The HARDEST Thing About Being a Working Mom

The HARDEST Thing About Being a Working Mom

Working moms strive do it all. It’s not easy, and there’s often a price to pay.

By: Lorraine Allen

Being a working mom is great. “You don’t just change diapers or drive kids around, and you skip many meltdowns and tantrums,” explains Fiona, a lawyer. And instead of cleaning, cooking, and potty training all day, your job “engages your brain and allows you to earn money that has so many uses, both immediate and for the future of your whole family,” she adds.

As a working mom, you’re part of an “important team of peers that you connect with and have coherent conversations with, uninterrupted by screaming kids,” says Yvonne, a diplomat. Sometimes you’re even rewarded for your work with promotions, bonuses, or raises. In some jobs, you even get PAID vacations and paid when you’re sick or caring for a sick kid! Yes, there are many benefits that working moms enjoy. But working moms have a lot of stress, too, and a lot they need to get done, every day. I asked 38 working moms what the hardest part is for them, and overwhelmingly, and not surprisingly, they reiterated the same struggle.

Career moms wear many hats. “We’re employees and bosses during the day, and moms and wives all the time, in addition,” says Rosa, a marketing executive. So when in the world is there time to think, to breathe, to do things you want to do?

“There is never any time left to read a book, or watch a TV show, or see a friend,” says Gabrielle, who works in finance. All working moms’ time is taken up by all their other important responsibilities, and often, they already feel that they don’t even have half enough time for those. “I can hardly pick up the dry cleaning, buy groceries, or make a proper dinner on time! Forget about anything else,” says Gabrielle.

“I feel like a machine, or a robot. Like I need to function without ever taking time for myself,” says Kathy, an administrator.

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Many others agreed. “There is barely time or energy to keep shifting from work to family, work to family,” explains Eliza, who works in publishing. “Daily deadlines here, endless activities and needs there. To see a friend or go on a date takes monumental planning, and even sacrificing something else.”


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Luckily though, with many of life’s frustrations, being aware of the challenge taking its toll on your wellbeing is a great first step to making a positive change. Working moms can have it all, and time for themselves, too, it seems. Maybe they have to let go of some of the pressure they put on themselves for getting everything done and being there every possible second, for both their jobs and their families. Maybe it’s as simple as changing their mindsets. “I remind myself, ‘I’m a better mom, a happier wife, and a more productive employee when I do take time for myself, because I need it,’” says Julie, another attorney.

This is helpful advice. To stay balanced and happier and feel less overwhelmed, working moms should make themselves a real priority, too, even if just for 30 minutes a day. After all, you are real people too, even if you function more like superheroes! So take a walk, soak in a tub – you need it. Even -- or maybe especially -- if you’re a working mom, with too much to do all the time.

What do you think is the hardest thing about being a working mom?

Lorraine Allen is a writer, and mom and personal chef to one spunky 6-year-old girl with severe food allergies. You can enjoy their delicious recipes and follow their amusing family cooking adventures at Feeding Lina.

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