Have you ever tried to establish a good work/life balance? Let me ask that in another way. Do you know why we work so hard to establish a work/life balance?
It’s hard enough being a mother, but to add the pressure of wanting to work has seem to become an increasing inconvenience in America. In speaking with other mothers, I have found that there is more stress in trying to find the balance and that alone leads to them feeling guilty, overwhelmed and on the verge of a meltdown. When asked, how do they feel about work/life balance, most felt that it has become the “uncomfortable” thing to discuss in fear of judgment. Or more so, they are simply lost when it gets to planning out the balance of needs in work and at home. So what is the cause of this? I am glad you have asked.
I believe that there is so much commercialization of the “Super Mom” being displayed in the media, that the focus on the “real” mother has become boring and not glamorous enough. So when this “real” mother thinks of asking for “accommodations” or establishing a balance plan, she feels guilty. The last reason I believe that mothers are uncomfortable in discussing work/life balance is because of the judgment of other mothers. Some mothers lack sensitivity in seeking to understand another person because it is easier for them to judge them and assume things about them without providing genuine support. This can lead to a mother shutting down thus preventing them from seeking help. So what is the solution for this?
I think I can provide that with three quick tips/takeaways:
1. There should be a creation of alternative work plans that can help alleviate stress of working mothers who begin to feel overwhelmed.
A happy working mother can in turn lead to higher results in productivity and quality in the workplace. I recently read an article that I wanted to quote from worldbulletin.com. It expresses the sensitivity of a Turkish Prime Minister who felt that mothers should have the right to work part-time if needed until their children are of school age.
“Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced Thursday new incentives for working women, enabling a work-life balance where they can better care for their children. Located in Ankara
Davutoglu said that working mothers can work part-time for two months if they have one child, four months for two children and six months for three or more children and will receive full pay after they take their maternity leave.” _ Quoted from the article “Turkish government moves to ease worklife for mothers “www.worldbulletin.com
2. You must identify your priorities in life (work and home). Although, it may seem that I am anti-work/life balance. I believe it is not in the balance per say, but in what brings you peace. For peace lies in establishing priorities. When you establish what is important to you, it keeps you from feeling guilty when you are faced having to make tough decisions.
3. Seek help. Speak with someone you trust to discuss your stresses and identify a realistic plan to help decrease your stress and anxiety levels. Often there are solutions right in your work place. Speak with your boss, HR , or even review your insurance plan to see if counseling is offered to help you establish a balance based off your priorities.
I hope that I have helped you in some way to feel comfortable to know that it is OK to ask for help. It does not make you incapable, it makes you human.