How To Celebrate National Working Mom's Day

Medically reviewed by April Justice, LICSW
Updated April 24, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

The national day to celebrate working mom's is March 12. Working mothers often balance various duties simultaneously. Parenting can take up a significant amount of time, and a full-time job on top of these responsibilities can be overwhelming. National Working Mom’s Day generally attempts to honor these parents and drive awareness of resources working moms can use to make working and parenting life less stressful and more functional. Ways to celebrate National Working Mom’s Day can include supporting your own mom, offering help, advocating for gender-inclusive policies in the workplace, and learning more about how to find support if you’re a working parent. Online therapy may be a convenient option for mental health care.

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Significance of National Working Mom’s Day

National Working Mom’s Day usually occurs on March 12th each year, driving awareness of working mothers and their contributions to society. This day was founded in 1983 by the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA). 

ABWA’s mission is primarily to support women in the workforce, including all the working moms in the country, who often face unique barriers to success and equity in the workforce. 

The purpose of this special day is largely to show working moms nationwide that their contributions to society are appreciated and that it can be normal and healthy to seek help when overwhelmed. It can serve as an opportunity for all Americans to pay attention to workplace, government, and social policies that negatively impact mothers and single parents working full-time or part-time jobs.

Challenges faced by working moms

Working women and mothers often face significant workloads at home and in the workplace. A 2018 study found that parenting tends to be the equivalent of 2.5 full-time jobs, as mothers typically spend 14 hours a day on parenting, aside from the hours spent at their jobs.

Below are some challenges working mothers may face. 

Gender inequality 

Women, especially heterosexual women, are often expected to take on much of the responsibilities associated with parenting children, possibly due to gender stereotypes. According to Pew Research Center, it can be difficult for heterosexual couples to balance work and family duties

For example, 41% of working mothers report that being a parent has made advancing their careers more difficult. The study also reports that heterosexual women usually take on most parenting duties, including the following: 

  • 54% of mothers, compared to 6% of fathers, may manage children’s daily schedules and activities. 
  • 47% of mothers, compared to 6% of fathers, tend to be children’s primary caretakers when sick. 
  • 31% of mothers, compared to 9% of fathers, may be the primary people to handle household chores and responsibilities. 
  • 29% of mothers, compared to 17% of fathers, may discipline children independently. 
  • 22% of mothers, compared to 13% of fathers, tend to play with or participate in activities with their children most of the time. 

In the study, fathers were usually more likely to report an equal workload, whereas mothers frequently reported that they were overwhelmed with childcare and household chores. This research may indicate the benefit of more awareness of gender inequality in heterosexual relationships and ways to improve gender equality and equity at home. 

A lack of workplace support 

Workplace policies are not usually designed with parents in mind, whether in small businesses or large-scale corporations. Employers may not offer benefits like flexible work arrangements, sufficient maternity leave, and spaces for breastfeeding or childcare. To mitigate these challenges, workplaces could consider offering support to mothers related to childcare, such as discounts on daycare. 

When working moms are not given sufficient time or space in their schedules to care for their children, it can negatively impact their work performance and the care they provide at home. Studies show that unhealthy workplace practices may be a cause of postpartum depression in some women. Extended maternity leave was frequently related to lower levels of depression risk. 


Women often face societal stigmas and stereotypes about working and parenting. In the workplace, women are frequently less likely to receive a promotion or pay raise. In addition, women tend to be less likely to hold C-executive jobs like CEO, CFO, and others. 

Women may still make less on average than men do at work. In addition, companies may unfairly choose not to hire or promote a woman who is pregnant, breastfeeding, or caring for children due to misconceptions about what being a parent means for individuals. Companies may try to avoid having an employee who goes on maternity leave, which can be a form of discrimination. 

Getty/MoMo Productions

How to support working moms

No matter who you are, driving awareness of Working Mother’s Day and showing appreciation for the hard work of working mothers in your life or community can be essential. Below are a few ways to support working moms. 

Drive awareness 

Consider driving awareness of National Working Mom’s Day in your community by attending an event, organizing your own event, or sharing statistics about working moms and the challenges they can face (you can find information and resources on the American Business Women’s Association website). You might also post on social media about these statistics and call for others to support this day. 

Thank your mom 

If you have a mom who was or is a working mother, you might thank her for her effort, care, and support to show her she is celebrated and cared for. Your mom may appreciate a card, letter, or kind message about how much you appreciate her support and the difference she has made in your life. 

You might also consider giving her a gift on this day, such as a handmade piece of art, a gift basket, or tickets to a concert. You could also spend the day with your mom, treating her to an experience like a spa day, a trip to the park, a picnic, or a show. 

Advocate for inclusive work policies

If you have decision-making power at your workplace or work in an HR department, it may be advantageous to bring up the challenges working mothers often experience and ideas for improving the workplace. Below are a few ways to be more inclusive to mothers at work: 

  • Implementing paid parental leave
  • Implementing more extended maternity leave policies, including for adoptive parents
  • Implementing paternal leave to ensure mothers in heterosexual relationships have support 
  • Implementing parental leave for same-sex non-gestational parents
  • Setting up a space in the building for breastfeeding mothers
  • Starting a dialogue about being an inclusive workplace for mothers and pregnant women 
  • Offering workplace health benefits that include prenatal care, fertility support, and counseling for mothers
  • Offering discounts or payment plans for daycare or opening a daycare at work 
  • Allowing mothers to work from home as needed 

Studies show that approximately 30% of new mothers without paid family leave left their jobs within a year of their new child and did not return within 10 years, indicating the importance of inclusive workplace policies. 

Offer help 

If you know a working mother in your life, consider offering help. Often they stay quiet about their challenges due to social stigma or expectations, and acts of service can be an excellent way to honor working mothers. If you are the partner of a working mother, consider offering equal support at home if you haven’t been holding the same number of responsibilities. You might offer support to a working mother by: 

  • Offering to watch the kids so she can have time to herself 
  • Offering financial support if it is within your reach 
  • Asking her what she needs
  • Scheduling hangouts that are child-friendly 
  • Helping her find resources in your community 
How to find support as a working mom

If you’re a working mother, you’re not alone. Other working moms deal with the same sort of stressors, and there are resources available to lighten the load. Below are a few resources you might consider if you’re struggling. 

Asking for help 

It’s okay to ask for help. If you are experiencing mental health challenges, symptoms of a mental illness, stress, overwhelming feelings, or other difficulties, it can be crucial to reach out to someone. Talking to loved ones and friends may be beneficial, and venting can be a helpful way to relieve stress. 

Local programs and support organizations 

Many local and online programs and support organizations are available for working parents, including the following: 

Getty/MoMo Productions
Find professional support as a working mom

Talk to a therapist

A therapist may be a beneficial resource for working mothers. By speaking to a therapist, you can receive mental health support and evidence-based coping mechanisms to use in your daily life. However, some mothers with busy schedules may find it challenging to attend therapy sessions in person. In these cases, an online therapy platform like BetterHelp may be more convenient. 

Online therapy generally allows parents to see a therapist from home or any location with an internet connection via phone, video, or live chat sessions. In addition, individuals can choose a session time that works for them, including outside of standard business hours, which may be helpful for working parents. 

Studies show that online therapy can be highly effective. In one study, researchers looked at the impact of web-based interventions on parental emotion regulation. They found that online cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) could effectively reduce parental stress and avoidance while increasing emotional regulation and life satisfaction.  

Working mothers may face unique obstacles to both work and family life. Understanding the stigma, gender inequality, and challenges working moms face can be crucial to honoring National Working Mom’s Day this year. However, it can be beneficial to pay attention to these factors year-round and support the mothers in your life. If you are a working mother looking for support, consider contacting a licensed therapist online or in your area for personalized support.
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