Mothers in the workplace face a variety of challenges related to balancing their work and family responsibilities. Many of these challenges are rooted in stereotypes and biases about women’s roles as caregivers, which can lead to lower pay, fewer promotions, and fewer opportunities for career advancement. Between finding affordable and reliable childcare, lack of flexibility in the workplace, and the overarching lack of support in traditional American culture – being a working mom is not easy.
Ultimately, creating a supportive and inclusive workplace culture that values the contributions of all employees, including mothers, is essential for attracting and retaining talented women in the workforce. By addressing the unique challenges faced by working mothers, employers can help create a more equitable and inclusive workplace for everyone.
We interviewed some of our EMI moms to get their feedback on this topic. Read on to learn more!
It can feel overwhelming managing clients, projects, and the lives of everyone in your household. With that being said, planners, listening ears, and time management go a long way. Under our “Mom Hacks” category, we asked for their tips, tricks, and resources that help them manage their day to day lives!
“I’m all about my weekly planner and calendar! I’d be lost without it. I think it’s important to give yourself grace, and prioritize the ‘must dos’ from the ‘nice to dos.’”
“My biggest tip is to listen to your child; they show and tell you what they need. There are a lot of mommy blogs and books and how to’s but that advice is not one size fits all. Trust your ‘Momtuition’.”
“The main thing I try to focus on is that parenting evolves very quickly as children grow. The things they need from me now that they are 9 and 6 are much different than what they needed from me as babies, so I find it best not to get too stuck in the same routine.”
“On most days, I try to wrap up my project updates by logging in early especially the ones that need more attention. Sometimes, I also log in before going to bed to ensure everything is running smoothly in field not a best practice but I do it sometimes to ensure everything is running smoothly.”
Moms tend to take care of everyone else’s needs before their own. While non-traditional parenting methods are more widely adopted to ease the mental load on a single person, the weight of it all can still take a toll on mental health. While one size does NOT fit all and we don’t need to strive for perfection, here are some of the things our moms are doing to take care of themselves.
“I make it a priority to get plenty of sleep each night and to exercise most days of the week. I take advantage of quality time with my husband when the kids have gone to bed or are playing on their own.
“I make sure to have hobbies outside of being a mom or an EMI employee as well, whether it’s my running club, dinner nights with friends, or my gymnastics involvement – I do things strictly for me!”
“This is something where I will have to work a lot. I don’t do anything for myself. My entire day goes to either working or doing things for family.”
“Once my children were school aged and able to better respect boundaries, we agreed that mommy needed 15-20 minutes once I got home from work to have some quiet time, time to turn off work mode and turn on home mode. It was hard for me to not feel stressed when there was a barrage of questions and stories and needs as soon as I walked in the door after dealing with a high stress, fast paced day job. That small break made a big difference in the tone of my answers so that I can respond as mom, not like I was speaking to a coworker or client.”
Since COVID, so much has changed about how we physically get from one place to another. Transporting children to and from school and extracurricular activities will get you 10K steps on your smart watch alone. How is it possible to be in so many places at once?
“The kids are in school during the day, and my husband and I do our best to split the pick-up/drop-off, homework, and extracurricular duties evenly depending on our individual work schedules. A lot of times, we will compare calendars at the beginning of the week, or even the day sometimes, to see who can handle each responsibility.”
“I didn’t do a great job at work life balance to be honest for many years, in that I mean, what I was trying to balance was what work needed from me and what my family needed and much less of what my life needed. I had to crash and burn before I realized I needed to focus on self-care. I learned to get better at treating myself to spa days, days off when no one else was home to just have chill time, even solo vacations to reset.”
“Family help was vital in the youngest years before my kids were old enough for school, shout out to the grandparents and aunties. I was fortunate that at the time when I wanted to focus on my career, my ex-husband was very comfortable taking on more household & child caring responsibilities.”
“I share this responsibility with my husband. When I am busy, he drops and pick her up and the days when he is busy I do it myself.”
At the end of the day, there is a lot to learn from your kids. There’s something transformational that happens when you take a beat to ask yourself if you are setting the example you want your kids to absorb from you. As you get those hand made cards, flowers, and breakfast in beds this Sunday, what are you reflecting on?
“What I find most rewarding about being a working mom was that my children respected how hard I worked and learned from my work ethic and commitment to achieving my goals. The biggest lesson I learned was to give myself some grace, the goal cannot be perfection, the goal is that my children feel loved, safe, secure, and supported. I learned not to let short term deadlines and 9-5 projects overshadow the bigger picture of the importance of family and community connectedness.”
“Being a working mom has taught me a lesson in patience. It can be challenging to field client questions and language arts questions at the same time, but it all comes with the territory. That’s where the to-do list comes in handy!”
“I think it helps to acknowledge that you can’t do everything well 100% of the time. I once heard in a presentation at a women’s leadership conference that in general, humans can do five big things well. Those five things shift over time, but don’t try to pick 10+ things you want to devote yourself to daily or you won’t feel like you’re accomplishing anything. For example, you might focus on career, marriage, kids, friendship, and exercise. If you sense a shift and want to focus on something new, like learning a foreign language, practicing a musical instrument, or traveling, that’s amazing, you just probably have to adjust something else to find that time and energy. This mindset helps me stay balanced and being aware of ‘my five’ at any given time helps relieve guilt of saying no to something or not putting a lot of time and attention to things outside of those I’ve identified as a core focus.”
“The most rewarding aspect is that no matter how bad or hectic your day was, when you log off and see your child you forget everything. After becoming mom, I am a better multitasker and stronger at the heart & mind.”
Lastly, we asked for words used to describe what it’s like being a working mom, here are a few of the results!