dinner or hiring a babysitter for date night. And let your personality shine through – both at work and at home. You’re a working mom, and you’re amazing.