Posted on 12 May 2020
Sadly, there were no fancy dinners or spa trips this Mother’s Day, as most of us continue to be confined to home and the neighbourhood. And for working mothers, things might be even more hectic. In addition to holding down a job, there are kids to supervise, a house to clean, and a spouse who may or may not be helpful. All without the usual “babysitters” like school or helpful relatives to take the burden off a mom with a job.
If you’re struggling to juggle a dizzying load of responsibilities as an employee/employer and as a mother, we feel your confusion. For Mother’s Day, we curated some tips especially for moms on the payroll to keep you from drowning under all this new work.
Depending on what they can do, teach the children to help with the housework. They can tidy up after themselves by making their beds or heating lunch, and help you out by folding the laundry and dusting surfaces while you vacuum. Not only will this lighten your workload, but they will learn valuable skills and develop a sense of responsibility.
Also, as they are learning, it’s important not to rush in to “fix” things or insist on them being done “properly”. If your children see that you remake their beds after they’ve done it, they will quickly stop making the bed altogether. Instead, try to focus on the learning points and control your inner perfectionist.
Because the shift to working from home was so sudden, many of us had no time to prepare and work out who should do what. Due to this, many moms ended up simply shouldering all the family chores in a bid to finish them off. But this leads to higher stress, decreased productivity, and burnout at worst.
Make sure to share the burdens of work. Your spouse can spend time with the kids when you have Zoom meetings, and any relatives living in the house can chip in by doing chores or providing entertainment. The children themselves should be given tasks (and rewarded when they do well). You are all staying in together, so you all should be working for the home.
You’re juggling so many tasks, so getting them done quickly and satisfactorily is key. One way to do this is to plan ahead – go shopping for a whole week’s groceries, prepare big meals and freeze the leftovers, and write out a timetable of important times and activities so that everyone is informed in advance. With delivery services still active, many working families have turned to meal plans and online shopping to get essentials when they need them.
Don’t forget to plan ahead on the job front as well. Talk to your boss or colleagues if you will need a little time off to supervise the kid’s e-Learning, or a change in work hours to accommodate your family.
Some of us just can’t stand it if the dishes are unwashed or the floor is dusty. But in this new normal, it’s important to accept that you might not be able to maintain the living standards you’re used to. After all, everyone is at home all the time now, so it’s only natural that your home will get messier and dirtier with so many people in it.
For the clean freaks amongst us, we recommend sticking undone chores out of sight until you’re ready to deal with them. Some moms have the laundry hamper in a different room, or shut the study door, so that they don’t compulsively start cleaning the moment they spy a hint of mess. While a basic standard of cleanliness is a must, there’s also no need to run yourself ragged trying to keep your home spotless for visitors that aren’t going to show.
With everyone together all day, “me time” has become a precious resource that must be guarded and enjoyed as such. Mothers can get particularly caught up in their roles as caregiver, homemaker, executive, etc. and forget about the person inside.
Get at least one night a week of just being yourself. Do your own thing: read that book you’ve wanted to pursue, indulge in your hobby, call a friend for a catch-up or just sit and be you. You’ll find that an uninterrupted moment of pure rest is a more effective ‘recharge’ than cat naps here and there with tasks still on the brain.
To all the moms out there, whether they are working on raising the family or keeping a job or both, our deepest thanks for your efforts and time!
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