Many working parents, including working mothers, may struggle to find a healthy work-life balance. While it may be challenging, balancing the roles of a mother and a career woman is not impossible.
As a young woman professional, you might feel that it’s your responsibility to raise your children and earn enough money to support your family by yourself. However, if you are married or have a partner, they may also be able to support the family.
Helping with childcare and, if you’re both working, financial and domestic responsibilities are some ways your partner may support you. Regardless of how your partner contributes, try to communicate regularly about splitting the responsibilities at home if you feel overwhelmed.
The Challenges Of Being A Working Mother
Many women face a unique set of challenges when they’re a single parent and a full-time member of the labor force. In addition to their responsibilities, some single parents may feel extra pressure to be the “perfect” parent. The reasons for these feelings can be diverse and may stem from the circumstances surrounding how they became a single parent, pressures from family, societal pressures, and more.
There are many parenting styles influenced by variables such as cultural or religious beliefs, moral beliefs, and a parent’s childhood experiences. In many of these cases, women are expected to be leaders in domestic labor in the home, no matter what their career looks like. Consider that your parenting style may change with time and within different circumstances, and holding yourself to unrealistic standards might cause more harm than benefits.
Single parents, married women, or raising children with other individuals, whichever the case may be, self-care may be necessary to function at your best and provide the best care for your family.
Finding Balance For Working Mothers
Societal attitudes about women working outside of the home are gradually shifting. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, in 1987, 30% of Americans said women should return to their traditional societal roles, while 66% disagreed with this statement. In a recent study, data showed that only 19% agree that women should return to traditional roles, while 75% disagree.
Regardless of shifting societal attitudes, mothers in the workplace may feel pressure to be successful at work and in parenthood. The pressure may include accommodating special requests from coworkers and children, such as working longer hours, involvement in school organizations, or participation in the children’s extracurricular activities. This can be especially difficult for women of color, as there can be less opportunities available for leadership roles in many professions (despite equal skills) in comparison to white women. And yet these women are expected to do all of the same work/life balancing as women whose safety net is systemically much larger.
A 2017 study from the Australian Journal of Social Issues states that “employed mothers endure high levels of time pressure related to time poverty (insufficient time for necessary or discretionary activities), time intensity (multi-tasking and merging work and home boundaries) and time density (familial emotion and [organization] work).”
The desire to “do it all” may overwhelm some working mothers, resulting in feelings of a lack of control in their lives and “parental burnout.” If you’re experiencing these feelings, there are ways that you can cultivate a balance between your home and work life.
Establish Your Priorities And Honor Them
In the case of work/life balance, balance does not necessarily mean half and half. Different women have different priorities, and that’s okay. Defining what you need vs. what you want can be the first step toward balancing your home and your working life. Once you’ve determined those, think about which should remain constant and which are open to flexibility.
For instance, a primary need could be strong communication between you and your family. In that case, scheduling time to talk without interruption could be a priority. Likewise, a vacation abroad may qualify as a “want” but not necessarily a “need.” Planning that vacation may not require as much urgency.
Integrate Time Management Practices Into Your Daily Routine
Many working families keep a calendar listing the dates and times of activities and appointments. Some working women choose to keep a more detailed personal calendar to manage their time in conjunction with the family calendar.
Regardless of your preferred method, keeping track of how you spend your time for the day, week, and month may be valuable. In addition, some integrate small time-saving habits into their daily lives, such as preparing lunches and laying out the next day’s clothing the night before a work/school day.
Some individuals find it beneficial to plan meals and shop for groceries over the weekend to prepare for mealtimes during the week.
Reach Out For Support When Needed
Whether you have a partner or support system, working while raising a child may require outside help. Friends and family could fill that role, or you may find support from your coworkers, your child’s teachers, or your community as well.
Asking for help from the people you trust in your life may be a way for you to cultivate a balance between home and work life.
Self-care may also involve taking personal time to do things you enjoy. Some women enjoy time to do hobbies, while others may love socializing with friends. It’s all about what brings people joy when not on their companies time. Studies show that an activity such as expressive writing through journaling may also benefit your mental health. Create time in your schedule to do the things you love to do.
Connect With A Therapist To Discuss Your Feelings
Some working mothers find it beneficial to meet regularly with a therapist to discuss their challenges when managing their work and home lives simultaneously.
The feelings of stress that working mothers may encounter while attempting to find this balance could develop into chronic stress. Defined by the American Psychological Association as “constant and persist[ing] over an extended period,” chronic stress may lead to anxiety and depression when unaddressed.
An experienced therapist may provide working women with suggestions for managing their job and home challenges to avoid chronic stress and mental burnout later. If you feel that you are already experiencing symptoms of chronic stress, consider speaking to a professional to prevent worsening symptoms.
A work/life balance doesn’t necessarily mean an even division. Your priorities may change with time and circumstance, and putting pressure on yourself to maintain an ideal standard could contribute to feelings of stress instead of helping to relieve them.
Know There May Be Long-Term Benefits For The Children Of Working Moms
Some women experience guilt associated with working while raising children because they think it may be detrimental to the child’s development. However, a 2015 study by Kathleen McGinn of the Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School suggests that there may be long-term benefits for children of working mothers.
Findings indicate that children raised by mothers who work outside the home may be more likely to hold jobs in a supervisory capacity and earn higher wages. The study also reveals that men raised by working mothers are often involved with caring for their families and contribute more to household chores. This kind of balance can lead to a better division of domestic labor and professional labor in future generations.
Despite its effectiveness, some working mothers feel that the challenges of speaking with a therapist outweigh the benefits. For instance, some women feel they cannot make time for the appointment and the commute to and from the therapist’s office. Some working women don’t feel they can relax and focus on a conversation with their therapist until later in the evenings after office hours.
Online therapy can be a valuable alternative course to in-person counseling for career women because it removes many of these barriers to treatment. Studies show that online therapy is often more affordable than in-person therapy. Also, research suggests that online therapy is just as effective as in-person therapy for treating depression, anxiety, and trauma.
Working mothers may face circumstances that cause stress or other mental health concerns. Searching through the network of caring therapists on an online platform such as BetterHelp can put you in touch with a licensed professional who may understand the struggles of being a career-minded woman and can assist you in coping with those struggles so you can cultivate a better work-life balance in your world.
What is another word for career woman?
There are many synonyms for “career,” such as vocation, occupation, profession, calling, livelihood, and business— but, like men, a career woman’s label often depends upon her line of work. For example, one could be a small business owner, doctor, teacher, or accountant.
What is meant by career girl?
By definition, a career girl could be a female who achieves success in her chosen line of work.
What is the meaning of occupation woman?
Occupation woman can be interpreted as another term for a career woman or woman with a job. It refers to a woman active in the labor market with a job and/or career.
What are the qualities of a career woman?
Career woman often have different qualities shaped by their personal experiences. Some women are re-entering the workforce after having a first child (or second or third), while others have been established in their role at work for decades. Regardless of her position in life—
career women all share traits necessary to achieve success, such as empathy, confidence, ambition, and passion.
How do you attract a career woman?
It’s difficult to outline a definitive plan for attracting a career woman because each has different preferences. Career-minded single women likely enjoy the company of someone who can stimulate their minds and value them for their abilities. A successful woman may also be attracted to independent people who can be direct about what they want in a relationship. Like most people, successful women are attracted by confidence and approachability.
How do I become a successful career woman?
Success in the workplace begins with designing a career around your strengths, passions, and interests. Doing work that brings you meaning in your daily life can set you up for success later.
It’s also important to remember that success is a journey, not a destination. Embrace the process, learn from experiences, and continue to grow professionally and personally.
Here are some other vital tips to help successful career women get ahead:
- Set Clear Goals— Describe what success means to you in your work life and set long and short-term goals accordingly.
- Engage In Continuous Learning— Expanding your skills and knowledge is critical for success. Be sure to explore the latest industry trends and attend workshops and courses.
- Seek Mentorship— Support from someone in your shoes can be highly beneficial for growth and success. Find other women who can help you build confidence and guide you toward success.
- Build Business Relationships— Building connections within your industry among your peers and leadership can provide key growth opportunities.
- Cultivate Work Ethic And Professionalism— Dedication, reliability, and professionalism often help build the foundation for career success. Consistently deliver quality work and meet deadlines. On difficult days, find ways to cope and maintain a positive attitude.
- Resilience And Adaptability—Embrace change and be adaptable. Develop resilience to bounce back from setbacks and learn from failures.
- Take Initiative— Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. It may seem intimidating sometimes but try to be proactive and seek new challenges or projects that showcase your abilities.
- Develop Strong Communication Skills— Verbal and written communication skills are essential for success in any area of life, especially in a workplace environment.
- Learn Time Management Skills— Prioritize tasks, set schedules, and manage your time efficiently. This skill helps you accomplish more and reduces stress.
- Seek Feedback And Learn From It— Constructive criticism is valuable when delivered respectfully. Even if it’s difficult to hear, try to put emotions aside and accept feedback for self-improvement.
- Practice Self-Care And Stress Management— In reality, stress can make it difficult to live up to your full potential and sidetrack your path to success. Practice self-care, like getting plenty of quality rest, eating a balanced diet that fuels your body, and doing things you love to fuel your soul.
- Make Work/Life Balance A Priority— Successful women create a healthy balance between their work and personal lives. In cases of overwhelm, ask for help with challenges both at work and on the home front. You may also find it helpful to speak to a counselor who can guide you through tough times.
How do I make a successful career?
Career success means different things to different people, but it often begins with understanding what you excel at and enjoy doing. If you need help determining what fields or industries align with your passions, consider taking a personality quiz or consulting a career counselor.
Once you’ve determined your direction, set specific, achievable milestones. While you navigate your path, be open to adjusting your goals as you learn and grow. If you’re starting from scratch and need practical experience, try working in an internship, part-time job, or with a volunteer organization that can help you hone the skills you need. These outlets can provide you with education and act as resume builders.
If necessary, market yourself through a personal website or an online platform like LinkedIn to showcase your skills and experiences. Attend conferences, seminars, or workshops related to your field. These may give you the knowledge you’ll need to grow marketable skills and obtain certifications to add to your resume.
Seek support from a mentor and other experienced professionals with successful careers in the same field. These people can offer advice and networking opportunities and act as a sounding board during challenging times. They may also show you some examples of things to expect as you grow in your career.
Don’t be afraid to take on new challenges and responsibilities along your journey. Keep improving and acquiring new skills relevant to your industry. Trying new things may come with failure, but you can use that to develop personal strength and leadership skills.
Why is career success important?
For some, achieving career success is essential for personal reasons. It can bring a sense of personal satisfaction and fulfillment. It can also boost self-esteem and confidence through recognition and respect from peers.
For others, success is important if it contributes to financial stability— allowing them to provide for a family, afford a comfortable lifestyle, and plan for the future. Career success may also be significant for some because it provides a way to make a meaningful impact. Whether through innovations, leadership, or contributions, success often amplifies one’s ability to make a difference.
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