Many working mothers secretly suffer from guilt for not being able to devote enough time to kids. They put a lot of effort to strike a balance between work and life, but still feel they are not able to balance well at times. They suppress this thought within themselves and sulk. Sometimes they have occasional outbursts and lose their cool. The frustration keeps bottling up and the mental health seriously suffers, leading to scary manifestations.
The truth is, there is nothing in the world which is as important to a mom as her children. Working or not, a mother would always do her best to bring up her kids in the best way possible. No one can doubt mothers’ efforts. Working mothers have two-fold responsibilities, at home and work. They have to divide their time between these two and they desperately try to do justice to both. It is not an easy task. They need support from family to handle the two domains successfully. Nevertheless, their hearts are with their kids all the time and they would rear the kids as dedicatedly as stay home moms at any cost.
Here are 10 useful tips for working mothers that would improve their mental health:
- No guilt: First and foremost, try and not blame yourself for not being able to spend enough time with your kids. It is not the quantity of time, but the quality that matters. Even if you and your kids can spend one hour of happy time together, it is much more worthy than 12 mundane hours of togetherness. You work for livelihood. This is a necessity and not a crime. Hence, try and get over the guilt.
- Do not compare: Do not compare yourself, your life or your kids with others. Every family is different and so is every kid. Your life is yours and you will navigate it the way that works for you. Your understanding with your kids and other family members is what you must focus on. Motherhood is not a competition. Each mother is great in her own way.
- Quality: Follow your heart when it comes to spending time with kids. If you wish to cuddle them, play with them, take them out for a walk, have a heart to heart talk, or simply lie down together, hugging, then make it the priority. Happiness is the best thing you can give your kid. Everything else can wait. Teaching or other responsibilities can be done at some other time.
- Kids are flexible: Kids are far more flexible, adjusting and adaptive than adults. They mould themselves beautifully and easily according to place and situations. Working moms’ kids know their mothers have to go to work. They accept and adjust to this fact. They look forward to the time when their mothers would be back home and be with them. That little happy time that they get to spend with their moms is enough for them. Very rarely do kids have issues with their moms being away at work. It is the adults who complicate matters. Knowing this fact would make working moms much more relaxed and take things easy.
- Be organized: Planning the day ahead and maintaining a ‘to-do’ list reduce confusion and stress. You would know exactly what to be done and when. This would make life much more organized both at home and at work. The chance of forgetting to do anything important would also eliminate.
- De-stress: Working mothers need to de-stress without a miss. Taking time out for themselves to do what they enjoy doing would be a great stress-buster. It could be anything from listening to music alone, talk to friends, go for a walk or drive, painting, singing, dancing or whatever their hearts desire. Though it is a tough proposition for working mothers, it is no less important than spending time with kids. Half an hour a day at least, or couple of times a week or whenever there is an opportunity, de-stressing is a must.
- Delegate work: Family, like organizations, cannot be run by a single person. It too, has to be a team work. Delegate specific work to other members of the family. It is their family as well and they would fulfil their responsibilities to the best of their abilities. Delegate small tasks to your kids. They could clean their desks, arrange books and belongings, put dirty clothes in washing machine, and do such easy but important jobs at home. They would enjoy it. At the same time, this would make them self-dependant and boost their confidence. A concerted effort would make the family run smoothly and improve inter-personal relationships.
- Eat, sleep, exercise: Most working mothers do not get to eat well, sleep enough or have time to work out due to their busy schedule. However, these three factors are extremely crucial for both physical and mental health. The best way to handle this is to follow a routine scrupulously. However tempted you are to watch the TV or fiddle with the phone for some extra hours, refrain from doing it. Try and sleep for at least 7-8 hours a day. Keep away the gadgets on time. Try and do 10 mins of breathing exercises instead. This would put you to sleep. Eat healthy, try and do some cardio and other work outs for at least 20-30 mins a day at a specific time. Your lifestyle would be exemplary to your kids and teach them good practices.
- Perfection is a myth: We all aspire to be perfect in anything we do. It is necessary for personal growth. However, too much concern with perfection causes stress at times. Perfection is relative. What is perfect for others might not be perfect for you. Perfection is a myth too. Nothing can be perfect as such. We can only strive to be better. Hence, instead of getting stressed in pursuit of perfection all the time, let things be and accept things as it is. Some days, household chores may be undone. Some days kids might be cranky. Some days food might not be as great. It is okay.
- Express and communicate: In case you are feeling anxious, do share it with your partner, family members and kids. Tell them if you are getting stressed out or fearing you are not being good enough. When they know what is bothering you, they would come together and solve it. Keeping things within yourself would suffocate you. You might turn irritated and throw tantrums. This could puzzle them, hurt them and make the ambience of the house filled up with tension. It is always good to speak about your worries to your close ones, not to blame, but to seek help. Effective communication solves a lot of issues.
Working mothers must realize they are great multi-taskers. Their ability to juggle between work and family deserves all the praise in the world and their kids must be proud of having them as mothers.
Kids are smart. With a little guidance, they can handle their life nicely. Working moms should aspire to be the guiding stars rather than spoon-feeding the children. The10 tips for working mothers that have been listed above might be useful for the mental health of these super moms, if followed.