Practical Motherhood Tips for Working Women

working mom with kids

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

How can working mothers balance motherhood and work?

Working mothers face immense challenges. Presently, more mothers are joining the workforce than before. In the United States, nearly four out of ten homes have a working mother. While the stages of pregnancy and delivery are challenging and demanding both physically and emotionally, the experience of supporting another human in the process of growth is a completely different experience.

When a mother has to balance that effort with professional life, the overall experience can be overwhelming. Women experience extreme guilt and stress when they need to divide time between two completely different objectives. Hence, finding the right balance between profession and parenthood becomes even more difficult.

What are the key challenges for working mothers?

The pace of social change has been rapid in the past few decades and today, the employed mothers and homemakers are living in a different social environment than their predecessors.

working mon under pressure

Availing the maternity leave or six months paid time off is best for both the mother and the baby. Yet, sadly, only a few workplaces allow that kind of leave. Therefore, many women have no choice but to get back to work even before they are emotionally or physically ready to perform at a professional level. Today, women enjoy the freedom of economic independence, as they are equal players in the family’s income.

Research has also shown that working mothers are more productive in the workplace and are committed to their professional commitments. Yet, women often face criticism for neglecting their duties as a mother. The good news backed by research indicates that working mothers can bring up healthy and well-balanced kids without any damaging effects on the children.

Advantages and disadvantages of being a working mother

While many women perform well as working mothers, many others prefer to stay at home and look after the children. There are advantages and disadvantages of opting to work while raising children.

Advantages of being a working mother :

Working mothers are good role models who can balance home and office effectively. Children learn to accept and respect that it is okay for mothers to pursue a professional career. This also encourages broadmindedness about the role of women in society.

independent children working mom

Nurtures independence

The children of working mothers tend to be more independent and smarter.  This is because most working mothers teach their kids how to handle things on their own which enhances their overall sense of responsibility. The children can often learn to do a variety of chores like homework, packing bags for school, preparing uniforms, etc. without being dependent on anyone. This builds confidence and a strong sense of responsibility from an early age.

Better emotional health

Working mothers are less likely to suffer depression and anxiety. Therefore, children also enjoy good emotional health.  Working mothers also have a broader social circle and the children develop good social and communication skills. Overall, the life of working mothers is a lot more exciting than their non-working counterparts.

Financial support

Working mothers add to the family income. This also helps in providing children with better facilities that can result in a privileged upbringing. With women adding to the family income, additional expenditures are easily met. Families enjoy a better standard of living when both partners are working in the family.

Self-esteem and security

A working mother is an independent woman, not dependent on her husband for financial assistance. She can easily fulfil all her requirements without having to look for any kind of support from anyone. This leads to more financial, emotional and psychological security.

Disadvantages of being a working mother:

Fatigue and Stress

Working mothers are more prone to tiredness and stress, as they have to balance multiple aspects efficiently. After a busy office day, overcoming the traffic to reach home and attending the needs of the child can take a toll on their energy levels. This can put them at risk for health issues, especially if they are not conscious about their overall well-being.

Fear of missing out

Some working mothers miss some of the most memorable parts of their child’s life due to work pressure.  At times, they may also miss some family events due to busy schedules. In case a working mother devotes more time to her career, she can get less attentive towards the issues in the family. In some cases, if a mother fails to attend a school event, it can have a negative impact on the child. Children of such mothers may develop a feeling of inferiority.

Risk of loneliness and bad company

Children have a lot of freedom when their mothers are not around to supervise their activities. This can increase their risk of falling into bad company in case they feel lonely. In some cases, such unsupervised children take to vices that might be hard to get rid of. Children left in a childcare centre can also feel deprived of motherly affection, which can have adverse effects on their upbringing.

Marital discord

If the spouse does not share the household chores effectively, the husband-wife relationship can get into trouble. In case this turns into a negative scenario, it can have an adverse impact on the child. In some cases, it can lead to a break-up, which can have an adverse effect on the emotional well-being of the child.

Effective tips for working mothers

Finding the right balance between work and family is difficult for women occupying positions of power and higher responsibilities.  The first years of life are extremely crucial for the child. It is during this phase that the foundation of family bonding is set. A deep relationship grows between the mother and child. Therefore, for working mothers, the following tips can be helpful in handling work as well as family in an effective manner.

Do not harbor guilt or regret

Happy working mother

Society often judges working mothers based on the age-old concept that mothers should be devoting the whole time to the child. Many women do not want to give up their career in view of the future. Therefore, it is essential not to feel guilty about not being with her child at all times. On the other hand, a mother who is contributing to the family and bringing up her children needs appreciation and admiration for their untiring effort. It is necessary for working mothers to feel confident about their choice without feeling guilty.

Manage time efficiently

Time management is essential for a working mother. The target is to get the maximum tasks done in the least amount of time without missing the details. Planning and scheduling are crucial to managing time effectively. Working mothers can make the best use of the night hours so that there is no need to rush through the morning. In addition, making the right plan with lists of daily meetings and schedules helps to organize the day efficiently and prevents slipping up of important tasks. 

Use technology

Working others can use technology in the best possible manner to make effective use of their time. This includes using online facilities for shopping. At work, a conference call with teams using technology is a good way to manage time and tasks efficiently.  

Take the help of childcare facilities

 Daycare for children can give working mothers relief to attend to their professional duties. Here it is important to ensure you are getting the best child care service. Find the references for nannies, babysitters, and day-care centers from friends and other family members. In case you are using a nanny, find someone who is reliable and has the right level of experience. Doing a reference check is extremely important to ensure the child is in safe hands.  Make sure that you stay in contact throughout the day to get regular updates about the child. When choosing a day-care center, ensure that it has the right environment and a low teacher-to-child ratio.

Keep communication channels open with superiors at work

To ensure the stress of handling your child does not affect the productivity levels at work, keep the line of communication open with your superiors.

Negotiate a good flexible arrangement with your employer

Mothers are primary parents of a child and hence they need a more flexible schedule for working. Try to negotiate so that you get the level of flexibility that is in line with the company policies. Further, you should also enjoy the flexibility extended to other colleagues or competitors. Being transparent about your limitations in the workplace can help in establishing the right level of balance between work and life.

Reduce distractions

Since time management is vital for a working mother, it is necessary to reduce distractions and minimize any wastage of time. Make sure that your overall productivity is not being affected by long lunch breaks and chatting with co-workers. While being with family, focus on your child instead of paying attention to the phone or the television. Spending time in a meaningful way is important to bond as a family.

Give importance to your marriage and relationship

Remember to provide the right level of importance to the marriage as it forms the foundation of life-long bonds. It helps to keep the family together. Find quality time to spend with your partner. Neglect can lead to disharmony and even a breakup.  Empathy and understanding are as much necessary as intimacy in the marriage, to keep the relationship happy and strong.

Ensure housework is shared

Sharing housework can reduce the overall load on the working mother. In this scenario, the partner can help by extending the right amount of support and sharing certain chores. Delegate some work to the children as they grow up, to inculcate sharing of responsibilities in the household. This way they get to play an active role in the family. There can also be options to look for outside help or take the required help of cleaning service to reduce the burden of household work.

The pressure on working mothers

In many cases, working mothers experience a lack of support while raising kids and honoring their professional responsibilities. Working mothers need to put in extra effort to maintain work and family balance. From work pressure to sleep deprivation, the responsibilities and concerns about the child can take a toll on a mother’s health. Apart from this, due to the advancement of technology, the distinction between work and home is blurred.

Working mothers are no less dedicated than other employees are. All they need is a supportive manager who is willing to listen and offer assistance whenever needed. Families also should not have unrealistic expectations from working mothers- such as their availability at all times for their child and for the family. In this scenario, it is important for employers to frame the right work culture that provides working mothers with the necessary support. Working mothers perform best in an environment that encourages growth and development both at the professional and the personal level.

Conclusion

Working mothers must look beyond the traditional outlook of society and follow their passions and interests without hesitation. In the office, it is important to create the right environment that will make mothers comfortable without having to choose between career and family. At the personal level, support from the partner and other family members is equally important in making things positive and supportive.

The changes in society are evident and nowadays society and families are encouraging women to enjoy fruitful professional lives. Today, we can boast of quality day-care facilities and liberal postpartum leave policies that have paved the way for more women to get back to work after maternity. With time, we will see more satisfactory solutions for working mothers that will help them enjoy happy and successful personal and professional lives.

 

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