According to a Forbes article entitled, The Pressure Is Real For Working Mothers, “while only 2% of working women plan to leave the workforce for family reasons, 43% of highly qualified women opt-out or do not return to their pre-maternity roles post-baby. Millennial mothers, in particular, reported feeling overwhelmed and unsupported during the transition from motherhood to working mother.“
The pressure for working mothers is high
The challenge is not just in coping with a new-born for working mothers. As children grow, entering school and getting involved in extra-curricular activities, so does the pressure to be there and do it all – chauffeuring multiple children to different activities, helping with homework, attending school events, hosting parties – the list is endless. Furthermore, as more women delay motherhood longer than did previous generations, many are also faced with caring not just for young children but also for aging parents simultaneously.
Check out the following recommendations to help working mothers reduce some of the pressures of work and family.
Running your family like a business
A Harvard Business Review article entitled How working parents can feel less overwhelmed and more in control suggests running a family like a business, emphasizing the need to know your end game. The premise is that successful organizations, and managers, have a clear view of where they want to be and a few strategic goals that if met spell success. Working mothers can similarly define their work/ familial “successes” in their own way. For example, establishing a goal to “be an effective manager to my team at work while teaming with my partner to raise healthy, happy kids” or “to earn enough to save for college tuitions while still taking a family vacation each year.” Once the goals are clear, invest your time accordingly so you can spend energy on things
Combine and conquer
Another tip suggested in, Women with big jobs and big families: Balancing really isn’t that hard can be paraphrased as “combine and conquer.” Especially in large families, coordinating each child’s individual extra-curricular activities can be more than a full-time job. To the greatest extent possible, try to have all your kids involved in the same activity(
For working mothers, admitting the need for and enlisting help is healthy, not a sign of weakness or inability to do it all. All working parents share the same challenges. Cultivate your network and don’t be afraid to use it. For example,
- Carpooling with parents whose children are in the same activities as yours, pre-arranging a process with other parents to provide coverage in situations where you get delayed at work or have an emergency can relieve pressure and avoid last minute scrambling.
- Leverage family, if they are lucky to live nearby. This not only gives grandparents or aunts and uncles more chance to bond with your family but reduces stress and cost of relying on babysitters or other third parties.
- If you can afford outside help, use it. It doesn’t have to be a fulltime live-in nanny. Concierge services can be true cost-effective time savers, helping with anything from running errands, making appointments or reservations, being onsite to monitor workers or repair service, or organizing seemingly out of control tasks. Similarly, bringing services to the house, such as a trainer, masseuse, dog groomer, or car wash, saves travel time and allows you to be home with the children while it all gets done.
- Build a strong team at work. Not only will you be able to delegate, reduce follow-up and eliminate overtime or after-hours “crises” but you will be empowering your staff and other working mothers to grow while mentoring others who may soon face the same work-family challenges you are dealing with.
- Finally, don’t ditch Date Night. If you feel like you are spread too thin and want to spend every possible spare minute with your children remember the importance of also spending time with your partner. Don’t sacrifice some alone time. Your family time will be that much better for it.
Let us be your extra hands!