By Faye Katz, Resume Writer
Although the term “working Mom” typically refers to career-minded mothers with children, ALL mothers are working mothers. The distinction is whether the work is in the home or out of the home. All mothers work really hard, manage multiple priorities and perform a myriad of duties. If you are a mother, then you are working!
Juggling responsibilities is at the core of each working mom’s life. Most often, when mom goes out to work, she continues to maintain all her home duties, including shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry and child-rearing. Yet she now has to integrate a career into her already full schedule. No wonder so many mothers are stressed out!
Here are some tips that will really help to manage the stress of the competing demands of motherhood and career.
- Be extremely organized. Use one centralized weekly scheduler (manual or electronic), encompassing work and home appointments, meetings, social outings and obligations, says Rachel Shapiro, a professional organizer. This streamlines information and ensures that important events in both arenas will not be forgotten. Shop one time per week for the entire week. Prepare menus and corresponding shopping lists before shopping trips. Have laundry sorters in place and do laundry once a week.
- Delegate, and then let go. Learn to accept that spouses and child caretakers may have other ways of doing the same tasks in the home. For example, if your spouse’s job is to clean up after dinner, does it really matter if he loads the dishwasher differently, as long as the dishes get washed?
- Give your children responsibilities appropriate to their ages. They can make their beds, clean up their toys, unload the dishwasher, or help fold laundry. Older children can supervise younger ones in making school lunches.
- Learn to say “no” to outside requests for help. When your child’s school calls to ask for volunteers, think carefully before you accept. Although you may really wish to help out, if another commitment is going to add stress to your life, this may not be the most suitable time to get involved in a new project.
- Economize on your time and labor. Double recipes for soups, pasta dishes, meats, baked goods, etc. Freeze extras for future use. Shop online when possible.
- Educate yourself on crock pot dinners and the use of “Time Bake/Oven Delay Start Time.” There’s nothing better than coming home to a prepared hot meal at the end of a long day.
- Don’t neglect yourself. Working mothers need time for themselves: time to socialize, time to exercise and time to pamper themselves. Staying physically and emotionally strong is key to managing so many responsibilities.
Remember, working moms have to be master jugglers. As the parable goes, the master juggler throws the balls up into the air, juggles them, and then skillfully lets one or two balls go and picks up another. Using a mom’s intuition, think carefully about which responsibilities must be performed and which can be simplified, eliminated, or delegated. Most of all, be thankful for your ability to work and raise your children at the same time.
By Faye Katz, Resume Writer, Career Services, Jewish Community Services, Baltimore, MD
JCS offers a full range of career services. For more information about JCS Career services click here or call 410-466-9200.