The perception that women only belong in the house has dramatically and continuously changed over the years. In fact, one can consider that it is no longer news or a surprise that women are making a name for themselves. Even more, working moms who succeed in their careers while taking care of their families are evidently rising to the top. That is why it is rightfully just to honor them this Women’s Month.
On the other hand, a gender-equal society is still far from ideal. In the Philippines, a pre-pandemic study shows that 55% of women believe that employers do not provide enough benefits, while 49% believe that perks for working mothers are inadequate. Many working moms, or “WoMoms,” feel as though they face an ultimatum—should they continue working, or should they become full-time mothers? It is a difficult situation that many do not have the option to make a choice.
But to maintain focus on both work and family, balance is the key. It is also vital for everybody to have a better understanding of the life of a working mom and get proper advice on how to continue to take on the challenge of excelling in their career while nurturing their family.
Common Challenges Faced by WoMoms
Working moms have a lot on their plate. Below is just a glimpse of the challenges usually faced by WoMoms:
Taking care of the kids
The current work setup—on site, at home, or hybrid—has further emphasized the struggle of WoMoms to take care of their kids. Corporate moms who are required to work at the office experience the same challenge as before the pandemic hit: to find someone to look after their kids while they are away—whether it be a nanny or a grandparent. Additionally, with the transition to online school, children stay at home 24/7 and need someone in the house while mom is away to assist with their needs.
Finding time for important events
To mention some of the responsibilities of mothers, they are in charge of remembering their family’s doctor’s appointments, knowing what is in the refrigerator for food preparation and grocery shopping, making sure that family members are in good shape, and paying the bills on time.
Coupled with work obligations, WoMoms may find it challenging to fit important events into their calendar, including parent-teacher meetings, among others.
Forgetting about one’s own needs
Working moms have an enormous mental weight to bear, to the point that they may neglect to spend time for themselves. Moms tend to put their own needs, including their self-care activities, hobbies, or “me” time, last so that everyone else gets taken care of. They should spend time with friends—on and offline—have discussions, laugh, or get involved in tear-filled sessions to talk about anything and everything.
Discrimination in the workplace
Filipino WoMoms are among those who continue to face workplace discrimination. According to a recent survey, the way women are seen or treated by others is the most significant impediment to their success in the workplace.
For instance, 17% have been asked about their intentions to have children during interviews, and 29% say that having a family has held them back in their jobs.
Working mom guilt
Every working mother can sometimes feel guilty that she has neglected her child for the sake of her career. She could play the role of a supermom—taking extra care of her kid while also putting in the additional effort at work. But if she makes a single mistake or fails miserably in her parental duties, she is consumed with remorse.
How WoMoms Can Balance Career and Motherhood
In dealing with these challenges, here are ways WoMoms can achieve balance in both their careers and motherhood:
Look for a company that takes care of their employees—especially moms
In negotiating for corporate wellness, WoMoms may create a written plan outlining their needs before speaking with their employer or HR representative. They could find out if the company offers a flexible schedule and perhaps propose a trial period of their ideal work shift.
This is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate that the arrangement would not limit productivity.
Make effective use of time
If a party invitation or extracurricular event causes more stress than fun, WoMoms do not have to say yes to every single one. They should figure out how much their schedule can manage and choose activities that their child will best appreciate. Overbooking removes the fun from quality time and provides little space for much-needed rest.
Avoid time-wasting activities and limit distractions
For WoMoms, time is a valuable asset. They must be conscious of how much time they spend on every task and activity. They can cut down on extended lunch breaks, chats with co-workers, and internet browsing to make the most of their working hours.
When at home, they can limit their TV or phone screen time and allot quality time with their family. It guarantees that their time spent together is purposeful and meaningful.
Use hacks for saving time
WoMoms may leverage on shortcuts and plan strategically to get the most done in the least amount of time. They may, for example, purchase groceries online and have them delivered. They can hold conference calls during their commutes and run errands over their lunch break.
Another tip is to prepare their children’s outfits and school meals the night before so that they can enjoy calmer mornings rather than rushing out the door or logging into an online class.
Give yourself some slack
Working mothers put a lot of pressure on themselves to keep their homes spotless and be great parents. No one else puts as much pressure on themselves as they do. When they adjust their expectations, they will discover that a lot of the unneeded tension disappears.
One’s home does not need to be spotless all the time. It is alright to buy cookies rather than make them. Serving leftovers does not make one a terrible mother.
Strike a Balance
With these tips, balancing one’s family and work-life might not be so difficult. If a working mom can strike a middle ground between their career and motherhood, they might be able to have the most fulfilling and satisfying existence possible—even with their hands full!
However, with all their obligations, WoMoms can lose track of their well-being. Maintaining excellent health is particularly important for women juggling employment and family responsibilities. Reach out to Makati Medical Center for world-class healthcare services and facilities to maintain a mother’s health to be always at its best.