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Mental Mondays: 7 Proven Ways To Cope As A Working Mom

Mental Mondays: 7 Proven Ways To Cope As A Working Mom



eing a stressed-out working mom is more common than you think. The lady at work who appears prim and proper might have had a mental breakdown in the bathroom the night before. Simply put, you’re not alone. Being a mom isn’t an easy feat, and being a working mom is way more difficult and can put weight on your mind and body. Although this life chose you, it’s not much of a choice for most mothers to quit their jobs because a baby is on its way.

A baby might challenge us but won’t stop the drive. If you choose to leave your job and face your home, way to go mom! As long as it’s your decision and you won’t resent yourself or others down the line, then do what makes you happy. However, if you love your job/career and, of course, your family, but you’re finding things overwhelming, breathe, there’s no need to throw in the towel.

One thing you should consciously rid yourself of is the guilt that comes with it. As long as you are doing all you can and your intentions are pure, there’s no need to feel guilty about the ones you couldn’t achieve, whether on the home front or at work. Eventually, your life will play out, but you need to be deliberate about it without burning yourself to the ground.

Check out 7 helpful tips that could help you cope as a working mom…

#1. Negotiate with the authorities

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Most jobs with flexible policies record more productive employees. As a working mom who knows her onions, ask for adaptable work options. Perhaps a change of department, different work hours, or an option to work remotely for the most part. The “What’s In It For Me” part will always be important. Think about how these changes would positively affect your job, and also let your boss know how this would be beneficial to the company. This way, it’s a win-win situation for all parties involved.

#2. Prove nothing

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We are caught up in a society where shattering glass ceilings has become the norm. We take on more than we can, just to prove our capacity to people who aren’t rooting for us.

“Helen, you know you’re not ready for this new baby. You need to go home. Or do you want your child to call the nanny mummy first? Run along. This table is for men. Go home to your family.”

As a working mom, Helen felt she had so much to prove to the team. She took a managerial job that involved frequent traveling, and her home front suffered from it. This might not be a problem if she and her family are okay with it, but Helen felt guilty and eventually became depressed. Do what you can, per time. Do what gives you satisfaction, and don’t always try to prove yourself to people who don’t care about you. Remember, you can do it all, but it doesn’t have to happen simultaneously.

#3. Ditch the people-pleaser attitude

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Saying yes when you mean to say no isn’t a sign of being a kind person. It is a surefire sign that you are inevitably headed to the boulevard of burnout. Master the art of prioritizing, and this requires discipline. If you say yes to an after-office party and then have to rush home unprepared, you might wear yourself out afterwards.

Annette and other moms at the office call you for an impromptu voluntary after-work meeting, and you say yes. Meanwhile, you were meant to take over caring for the kids, while your partner heads out for his shift. While you might have a few slices of office pizza and girl talk, you know you shouldn’t have said yes to that invitation, but you didn’t want to seem like the “bad guy.”

Learn to say no to things that would disrupt your composure, plans, and time, but also be open about things you’re available for. This way, you don’t register yourself as anti-social or selfish.

#4. Lean on your support

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If you have an involved co-parent, talk things through with him. It’s better to have a conversation about responsibilities and how they fit into both schedules than burning out and harboring animosity for your partner. If you don’t have the above resource, think of other loved ones willing to help watch the kids.

#5. Be open to compromise, it isn’t defeat

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To cope as a working mom, you must be willing to compromise on things that won’t affect you or the baby, so you can create a balance. Sometimes you weigh things on a scale of preference, let go of some, and prioritize the others. You don’t always have to insist on a way of doing things. As the pressure keeps upping, choose the most important tasks and relax on the others.

Yes, you’d love a color-coded wardrobe for your baby, and when your partner messes it up, you become livid and start rearranging the entire house. Meanwhile, you have a 7 o’clock meeting the next day, and you stay up color-coding a wardrobe till 3 am. Only to stare at your partner snoring away, and feel a tightening up in your stomach.

#6. Consciously make life easier for yourself

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Rebecca realized she wasn’t ready to keep running around and exhausting herself. So what did she do? She found a house close to the office and enrolled her children in a school close to the house. She made a mental map of her daily routine and pinned down a grocery store relatively close to the house. If these decisions are within your control, find a way to reduce commuting stress.

To cope as a working mom means you will learn ways to simplify your life. If you have the means to hire a babysitter to care for your little ones, by all means. Research work tools that would reduce your workload. At this point, be particular about anything that eases stress off you, and try to avoid extra stress like a plague. This way, you have “me time” to randomly rejuvenate.

#7. Look outwards

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A phenomenon that sounds as ironic as it is effective. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and incompetent, find someone to mentor career-wise. Chances are when you mentor someone a little behind you in your career, it helps you cope as a working mom. It reminds you how far you’ve come, and most times renders clarity for your next direction. Mentorship can be time-consuming, but if done tactfully, can be beneficial. Pick a few minutes, weekly or monthly, to help a working mom still coming up the ladder, and watch your career and mental life straighten out.

Featured image: Mongkolchon Akesin | iStock

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