By Ginni Mastin, President and Founder of Matern Staffing
Going through the pandemic has been challenging for all, but especially for working mothers. Working mothers are juggling their professional responsibilities, personal obligations, and family life. With school systems going virtually some working mothers are weighing giving up careers to stay home with young children or juggling working from home. And, they’re doing this while trying to limit their mom guilt and maybe find a quick 5-minute break to themselves in the middle of a pandemic.
As working mothers it can be hard to get a 5-minute break from the chaos. We don’t ask for help and think we can do it all. With the quarantine lifestyle and no “How-to Book” to follow, I feel like everyone is trying the best they can. During these last several months, I have made some changes to help me get through challenging days.
Here are a few things that have helped me survive:
1. Finding time for yourself daily. I’m a morning person and now I’m setting my alarm earlier (yes, 4:30am) to get an extra 30 minutes to myself in the morning. I’ll add that extra 30 minutes into my workout routine in the morning or catch up on Netflix show I have started to binge watch. I truly “try not to check my email at this hour”. If you don’t start with self-care you won’t be at your best to care for others.
2. Leaning on your support system. Your support system can be family, friends, or coworkers. I’ve notice that I have been reaching out to more friends and coworkers for help. If it’s taking my daughter for an hour or telling my coworkers, I need to step away for a few hours, every little bit has helped. Even a quick phone call could help you or the person you are reaching out to.
3. Sticking to my routine but being flexible (things do come up). I’m truly a routine person with a schedule built out for months but with things changing daily, I have learned to adapt more. With less windshield time to and from meetings, I find myself with more time built into the day. Simplifying my schedule made me more productive throughout the day and gave me more time in the evening for fun activities with my six-year-old. I’ve even tried sticking to that routine on the weekends. I feel that morning routines set a positive mindset for the day. I’m a big believer in once you get out of your normal routine for a lengthy time, you have to work 10 times as hard to get back into it.
4. Being outdoors… I prefer to be outside as much as possible even if it’s a walk in the rain. I cancelled my cable during this pandemic because we were spending less and less time inside. I find that walking at work or at home breaks up the day; and bike rides in the evening and creek swimming on the hot days fills those moments as well. Make everyday a different adventure by yourself or with others even if it’s a 5-minute adventure.
Being a mother is like a circus somedays, but it is the greatest show on earth.
Every time you have mom guilt because of working or taking time for yourself, remind yourself that your children are also watching and seeing a hardworking, independent and resilient woman.