Unique Challenges of Being a Working Mom

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Being a working mom can be one of the most rewarding things in the world. Showing your kids that woman can be successful and have a career can be hugely impactful on their development and view on the world. However, being a working mother can be very difficult as well. It can be filled with stress, a lack of sleep, messes, and guilt.

Your clothes will almost always be dirty

There’s no doubt about it, children are messy. Whether it’s spit-up, milk, sauce, peanut butter or other bodily secretions there’s a good chance that you will have something somewhere on you. Trying to get the kids ready and out of the house while simultaneously trying to get yourself ready means that you will probably show up to the office dirty. It’s always a good idea to have an extra outfit in the office incase one day the mess is really bad. For those days when you can handle the mess, carry a to-go stain remover in your purse to give you a little extra help.

Nothing ever goes as planned

In the mornings it’s not unusual for things to be chaotic. Putting your kids to bed may take longer than expected. Basically, with kids you can’t plan anything and expect it to go smoothly. If you have an important meeting at work or you have to do something that you can’t be late for be sure to leave yourself extra time.

You will almost always be running late

Going along with the fact that nothing ever goes as planned is that you’ll almost always be running late to everything. Your child may want to switch their shoes or might refuse to eat what you’ve made. No matter what the situation, something always comes up that takes up more time than you thought it would.

Mommy guilt is real

Every mom feels guilty about being at work and not being with their kids. Some moms may feel jealous of stay-at-home moms. But just because you feel this way doesn’t mean that what you’re doing is bad. It’s normal and healthy. You might feel fine one moment and the next find yourself crying because you miss your kids. This is still healthy and normal. But what you really need to think about is why you made the decision to be a working mom. Keep thinking about the positives and how you will get to see your kids in just a few hours. While the mommy guilt might not necessarily go away, you might be able to do things that could make it a bit easier to manage the guilty feeling.

While being a working mom does come with its challenges, that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth it. The positives outweigh the challenges. It’s important to take every day as it comes and enjoy the time you have with your kids.

Organizational Tips for Working Mothers

Organization-Tips

Keeping everything organized as a busy working mom can sometimes feel extremely overwhelming and impossible. You might not have time to clean the house, cook dinner, take care of the kids and get your work done on time. Here are six great tips to help working moms stay organized!

Find out what stresses you out the most and make a plan to accomplish it- the stressor is different for every mom

It’s important that you analyze everything that you have to do and pinpoint the activity/activities that stress you out the most. This stressful activity is different for every mom. As a result, it’s impossible to give tips on how to relieve this stress. However, once you recognize what the most stressful activity/activities are then you can begin making steps to accomplish these activities with as little stress as possible. Maybe you could ask your partner or friends to help you accomplish this task, or save it for the day when you have the least amount to do. Whatever your plan of action is, stick to it!

Dinner

For some moms having to cook dinner after a long day of work and taking care of the kids can be daunting. A great trick is trying simple, time-tested tricks like meal planning. On Sunday plan your meals for the week and ensure that you have all of the ingredients. There are many sites online that give you delicious and healthy meals that take 30 minutes or less. You can also invest in a crock pot, which is an amazing tool. Put all of the ingredients in the crock pot either before you leave for work or once you get home, depending on how long the specific recipe will take to cook, and you get a delicious meal without much work. Another solution is cooking multiple meals over the weekend and freezing them. Then you have great meals in just a few minutes on the weeknights!

By doing any of these thing you will be able to enjoy delicious meals without much thought or the hassle. Moreover, you will ensure that you and your family are having a well-rounded meal that doesn’t include consuming copious amount of packaged and unhealthy fast-food. Additionally, you will save money by not getting take-out every night.

Getting kids ready in the morning

It’s never easy to jump out of bed at the crack of dawn and get yourself and your kids ready for the day and get to work on time. First things first is making sure that everything is in order before you go to bed the night before. Homework should be done and in the backpack, which should be put in the same place every night. Lunches should be made the night before and in the refrigerator ready to go. Additionally, all of your things, keys, files, computer, etc., should also have a specific place where they go overnight. Lay out everyone’s clothes at night so you don’t have to try and plan an outfit in the morning or try and find clean clothes. A great idea is if you have time on Sunday to lay out your kids outfits for the week and put them on hangers with a color-coded label for each day of the week. Finally, if possible, you should try your best to wake up before your children. This will give you some peaceful time to have a cup of coffee, do your makeup, and eat breakfast before the kids wake up. That way once they are awake you can focus all your attention on trying to get them ready.

Household chores

Unfortunately, now that you have kids you should probably give up your dream of having an immaculate and spotlessly clean house. Especially when you have a full time job, finding time to clean the house might seem impossible. It will probably be difficult to clean your whole house in a single cleaning session. Instead, you should take it one room or task at a time.

Your first step should be cleaning up clutter. If there is a pile of toys, clothing, or papers you should put them away in their appropriate place. This will make your house seem cleaner and will reduce the amount of dust that builds up.

Enlist the help of your family. Make your children clean up after themselves and help out in other areas if need be. Small children especially love helping out- get them into the habit early on. Kids can do simple things such as watering the plants, feeding the pet, picking up their toys and cleaning their room. Your husband can also help out by either doing chores or making dinner.

Use a calendar

Write down everything you have to do, even if it something small like sending out an RSVP or buying a gift, so you don’t forget. Being organized will help you immensely. You will never double book a time or forget anything again. A great tip is to write in a different colored pen for each person. It also helps to have a big calendar somewhere central like the kitchen so that everyone can see the day’s schedule. This way you can see exactly who has to be where when. In this day and age of technology it is also very helpful to have your calendar on your phone. You can program your smartphone to send you reminders of events so you never forget to go somewhere again.

Carpool

Carpooling with other families to places like sports practice or music lessons will cut the time that you have to chauffeur your kids around. It could give you the extra time you need to clean the house, cook dinner or finish something at work. You can also work with a friend to switch off playdates and errands. One mom can watch the kids one day while the other runs errands and switch the next day. There are lots of different ways you can work with other moms to help both of you get some much needed alone time.

Working Moms

Erica YitzhakThe phrase “it takes a village to raise a child,” is no less true now than it was decades ago. Raising a family can be equal parts challenging and fulfilling, but where do you turn when the village is empty? Working mothers have to make due with an additional obstacle, though. Raising a family and pursuing a career; two jobs, one without compensation. But is there an unseen benefit that being a working mother can bring to the table? A recent Harvard study seems to think so.

Studies at Harvard Business school have uncovered an interesting trend between mothers who work, and their children. Surprisingly, daughters of working mothers are more likely to earn supervisor roles at their jobs. Additionally, they earn 6% more than the daughters of mothers who stayed home. Sons of working mothers spent an additional hour a week caring for members of the household, and 17 minutes more on chores. Coupled with a study conducted in 2010, children with working mothers displayed no worse academic or behavioral problems than kids with stay-at-home parents.

While never easy to leave your children at home, parents that work encourage children to instinctively rely on themselves for care, and teach them the importance of responsibility and timeliness. With the majority of American mothers working, this research conclusively shows not only a lack of detriment, but a hidden benefit to being a working mother. Demonstrating a positive outlook with hard work, determination and dedication instills an attitude in children that will follow them into their professional lives.

It’s never easy to leave your kids. Spending time at work can feel like a wedge, driving you apart from your children, and siphoning away what little time there is before they’re all grown up. Remember, you’re not robbing them of a mother, but reinforcing qualities that will last a lifetime. Be fearless in the pursuit of your families happiness. Someday, they will thank you for showing them what it means to put aside personal feelings, and do what needs to be done for the people you love.

The Working Mother: Labor After Labor

Being a mother is often considered the hardest job there is. The constant care, sleepless nights and physical strain would be enough to make any reconsider the stresses of their own work. But how do you juggle the full-time job of caring for your children and working for a living? This delicate balancing act is being performed by women all over the globe, and it’s not an easy one. While certain workplaces afford you the ability to manage your own schedule, far too many women are not as in control of their own workday. Leaving them to manage what little time they have with the family to the best of their ability. Here are some quick ways a modern mom can manage the madness of her day.
Take advantage of your technology. With so many mobile services running the gamut from grocery delivery to remote control laundry, whatever time you can save while on the move must be taken advantage of. With the advent of remotely operated appliances, you could start any number of chores on the way home to save a few extra minutes for your family.
If you don’t have full control over your schedule, practice negotiating. A mom on the move needs to find help wherever she can. Whether that be squeezing a few spare moments out of her work schedule, or finding friends to help watch the family while at work, a positive negotiating attitude can mean the difference between suffering your schedule, and living with it.
Negotiating can help tremendously with finding assistance around the house or at work. If something needs doing and you haven’t the time, there are plenty of services that offer cheap help in your local area. TaskRabbit is a great way to handle mundane tasks for a minimal fee, and free up more time for the kids.
Being a working mother is far from easy. However, what some call a thankless job is anything but. A family needs a strong foundation to thrive, and compared to a working mother, nothing is stronger. An unshakeable warrior for her family, the working mom handles both positions with a poise and determination unmatched in today’s world.

US Working Mothers: A Video on Daily Struggles

Proverbs for a Busy Working Mom

6 Good Habits of Happy Working Mothers

Erica Yitzhak Lawyer

Being a mom and working a full-time job is extremely stressful. Not only is being a mother a full-time job on it’s own, it’s a life-time job. Many women today in our country face this dilemma and are taking it one day at a time in terms of making sure all is taken care of for their family.

Thanks to all the strong and dedicated mothers before us who have paved the way to make this process as smooth as possible. I’ve listed the techniques they’ve found to be most helpful for young, hardworking mothers:

1. Make sure to ask for help when you need it.
To be successful, you must ask for help when you need it. This is what a good community or a positive network means, and in the future you can help others too. People want to be able to help others, so do them a favor and let them help you when you need it most. Be sure to return the favor when you’ve caught up!

2. Try outsourcing.
TaskRabbit is an interesting concept where you can outsource your clerical or more mundane and tedious jobs to other people on the internet. This way you can free up some more time to be with your children, run errands, or cook dinner. Of course, if it is available to you, working mothers hire cleaning services and try to spend their weekends with family and friends to create a happier outlook.

3. Negotiation is key.
Negotiation is a skill all mothers should master. The power of negotiation mans you know your time and it is all out on the table for you to organize. Improving this skill to get what you want in terms of negotiating can save you years of frustration, stress, and discomfort.

4. Use your tech!
Wise mothers these days are caught up with technology and all the new services that are available to us through devices. From memo apps, delivery apps, laundry apps, there are so many things that you can expedite in your life. This technology was made for busy working mothers!
Take advantage of it.

5. Respect flexibility in yourself and others.
Being an extremely busy mother can unlock a deep compassion for those who are also very stressed and overbooked. Respect other employees and clients, as well as family and friends when they need flexibility. It’s a two way street when it comes to respect, you give some you get some back.

6. Make sure to call your girlfriends.
Your girlfriends are your rocks and they help you through everything, especially as a young working mother. Even a 10 minute call or a text conversation can help your happiness levels throughout the day. True girlfriends are a source of strength and inspiration in our lives.

Q&A About American Mothers

Erica Yitzak

American Moms are far different today than they were 100 years ago. Here are a few things that we know are different of today’s American mothers and how everything has changed over time.

1. What are American Mothers about?
In America, there are about 85 million mothers. Today, there are about a third of women from the ages 18-63 that have young children at home. In 1960, 52% did. Women are having children at a much later age than they used to. Today, the average age of a first time mother is 25.8 compared to 21.4 in 1970.

Another fact is that the marital status of mothers has changed as well. In 1960, nearly all mothers with young children were married, compared to the 7 in 10 statistic today.

2. How many kids do they have?
Women who are in their forties and nearing the end of their child-bearing years: 1/3 has had two children, 19% have either had one or three and about 10% have had four or more children.

American mothers today have on average 1.9 children, compared to the 3.7 children in 1960.

3. How do American moms spend their time?
Today, moms work far more hours outside home and spend less time on housework than they did fifty years ago. Moms actually spend more time with their children than 5 years ago, and about twice as much as today’s fathers do. Dads todays pend much more time on housework and child care than the average amounts of the past, but they haven’t yet caught up to moms.

4. How many moms are working?
About 71% of mothers with children younger than the age of 18 were in the labor force, compared to less than half in 1975. Interestingly enough, mothers are actually staying at home more since 1999.

Moms these days are actually providing more for their families than they ever have. About 2/3rds of these breadwinner mothers are single moms.

Americans today still have mixed views about he ideal situation for raising a family and work-life balance.

5. How do moms feel about the job they’re doing raising their kids?
Moms still feel that they do not spend enough time with their kids, even though the amount of time has significantly increased over the years. three quarters of moms give themselves high ratings on their parenting skills, as working mothers are particular likely to give themselves a good rating as well.

Why Shared Female Workspaces Are Building a Better Network

Erica Yitzhak Shared Workspace

Working from home offers a lot of freedom, but it can feel understandably isolating and distracting for people who thrive in collaborative work environments. The typical work environment offers a structure and a general hum of productivity than can be helpful for those even without the typical 9 to 5. That’s why co-working spaces were born.

These shared professional workspaces are a great way to connect businesspeople, entrepreneurs, and creative work teams in a collaborative environment. But for some women, the typical male-dominated, competitive workspaces with lots of brick and concrete aren’t an environment conducive to supporting their best work. For these women, the nearest Starbucks has historically been the default, but a more female-focused co-working space like Hera Hub might be a more attractive option.

Hera Hub, a shared workspace built specifically for female entrepreneurs, features a spa-like atmosphere: soft music, candles, fountains, nice lighting and a decidedly female clientele. Although the business remains open to men, the goal is to create an environment that is attractive to women and encourages female networking and collaboration.

Hera Hub, named after the Greek Goddess of women, offers a professional environment where professional women can work flexible hours, meet clients outside of a coffee shop, and access that sense of collaborative community that they crave. According to an internal Hera Hub survey, the members feel 60% more productive when they work in the shared workspace compared to working at home by themselves.

The business’ goal is to open 200 franchise locations, both in the US and abroad, in order to help more than 20,000 women launch their own businesses over the next five years. It’s about giving professional women a comfortable environment to achieve their goals and dreams in the business world. Hera Hub has already opened three locations in San Diego and is set to open its first in Washington, DC location next month.

5 Steps Women Can Take to Overcome the Payment Gap

Erica Yitzhak

The gender pay gap statistics for 2015 are unquestionably better than 30 or 40 years ago but there is still a ways to go before things completely even out. By taking a number of proactive steps, you can give yourself the best probability of beating the odds. These 5 steps will not only help you get equal pay, but also help you monetarily surpass your male and female peers alike.

Here’s what you need to know:

Understand the Landscape: The first step you can take to beating the gender pay gap is to understand what you’re up against. The census data from 2014 shows that women earn $0.78 for every $1 that men earn. But certain fields and industries consistently pay women better than others do. Women financial specialists typically only make 66% of what men make while pharmacists and nurses make nearly 90% of what men do. There are other steps you can take to close the gap, but understanding the challenges you face in your industry is an important first step.

Negotiate Early: A Catalyst study in 2011 showed some startling results for new female hires. Only half of men and women have countered their most recent initial offer, but only 31% of women did on their very first offer out of grad school (compared to 50% of men). If you fail to negotiate your first offer, you’re unquestionably disadvantaging yourself over the course of your career. Every raise and every bonus will be smaller because you are starting from a smaller base. Although men and women could both do more to negotiate their salary, new female hires need to do more to more aggressively close the pay gap.

Speak Up: Most women aren’t aggressive enough in countering their initial offer and the same holds true for speaking up once you have the job. If you aren’t aggressive about asking for opportunities, you’re going to get noticed less often and you are going to advance at a much lower rate than your more confident go-getting peers.

Push for Promotions: Opportunities for advancement will not just fall into your lap. But you also don’t want to randomly ask for a promotion when the request isn’t appropriate. Be selective about the times you want to push for a promotion, be strategic about the audience you tell, and make sure to stick to the facts about how you’ve helped the company. Save the self-congratulations for when you’re away from the workplace.

Be an Active Employee: If you have a consistently open relationship with your manager, you are much more likely to be recognized for your accomplishments. Seeking feedback is also critical; you want to know what you’ve done well and what you can do better. If you strive to consistently improve and get feedback, you’ll accomplish better work and get noticed for it in the process!

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