How do you make a working mom’s life more bearable? Let us count the ways. The thing is, does anyone ever even ask a working mom, how can I help? Not often enough, especially not if you are a work from home mom. But there are definitely ways to make a working mom's life more bearable. Seems like if you work out of the home, people assume that you made your mom bed now lie in it.
But if you work from home, well, you don’t actually work at all. At least, that’s what people think. People have no consideration for your time or your work. They expect you to do all of your work, be the world’s most engaged mom and wife and still run all the errands, attend all the school functions, keep the clean house, meet all of your deadlines and still answer the door when someone pops over unannounced. It’s bull*hit.
The moral of the story, all moms work 24 hours a day, and we could all use a little TLC to make our lives more bearable. It doesn’t matter where you do your work at.
Just because we are working doesn’t mean that we don’t want to have a life. We do, we really do want to have a life. But after working all day and then coming home to take care of children, we don’t really want to feel like we’re penciling something else in even if it is time with our besties. We’re busy, and our free-time is limited, we want to see our friends, but it can it just be no fuss? How about coffee in the morning or wine in the evening over a good conversation? A brain dump with someone who gets it. Sounds like heaven to most working mother ears.
Image: Hallmark Channel
Working moms do not need you to judge them. They’re already doing plenty of that to themselves. Anything you can be thinking and wondering about if a working mom is going to fall short, she’s already been asking herself the same questions. From the moment a working mom decides to go back to work after baby, after giving birth and meeting her baby, she is second guessing every single choice she makes. Even if she loves her career and her co-workers, a little piece of her heart was stolen by those munchkins that she grew in her body for 10 months. There’s an invisible umbilical cord that is never actually cut, and moms are always tethered to their children. So don’t judge them. They’re doing their best.
Yes, the kids are super cute when they are in mommy’s arms but Seriously, working moms will file that offer away in their brain, and the next time there is an opening in their schedule they will want to collect on that offer because they need the night off on occasion. These nights out are very important to a mom’s balance and her sanity so if you don’t mean it, don’t say it. It’s not kind if you never have the intention of actually following through. In fact, it’s cruel. Don’t say it if you don’t mean it. Also, please mean it.
Yes, working moms do love to have a life and be included in outings with friends but, please don’t invite a working mom at the last minute to go with you to see Beyoncé. While it is a phenomenally kind and generous invitation, did you even consider what heavens and earth this woman might have to do to get the time off of life to attend the concert? Working moms run tight ships; the schedule is everything. In order for everyone to be where they need to be, when they need to be, mom has to be able to balance it all, and that seldom leaves any wiggle room in her schedule for anything, not even Beyoncé.
There are plenty of times working moms feel like failures. I mean mom fail even has its own hashtag, #momfail. Everyone judges moms, especially ones that dare to leave the house to earn their living. Anything problem their child has, any health issue, bad grades, or tantrum is attributed to mom and her lacking mom skills. All moms pretty much feel like they are faking it until they’re making it most of their tenure as a mom. If you see their kid being awesome or think mom has done something right, say something. Words are free, and they mean so much, especially if they are said in kindness.
You don’t need to tell us how “spirited” our child is. No need to say that our kid is, “so well-behaved for a latchkey kid.” Definitely, don’t need you to tell me what a great job I’m doing for “someone who only sees their kids for 4–hours a day.” We know our kid might be acting out. We get it; you think that a good mom should be home to greet her children with warm homemade cookies when they get off the bus. We even got the memo that working moms should spend more time with their children. But maybe you missed the memo about the fact that working moms work to make money to help feed, clothe and house their babies. Ever think working moms work because they have to?
Credit: True and the Rainbow Kingdom
No thanks. Working moms don’t have the luxury of calming down and enjoying every single moment because we have deadlines, places to be and people to see. We are fully aware that time is flying and childhood is fleeting. We know “they grow up in the blink of an eye.” But we’ve got bills to pay. As much as we’d love to be picnicking in the park with our kids, laying in the grass, looking up at the sky and finding shapes in the clouds with our kids as they giggle with delight, it’s just not feasible not even for moms who don’t work at a job because there are always errands to run, dinners to cook and houses to clean. It’s a beautiful idea in theory, but it doesn’t translate into reality for most of us.
Image: iStock / tab1962
Making a working moms life a little more bearable doesn’t necessarily need to be a big act. For example, pack her a lunch, let her get her shower first or just set the timer on the coffee maker so that she has fresh coffee in the morning. It sounds so simple, but it really is thoughtful gesture and takes one more thing off of her plate, which makes her life less complicated and busy. Being overtired and overextended feels like you can never catch up and you feel perpetually tired. By handling these little things, you give that working mom back a few precious minutes a day and shows her that you care and appreciate all that she does.
Image: Tumblr / WHAT GIF TODAY
Partners of working moms, the kindest thing you can do for everyone, yourself included, is to volunteer to pick up the slack on occasion and give us some uninterrupted time to ourselves. Not saying working moms need a week away, though a weekend might not be such a bad idea, even a few hours of alone time can make the world of difference. It could be an hour alone to sit in silence, pee alone and have a glass of wine or maybe it’s a night at a hotel to take a long quiet bubble bath, room service, and a super comfy bed with no one to worry about but themselves. Whatever it is, give your partner some alone time to take a few deep breaths and recharge, and it will mean the difference between working together and complete mom burnout. Not saying we’ve thought about this or anything.
Image: iStock / airspa
OK, partners, this goes for work-at-home moms and stay-at-home moms and all moms and dads everywhere. Ask these moms (and dads) how their day went because it reminds them that you see them as not just the parent of your child but as a man/woman; a human being. When you are working so hard to build a career and raise good tiny human beings, it’s easy to lose sight of your autonomy and begin to feel like nothing more than the keeper of little people. Taking that moment every day to see the individual, the person you fell in love with, as more than just your child’s parent, goes a long way in maintaining intimacy and the relationship. Remember, this kids won’t be living at home forever, and in the end, it will just be the two of you so take care of your partner. Take care of each other.
Image: iStock / jacoblund
Working moms get so busy that it’s nearly impossible to hit the gym. The truth is that moms probably need a workout more than anyone else. We need those endorphins released to give us that mental and physical boost to get through long work days so that we have the energy to come home and play with our children. Whether mama likes to run, do yoga or get her daily barre class in, help her do that. You are literally giving her the gift of a long, happy life filled with good health and peace of mind. Bonus: you are also giving her some much needed quiet and alone time.
Partners, older children and anyone who just wants to really do something kind that will mean the world to the working mom, walk the dog. Do bedtime and bath time with the kids. Help with homework. Pick up the groceries. Do the dishes. Wash and dry the laundry, fold it and put it away. Bring over a casserole. Anything you can do to have working mom come home and have less to do is perfect. The key is volunteering to do it. Seeing that it needs to be done and doing it, without needing recognition or fanfare. The point is that the working mom has less to do and no guilt. You’ve given her a gift.
Image: iStock / monkeybusinessimages
Appreciate her hard work but more importantly, let her know that you appreciate her hard work. She’s already feeling conflicted about splitting her energy and her time between work and home. How about telling her how she is killing it at work? Maybe let your working mom know how proud you are of her working so hard to be such a good example to your children. Tell her that you see her sacrifices. A little positive reassurance that what she is doing is important and that the kids are fine. Celebrate her work wins with her. Your words hold weight in her heart.
After a long day at work, there is nothing more amazing to a working mom than a hot bath, a glass of wine and a long massage from your partner that doesn’t have to lead to anything other than relaxation and sleep. A full body massage is the gold star of relaxation. But most working moms are probably married to working partners so a deep back rub, a nice foot massage (especially after a long day in high heels), a hand massage or loving scalp or shoulder massage can definitely help do the trick to make a working moms life more bearable. Plus, let’s be honest, a happy, relaxed mom is a happy, relaxed family.
Image: iStock / Lacheev
It’s really hard to go to work all day, come home and have to be the “no person”. Working moms spend their workday away from their family, the last thing they want to do is come home and be the bad guy. Partners, how about alternating who is the strict disciplinarian. Most moms get stuck being the bad guy most of the time because generally, we are the parent who spends the most amount of time with the children so we make most of the disciplinarian decisions just because we happen to be there. No one likes to be the one who always says no. The kids begin to expect it. It would really be nice to be able to come home from work and not have to say no to those tiny, sweet faces.
Image: YouTube / Noxzema commercial
Sleep is something no mom gets enough of and all moms need more of. In fact, of all the things that you can give to a working mom, sleep is the most beneficial and by far the most appreciated. Sleep has so many collateral benefits. Not only will getting enough sleep make you feel well-rested, more productive and generally happier, it also gives people the patience and clarity to be the best employee, spouse, and parent they can be. Sleep also helps to reduce stress and that makes you healthier which means you’ll be alive longer to spend more time with your family. Life win: mom win!