Working Mom – Who is She?
We hear it across every nation, every land, among every tribe and kindred tongue – “Help! I’m a working mom!” It’s a universal cry and one so very many of us understand. Don’t believe me? Well, if you are a mom, you are by definition a working mom. You don’t have to be collecting a paycheck to be a working mom. All you have to do is have someone around who calls you “mom,” relies on you, needs you, and is in your care somehow. Going to some place that we call “work,” performing duties for that “job,” and collecting that paycheck only add to the thrill, the stress, and the myriad tasks performed by every mom.
Working Mom – What Does She Do?
There was a commercial of a working mom that aired in the 1970s that depicted a well dressed “career” woman and the song that went with it: I bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan, because I’m a woman.” She looked so competent and in control. Her kids and husband were there just smiling and dancing around her. It sounded so good and so inviting at the time.
Reality for many of us working moms is having too much to do and not enough time in which to do it. I remember all too well trying to work outside the home plus be a wife and mother. Getting up so early in the morning, getting babies and then school-age children ready for day care and school, plus trying to get myself ready for the work day. They say that the first half hour of the day sets the tone for the rest of the day. I remember the tone being set for stress and anger. Then going to work, dealing with the pressure and demands of the workplace, trying to perform my duties and yet thinking about and missing my children.
At the end of the workday, the home workday would just begin. Helping the kids get homework started, everyone being hungry and wanting dinner now, getting the dishes done, laundry started, facilitating fights between the kids. Add to the fun, time with my husband, relationships with family and friends, grocery shopping, paying bills, doctor and dentist appointments, illnesses, transporting kids to and from sporting or after school events and the result was often one tired, stressed, burned out mom. Even going into the bathroom as a safe haven of solitude and silence did not work -- they always found me.
Working Mom –What help is available?
So often, moms feel so very tired and alone. We can feel isolated, defeated, and wonder if there is any relief. Fortunately, there is. One thing to remember -- this is only for a season. Those same children will grow up and become very independent all too soon. Begin cutting out all nonessentials from your life during this season of life. There will be time later to do those things again. While in the midst of the battle, it is vital to take some time for yourself.
Some ideas to help alleviate some of the stress and load: