People have a hard time accepting the term “working mom.” When in actuality, it is not only extremely normal but also extremely common. In fact, more than 74 percent of women with children under 18 work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But it goes beyond that. Whereas many might find it hard to understand, working moms are setting their children up for success. A 2018 study shows that daughters of working moms are more likely to hold supervisory roles and earn higher incomes. The study also says that sons of working moms will spend more time caring for family members.
As promising as these studies are, it doesn’t take away from the fact that being a working mom is hard. With four children and my own business, I’m passing along the most helpful tips I have learned over the course of my career.
My tips for Working Moms:
1. Sleep when you can.
2. Leave stress at work. Your kids don’t care about your work problems. It doesn’t matter how much you dealt with or achieved at work. The minute you walk in the front door, you are back at step one. They are not impressed.
3. When you are at work, be at work. Your workmates need a true team player that they can count on.
4. Come to terms with sacrifice. Everything you love has an element of sacrifice. You can have it all, but you can’t have it all at the same time.
5. Find some small form of escapism — TV, books, yoga, I don’t care. Find some small way to escape on a regular basis. Even if it is just for 30 minutes.
6. Find small ways to incorporate self-care. I love my skincare routine. It gives me something to do that is positive, healthy and noticeable — and I can speed it up if I can barely keep my eyes open.
7. Don’t worry too much if you are a good mom. If your kids are loved, fed, housed and educated — you are doing a great job. Bonus points for teaching work ethic, kindness, self-confidence and resilience.
8. Teach work ethic and responsibility from a young age. We don’t do allowance in exchange for chores. I think it is important to teach kids that they have to contribute because it is their responsibility, not because they are getting something in return. And the more they contribute at home, the easier (and cleaner) your home life will be.
9. Traveling gives me something to look forward to. If I get overwhelmed, I think about someplace I am traveling to in the future and just sit in that space for awhile. I like to bring my kids with me when I travel. I have found that if you want your kids to enjoy traveling, you need to start traveling with them at an early age.
10. It is OK to admit that watching school plays is akin to watching paint dry. But go anyway (even if you can’t really afford to take time off of work), and tell your kid that they are a star.