Are you a working mother often asking yourself, am I doing the right thing by working and not being home for my kids? Whether a mother should be working or not has always been a topic of discussion. Working mothers get put in the dock, given guilt about not giving proper time at home and not focussing on the work front. They contribute to society’s economic growth, and while being positive role models for their children, they have to manage time, guilt, and the expectations of society.
Therefore, the community must empower working mothers by providing flexible work arrangements, supportive employers, and encouraging family members. Through this support, working mothers can demonstrate the determination, strength, and capability of women in our modern society.
“There is something really empowering about saying, “I can do it all!” That’s the wonderful thing about mothers. You can because you must, so you just do.” – Kate Winslet 
Who is a Working Mother?
A working mother fulfils the double roles of a parent and an employee . At a global level, 71% of the new employment belonged to mothers, showing that society’s norms and economic demands are changing .
Working mothers show better mental health and financial independence than non-working mothers. They face challenges such as time management, restricted roles at work, and guilt over divided attention between work and family. Some strategies to cope with and manage these challenges, working mothers seek flexible work arrangements, parental leaves, and reliable childcare .
Most people feel that the children of working mothers might get neglected. However, studies show that such children are more expressive, show independent behavior, and are unbiased toward gender roles .
How Does Being a Working Mother Affect the Family?
Being a working mother can affect family dynamics in a drastic way   :
- Child Development: Children always need good role models in their lives. Working mothers can fulfill this duty very well. Children of working mothers tend to have higher cognitive and academic achievement as they get more exposure in their lives.
- Parent-Child Relationships: Children are born with a unique bonding with their mothers. The more time they spend, the more this bond gets stronger. Working mothers might worry about the relationship quality and bonding with their children.
- Gender Roles: A working mother’s role as an employee can concern gender roles and how the household work gets divided. The budding concept of being a “house husband” or having shared responsibilities between partners can change this societal mindset.
- Economic Well-being: A working mother helps create a second income in the house which can be highly beneficial to the lifestyle, education, and future of the children and family.
- Stress as a Parent: If you see a working mother, you will be able to notice the kind of pressure she’s in. They balance both work responsibilities and family responsibilities diligently. The stress emerging from needing to care for everything can lead to conflict.
- Being a Role Model: All parents want their children to focus on their education and careers. By doing well personally and professionally, working mothers prove they are ideal role models for their children, especially daughters.
- Changing Society’s Perspective: Traditional belief system said that women must care for the family and home. Working mothers have challenged this thought process and helped change society’s perspective. Today, many families have both parents contributing financially and at home.
How does the Mental Health of a Working Mother get Affected?
Working mothers face many challenges  :
- Managing Time: Family and profession both require time to be devoted. However, balancing work and family commitments can overwhelm working mothers. Lack of time can lead to increased stress and potential burnout.
- Work-Family Conflict: With time, the responsibilities at personal and professional levels increase. Juggling between work and family demands can create conflicts, negatively impacting job satisfaction and well-being.
- Guilt and Emotional Stress: Working mothers are mostly not at home. They take care of their home and children along with their work. Due to this, they may feel guilty about ignoring their children. This emotional distress can affect their mental health and well-being.
- Workplace Stereotypes: Due to society’s demands for the woman of the family to take care of the home, working mothers often face career challenges, known as the “motherhood penalty.” Stereotypes and career growth challenges can lead to increased stress levels and burnout.
- Childcare Arrangements: Half the issue is resolved for working mothers if the children are cared for. However, finding affordable and accessible childcare options may be a challenge impacting women’s workforce participation.
- Support at Work: Working mothers require support at work. Most companies do not provide flexible working hours and parental leaves, which can hinder a working mother’s ability to manage her work and family responsibilities effectively.
- Disturbed Sleep Patterns: Anxiety and depression symptoms may increase due to disturbed or poor sleep. While balancing work and family responsibilities, working mothers have disturbed sleep patterns.
How can a Working Mother find a Work-Life Balance?
Although having a work-life balance is essential for everyone, for working mothers, it becomes a point of utmost importance :
- Work Flexibility: Working mothers benefit significantly from work-from-home situations or flexible working hours. The flexibility can lead to higher work-life satisfaction, reduced work-family conflict, and higher work-life balance.
- Support at Work: Paid leaves, on-site childcare facilities, and providing lactation rooms can help create a supportive environment for working mothers, bringing a work-life balance and job satisfaction.
- Time Management: Juggling multiple things within a limited time can trigger stress for working mothers. Working mothers can take the initiative to learn effective time-management techniques, such as to-do lists, time blocks, and setting priorities.
- Setting Boundaries: Keeping a balance between work life and personal life is not easy. Learning to set boundaries and saying no, can empower working mothers and increase life satisfaction.
- Seeking Support: Everyone needs a support system in their lives. Working mothers can find support systems in the form of the elderly in the family, house-helps, or child-care facilities around them.
- Relaxation: Working mothers often ignore taking out time for self-care while managing their home and work. To avoid stress and burnout, they should include self-care techniques like exercise, mindfulness, hobbies, or simply doing nothing in their daily routine.
- Having Open Conversations: Working mothers must learn to communicate their viewpoints and issues openly with compassion. Open communication about their challenges will help build supportive work and home environments for them.
Working mothers balance the responsibilities of being a mother, a wife, and a working woman. Despite their challenges in managing work and family life, they depict the ability to bounce back from challenges, dedication, and strength. Working mothers positively impact the economy and inspire future generations. They can find a fulfilling work-life balance with access to supportive workplace policies, flexible arrangements, and social networks. Women can thrive in their personal and professional pursuits when their roles as caregivers and professionals are recognized and valued.
If you are a working mother looking for work-life balance, you can contact our expert counselors or explore more content at United We Care! At United We Care, a team of wellness and mental health experts will guide you with the best methods for well-being.
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