There is nothing more precious in this world than motherhood. From regular trips to the ob-gyn, seeing your baby’s first steps, hearing their first words, up to the day that they leave their nests to have their own families, motherhood is a journey that no one would ever want to give up on. However, being a full-time working mom while having to take care of kids and being a wife is a tough balancing act that working mothers have to deal with every day. And so we list some of the heartfelt struggles that working mothers face and you don’t hear enough of!
9 Struggles Working Mums Face Everyday
It’s a struggle just to be a stay at home mum. Imagine the hardships working mothers face every day! From the moment we wake up and start our day to the moment we tuck our kids in bed and lull them to sleep with our bedtime stories, there’s not a single minute in our lives that we aren’t doing something for our family. Most people we know call us “supermoms,” or “mums who can do it all.” But behind all that, we are still humans who consider our day-to-day lives an uphill battle.
1. The Hectic Morning Grind
Every morning is a battle for working moms. Being a mother means we have to wake up earlier than everyone else in the house. Aside from cooking breakfast, we need to pull our kids out of bed so they don’t miss the school bus or get late from school. And what’s harder than having to wake up kids early in the morning? Remember when our moms try to rip us from the beds when we were little kids? Remember how we used to fight our way so we can stay in bed for five more minutes?
Now that we are moms ourselves, we finally understand how amazing our mothers were for being able to do that! For single parents, the task is even more difficult considering there’s no one else to rely on with the household chores! After preparing our kids’ items, we also have ourselves to worry about. There’s just no time to sit down and relax. Once our kids are ready, we, then, have to prepare to drop our kids off at school or daycare or wait for the nanny to arrive before we head to work.
2. ‘Me’ Time? What’s That?
Sometimes, we just need to be alone to relieve ourselves of stress. But whether it’s at work or at home, ‘me’ time has become a fantasy that some of us could only dream about. Even the toilet can no longer be considered private space! At work, we’re always in the presence of our co-workers and bosses. At home, kids, especially toddlers, will want to see us every minute they possibly can. Sometimes, we just tell ourselves we hate being a mom and just wish we could go back to the days we still have our alone time. There’s no more room for working out or even think about your health or skincare routine anymore. Being a working mother means devoting most, if not all, of your spare time to your kids.
3. Not Enough Time for Our Children
Since we have to be away for work, we end up missing some of our babies’ important milestones—their first steps, their first words. What makes our babies’ milestones essential is that they help us check whether they are progressing just right or are developing faster than their peers. Aside from these scientific indications, being there for our babies’ firsts is an important memory that we’ll get to treasure for the rest of our lives. There are also times when our kids need us for moral support and we couldn’t give it to them. As much as we want to be there for them ourselves, we end up enlisting the help of their nannies or our parents to support them in our stead. It sucks but it’s a sacrifice that we need to make.
4. Missing PTA Meetings
Let’s face it. With our busy schedules, often we forget things our kids tell us while we have our own work meetings to think about. And all of a sudden, the school calls to tell us that on the same day we’ll be having our client meeting, a parent-teacher conference is about to start. Should we ask our client to postpone the meeting? Or risk missing the conference? It’s a tough choice to make, but something that we have to decide on someday. If you haven’t yet, a day may come when you have to make the choice.
5. Becoming Strangers to Our Kids
Being away from our kids most of the time, some of us may no longer notice the changes in our kids’ personalities. As such, we forget how to get along with them anymore. We no longer know what kind of habits they have developed or friends they have kept while we had our eyes off of them. And as a parent, there is nothing more heartbreaking than going through parental estrangement knowing that our kids, especially teens, have become complete strangers.
6. Having Irregular Sleeping Patterns
Our sleep is the most precious, yet rarest commodity that we, mothers, almost never get. When we have a newborn, having a regular sleeping pattern is nearly impossible! Our baby doesn’t care if we have to work in the morning. When our baby goes through a sleep regression, we end up waking up at different times of the night. As soon as the baby goes back to sleep, we just notice that the sun is already high up in the sky and it’s already time to go to work. Sometimes, we just miss the good old days when we can go home late at night, eat some take-out, and just relax in the comfort of our soft, warm sofa.
7. Dealing With Our Partner
Not all working mums are single parents. Some of us have partners to deal with at home. Not only are we mothers, but we are also wives to our husbands. And as couples, we also have intimacy needs that we have to fulfill. It’s not just because we swore it on the altar the day that we got married. But because it’s also a great sign of love and affection. We have to find time between work and taking care of kids to be intimate with our partner. Things like date nights or even just the regular Netflix ‘n Chill have to be squeezed in between our tight schedule to maintain that intimacy. That aside, being in charge of the household, we also have to know how to divide the housework between us and the partners.
8. Juggling Between Work and Life
Sometimes the line between our work and life gets blurred. While making sure that we beat deadlines and crush presentations, we also have to do house chores such as cooking or cleaning, whichever chore is assigned to us. Now, more than ever, we have to help homeschool our kids so they keep up with their studies. Sometimes, we wonder how we even keep ourselves together despite all the mess and all the sticky notes on our fridge. We pick up after our kids’ messy laundry and teach them to clean up after themselves while we check our planner to make sure we keep up with our own schedules and tasks. While sending an important email to a client, we also need to watch over our kids to make sure no furniture topples over while they play around or they don’t make their way to the pool outside alone. You might want to ramp up your organisation and productivity to increase free time for the fam.
9. Dealing with the Judgment of Other People and Mums for Wanting to Work
While being a mother is a full-time job and a wonderful privilege that not everyone gets to have, not all mothers find being a mother alone fulfilling. Don’t get me wrong. Having little ones following us around all day while we do our housework is just heartwarming and precious. But some mothers find success in their career more fulfilling. There are some of us who find personal pride in academic achievements and if they don’t exercise their knowledge, wouldn’t feel any fulfillment at all. Some just refuse to fall into the stereotype of being a wife who relies on her husband to bring home the bacon. They who find it more fulfilling to have to pay for their wants and needs using the money that came out of their own pockets.
Unfortunately, most people find that difficult to understand. While some people are natural at being moms, some just aren’t. Some take pride in using all of their time to build a family while others take pride in practicing the profession that they graduated with. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a career woman. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a full-time mom either. There’s no wrong choice and no one should be judging us for making them.
Why is being a mom the hardest job?
Motherhood is an underrated profession and all mothers should be awarded prizes for being the most hardworking! Aside from having to worry about their kids’ healths and wellbeing, they have to run around all day, doing household chores, cooking, going to the supermarket, and having sleepless nights taking care of a newborn baby. Other moms even have it tougher, going through postpartum depression right after giving delivery. There are no breaks, no days off, and no option to resign. It’s the only daunting task that most moms would ever want to have!
What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a working mother?
If you’re someone who takes pride in personal achievements, being a working mom may suit you as it gives you the chance of being rewarded outside the role of being a mom. However, as a working mom, there are trade-offs and sacrifices that you have to make along the way such as spending less time with your family and perhaps even missing some of your kids’ milestones.
Should one parent stay at home?
While we’re not here to tell you what to do and it’s not considered legal parenting advice, having one parent stay at home may benefit the emotional wellbeing of your family. Having a parent look after the kids may help maintain emotional attachment and avoid parental estrangement. You also need to make a cost-benefit analysis of whether it’s more cost-effective to have a parent stay at home or hire a nanny instead. Are you willing to make the emotional tradeoff? Or the financial tradeoff? Make sure to discuss this with your partner.
Motherhood is the world’s most overlooked and underrated career. But it’s a role that, once you start to play, you’ll find fulfilling and heartwarming. Rest? There’s no such thing at all once you’re a mom. We also have these inner dialogues on whether we have done our job as a mom well or if we’ve become a complete and utter failure. To all the working moms out there who are doubting themselves and are barely making it through their day, here are three words for you: you are amazing!