Self-Care for the Working Mom

Working MomCan I tell you a little secret? Being a working mom is hard. Real hard. And some days I just feel kind of unseen, unknown. I’ve heard this lately from other working mom’s, too. That’s probably also something every one of us moms has experienced at some point on our journey.  The extravagant role of motherhood often calls for much sacrifice and add to that a 9-5 job {one where mostly paperwork is involved} and I often wonder if the noses I wipe are thankful I noticed they were running or if the people I serve in my day job care that I’m keeping boxes checked and papers signed.

Part of being a working mom means there are at least two sets of people counting on you. Neither party is aware that the other is asking you to perform miracles each day but both expect all duties to be performed at the top of your game. It’s flat out exhausting. I’m certain I’m not the only one who’s started laundry & vacuumed before I head off to work at some point.

How then do we working mothers make time to take care of ourselves amidst the chaos at home and at work? What I have to offer is not a huge revelation nor is it something I have mastered myself. These are just simple thoughts I’ve had and things I wish I could do better.

1) Do your best in every role, but offer yourself grace. When you can’t pull together a Pinterest type party or maybe you’re not able to stay awake late enough to write one more email – let it go.

2) Shed the guilt. Rather than thinking about what you’re missing either at a school party or a field trip, focus on the smiles you have with your kids as soon as you pick them up. Whatever moment you’re in – be right there and present for what the moment holds. Chances are your kids won’t remember that the house was always spotlessly clean but they will remember the times you took to stop what you were doing to play or read to them.

3) Work hard at building relationships. {Here’s one I haven’t done well.} Don’t mistake social media for real friendships. I used to pick up the phone and call my friends to check in and now one quick glance at Facebook or Instagram and I feel like I have connected with someone without ever having to have a real live conversation. I have let some really great friendships dwindle because I didn’t choose to make it a point to reach out to the people that mattered to me. I mistook knowing them and loving them well for simply being up to date on life events through a photo stream or status update. Build your friendships on the quality verses quantity method. I feel blessed to have dear friends where I work. The kind of people that love me well, laugh at my jokes and also tell me when I’m being dumb. Be intentional about relationships. Make sure you use your connection points to pour into others and to be filled up when you need it.

4) Finally, know your limits. Set boundaries at work and at home. Be careful of letting your roles fade into each other and take time to care for you by taking breaks that allow you to not be in one role or the other all the time.

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I have been struggling with writing this post because I don’t feel like I have a positive rhythm in my life between all the roles I get to play. I wanted to be honest and not tell you that I have this figured out. Truth is, I don’t – at all. I will say there is a strength I’ve found that I never knew was there and on the hard days that helps get me through.

The good news is we are not in this alone. There are plenty of us to cheer each other on, speak life and truth to each other when we need it and to remind each other to take time for ourselves.

For now my fellow working Momma’s please know, you’re seen, you’re loved and cheered on from those of us making it happen just like you.

Are you a working mom? How do you care for yourself in the midst of all the plates you are spinning?

Jess Sig

About Jess Chambers

Jess Chambers juggles the best of both worlds on a daily basis … a family she adores and a job she loves (well, most days). Wife to Aaron and mom to two amazing, energetic little boys – Brody Rayf (3 ½) and Kellen Rhys (1), she aims daily to make the chaos look classy.

Comments

  1. Heather says:

    I really enjoyed this post. I also have a job that I love, yet love my little boy so much. My husband has been a great help, so I can’t say I really feel too overwhelmed daily. I have gotten really good at allowing myself just one “goal” of the day. If its a load of laundry, cards written, or project finished, I am allowing it to be enough.

    • Jess Chambers says:

      I love that idea of having one goal for the day, Heather! I am totally adopting that! Thank you for sharing!

  2. really enjoyed this :-)

  3. Great post. I think one of the things that keeps me sane is making sure I spend time with my friends. Some times this feels selfish, but having support and community IRL is so important.

    • You’re so right, Heather. I so often cut that out because well — I think it’s only me who sacrifices. Then I realize that’s what I need to refuel and everyone needs me to take that time.

  4. Thanks for this, Jess! I’m coming up on a year of working from home with my little guy. (Let’s not talk about the fact that this means he’s almost a year old!) It is ROUGH! I went from working full-time to working part-time, which really sometimes just feels like I’m doing the same amount of work, but without being in the loop. I love my job and I love being with my son, but it really does take a lot out of me. I wish that I could say that I’ve figured out how to juggle both or to take care of myself in the process, but I haven’t. Right now I’m just praying for balance! :)

    • Oh Heather! I so know that feeling! When I had our first son I stayed home and worked for a bit. I know it feels like you’re doing double the work just so you don’t let anything fall through the cracks. There is a rhythm that eventually comes and it will only make sense to you — others may watch and think you’ve lost your mind. But I also know the adrenaline rush of getting it all checked off while still having time to play and snuggle those kiddos. Sometimes the only thing you can do to care for yourself is offer yourself a bit of grace in the process. They’ll be time for reading for fun and finishing off that cup of coffee in a few years ;) I’m right there with ya! I know it’s rough! Hang in there and soak up those babies! I’ll be praying for balance for you!

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