Life as a mother is hard enough without working full-time. But in a society where it’s not at all uncommon for women to go back to work as soon as their health allows them to, motherhood becomes much more of a challenge.
Apart from the fact that juggling work and parenthood is physically and mentally exhausting, we also want to do everything in our power to ensure that our child doesn’t feel neglected. This means that mothers need a well-established system that allows them to be productive throughout their working hours, and present afterward at home.
Thankfully, our society is ready for any type of personal life situation. There are multiple companies with open jobs during pregnancy and companies with various benefits during and after pregnancy.
Additionally, due to the COVID19 pandemic outbreak, remote working has become the new norm. This has resulted in a myriad of new remote work opportunities, and freelance work has become highly lucrative in our society. It’s wise for mothers to take advantage of these work-from-home jobs.
While the home office lifestyle has its blessings, especially regarding remote job opportunities for those who need it, those who don’t need it are only facing more obstacles than ever. Working mothers always had to balance work and their families, but this current situation is further blurring the line between work and home.
Physical & Mental Health
Most people are affected physically and mentally by the new norm that is remote working. Some people are even questioning their long-term professional prospects due to these changes. Having to take care of children next to a full-time job operating from your house can be daunting, and it may even make you question your career in the long run.
For example, a lot of companies are taking advantage of the fact that because people are working from home, they’re more susceptible to overtime. Others are forced to work harder and longer hours, because they are paid by the hour, and they need to produce more. Circumstances change, and these are all reflected in our health.
Additionally to the stress that comes with changes to workdays, parents also have twice as many duties as before. Most parents are forced to start homeschooling, as most schools are operating online. This means that the parents need to coexist with their children 24/7, and also lend them additional help throughout the day.
The pandemic, if anything, has shed light on the challenges working mothers face, highlighting the biggest obstacles in balancing their “two selves”. Overall, these changing challenges are affecting their mental and physical health, meaning that working mothers – like all people – have to set aside time to focus on their well-being.
As stated before, due to the pandemic, most parents are forced to do something that closely resembles homeschooling. Because most schools are now operating online, children are spending their entire days at home, in front of a computer, studying virtually. And because this shift was hard on schools as well, most schools don’t operate in the best way possible, leaving more work for the child to do after hours.
A lot of that plus work will land on the parents, as they need to help their children learn, and guide them through this process. It’s unknown when the schools will be open again. It depends on where you live, and it’s an incredibly difficult decision to make in such uncertain times.
Whether a mother’s working, staying at home, has one child or six, mom-guilt will always be a huge part of motherhood. Combine that with the added pressure of everyone judging them for “abandoning their child for work”, and you get a stressed, exhausted woman full of guilt.
Today, people expect others to be understanding and accepting of others. Everyone has ten times as many opportunities as people did ten years ago, and everyone has a right to live with these opportunities. Some women don’t have the option to stay at home with their children, while others choose to go back, because they don’t want to give up their careers.
Whichever the case, deciding to be a working mom is a decision that should be celebrated, not judged and shamed. If you are feeling guilty for your choices, it’s time to let these feelings go and focus on what really matters.
Focus on all the amazing things that your work life is contributing to your family. Nobody is perfect, and there is no right decision. But you must remain confident that your decision was the right one for you and your family. Over time, you will learn to let go of this guilt, and a huge amount of stress will be lifted off your shoulders.
There’s No Shame in Hiring a Sitter
There are plenty of people who hire help even though they spend most of their time at home. The fact that you are working from home doesn’t mean you have time to do the housework or care for the children, because you still have a 9 to 5 job. Hiring help, or asking for help from family and friends is not something to be ashamed about.
Over time it can even help you juggle your work life and your home life because they’ll be more separated. You can focus on work during working hours, becoming more productive than ever, and once working hours are over, you can drop your pen and focus on having fun with your children.
Openly Communicate With Your Manager
Becoming a working mom does not mean you will become less of an asset. It does, however, mean that changes will occur, and your manager needs a heads up about them. It’s very important to openly communicate with managers and colleagues.
Not only because open communication allows them to prepare for some setbacks, but also because by openly and honestly communicating with them, they will in return openly communicate with you.
Moms have to be more flexible in their schedules because, in case of emergency, they’re a mother first, and an employee second. But make sure to showcase that you are just as productive and motivated as ever before, if not more.
Reconnect With Your Partner
A key to a happy home lies in a happy marriage. This should be your priority, as it has the most impact on everything else in your life. If possible, schedule regular date nights, and try to be more spontaneous. Rekindle memories you made before becoming parents, reminding yourselves of the relationship you have.
However you want to make it happen, it should always remain a priority, no matter what. It not only makes your family happier but makes your entire life more balanced to know that you’re a team through thick and thin.
Plan Ahead & Stay Organized
Having lists in place for all tasks you may have is the best thing you can do for your sanity. You should keep a home list and a work list, one consisting of chores, errands, and events, the other consisting of projects due dates, etc.
This will help you stay ahead of everything. Another important thing is to never mix your home life and your work life (if you can). This means that you shouldn’t do chores and errands during working hours. Act like you’re in an office far-far away, and you can’t even see the laundry basket in the corner.
Say Yes to Less
This is a motto that the greatest entrepreneurs of our day live by. Only say yes to what you can definitely handle. If possible, even less. If you say yes to less than you can handle, you’ll have plenty of time for everything and even more time for yourself.
You need to determine how much your schedule can handle and never go over that limit. After working hours and school, you can focus on family activities and events that will highlight your home life more. Don’t feel guilty about saying no to the rest, because overbooking is much more work, and way more embarrassing.
Schedule Some You-Time
The most important thing is you, your balance, and your inner peace. Finding time for yourself, and for dealing with these is possibly the most important and most influential thing you can do in order to balance your work life and your home life.
Mothers have the bad habit of placing themselves last, and by the time they realize, they’ve completely disappeared from the equation. And for those who find it hard to set aside time for themselves, because it’s unnecessary or selfish, here’s food for thought:
If you aren’t taking care of yourself, how can you expect to take care of anyone else?
At the end of the day, mothers are built differently. If there’s someone who can tackle the incredibly difficulty every day of being a working mom, it’s the mom herself. If you remember to spend time with yourself and draw that line between work and home, you will learn the ins and outs of work-life balance in no time.