By Ashley Sharp, executive director at Dwell with Dignity.
Being a mom is hard. Having a job is hard. When you put those two things together, what do you get? One of the hardest jobs in the entire world. As a working mom myself, I can attest that the challenges we face are plentiful.
They can range from feelings of guilt to the struggle to achieve an effective work-life balance, the pressure of societal expectations and stereotypes, and the impact on one’s mental and physical health.
Let’s delve into these difficulties and discuss how best to navigate them. You’ve got this, girl.
The Worst Kind Of Trip
Let’s start with the obvious one: the never-ending guilt trip.
No matter how much we achieve at work or how much love and care we pour into our families, there’s always that nagging voice in our head that tells us we’re not doing enough. It’s like we’re running a constant marathon, trying to catch up with the expectations of the world around us.
And the sad part is that, in my experience, these expectations are often self-imposed.
So, my advice: Cut yourself some slack, sister. You’re doing the best you can at work and home, and that’s what truly matters. One thing I’ve started doing is writing in my journal daily and listing out my personal and professional accomplishments.
Ran a successful meeting and energized my team: check. Got all my kids to school on time: check.
The Balancing Act
As a working mom, I struggle to balance work and home life.
On the one hand, you want to give your best at work and climb the corporate ladder. On the other hand, you want to be there for your kids, be the best mom you can be and give your partner the support they need. It’s a delicate dance, and it’s not uncommon to feel like you’re failing at one aspect or the other.
The reality is that there’s no such thing as a perfect balance. It’s all about finding what works for your family and your business and making compromises when needed.
There will be some weeks where you feel like you’re failing left and right at work. There will be other weeks when you feel like nothing you do as a mom is right.
Instead of getting stressed out over not being perfect (nobody is), focus on what you did well and congratulate yourself. If you land a new client, treat yourself to your favorite dessert. If you finish potty training your child, reward yourself with a relaxing night out.
Walking The Line
Now, let’s talk about the stereotypes and the double standards. As working moms, we often face criticism from all sides.
Some people assume that we’re neglecting our children or that we’re not committed to our careers. They may perceive us as being too aggressive or too soft.
It’s a no-win situation, and it can be tough to navigate. But you know what they say: “What other people think of you is none of your business.”
Do what’s best for you, your family and your business. Don’t let the whispers of others deter you from achieving your goals.
Making Time For Yourself
Finally, let’s not forget the impact these challenges can have on our mental and physical health. The stress and the constant hustle can take a toll on us, leaving us feeling exhausted and burned out.
It’s important that we take care of ourselves. Do what you need to recharge your batteries, whether it’s having a night where you watch movies and eat ice cream or taking time for a quiet coffee break in between meetings.
Not only can taking a break help to improve your well-being, but it can also make you a better employee, leader and mom.
Letting Your Strength Shine Through
Being a working mom is not for the faint of heart. But, let me tell you: It can also be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have. It’s a journey filled with challenges and triumphs, and it’s a testament to the strength and determination of women everywhere.
So hold your head up high, stay positive and don’t be afraid to ask for help at work or at home when you need it. We’ve got this, ladies.