You May Be Struggling More Than Other Moms To Do It All

Do you feel like you are constantly fighting to maintain the intricate balance between your job and your role as a mother?

So many pressures are put on moms to rise in their careers and have dinner on the table by 5, all while contributing to the school bake sale.

New research has shown that the struggle is real!

American moms are under more pressure than ever before in an effort to rise to the occasion; in motherhood, their job, and marriage.

A healthy life is an intricate balance for anyone, but for moms in the United States it is the toughest task in comparison to the rest of the western industrialized world, according to USA Today.

Why?

Shockingly, in what much of the world considers the most progressive and feminist nation in the world, mothers aren’t culturally supportive, says sociologist Caitlyn Collins, author of Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving.

It just goes to show that it’s not the liberal ideals that promote unity, but a focus on the family as the foundation to building a stable society.

USA Today reports on Collins’ wise words:

I want American mothers to stop thinking that somehow their conflict is their own fault, and that if they tried a little harder, got a new schedule, woke up a little earlier every morning, using the right planner or the right app, that they could somehow figure out the key to managing their stress. That’s just not the case. We live in a culture where we highly value individualism, and we don’t think about the collective.”

Time management and trying not to wear too many hats, as some would say, definitely help reduce stress, but there is no magic pill that makes running a household stress-free.

Mothers are always re-evaluating their schedules, parenting styles, and interactions with their children, feeling that they could be doing better, that their kids deserve the best.

While there is always room for improvement, moms need to be uplifting one another, not judging each other.

While you may not agree with your friend’s idea of a healthy lunch or reasonable bedtime, you can praise her for spending quality time with her children, and sacrificing her time to get them all to sports practices every week.

It’s no secret that most women want to wear a cape and accomplish the impossible, but Collins warns to USA Today how this could be at the cost of their mental health.

Psychology Today reports on a study that reviewed mothers in Sweden, Germany, and Italy to see which country has mastered being a working mom.

Not so surprisingly, none of the countries had it down to a science, but Swedish mothers seemed to be the best at it, while still feeling the pressures to meet up to society’s expectations of motherhood.

In East Berlin, women are choosing to be full-time mothers, even though employment equality is grounded there.

In West Germany and Italy, women typically will only get a part-time job, because they feel one can’t be a successful mother and employee simultaneously.

This setup for mothers is perfectly acceptable in these countries, reducing pressure to leave the home in search of a career.

Motherly paints a different picture for US women, reporting how they have very limited policies that help them find a healthy balance between caring for their children and working outside the home.

Any parent who has taken their child to daycare knows that the childcare system alone is unaffordable for many middle-class families, usually requiring all of a part-time paycheck just to cover the costs.

One would think that this would move more moms from the office to the home, but it hasn’t seemed to deter too many women.

Not to mention the limited options for single parents who have to work in order to support their kids.

USA Today reports on Collins supportive statements to all mothers:

I want to tell mothers that this is not your fault. It is powerful how much women have internalized the idea that if they just tried harder, it wouldn’t be this way. And I say, ‘No, this is not on you. You deserve better.’ And that is brand new information for a lot of women to really hear that.”

What if every woman delivered these thoughts to all the mothers in their life; to their sisters, friends, relatives?

Stress would reduce exponentially, camaraderie would enhance among one of the highest groups of people in existence- mothers.

Next time you see a mother struggling with her son taking candy in the checkout line, tell her you know these situations are hard, but that she is doing a great job, rather than delivering a look of disdain as you think “how could she let her son carry on like this.”

If a child takes toys from yours at a play date, try and encourage the mother to not be discouraged as she is trying to get her daughter through this difficult phase, rather than cutting them from next weeks play session.

Mothering is the most difficult job on the planet, the most widely unappreciated, and the most necessary one for the continuation of our society at large.

We need support, encouragement, and healthy friendships, not judgment and cold shoulders.

Take the time this week to let a mother know that you have her back, or that you know what she is going through and offer encouragement.

Please let us know in the comments section what you think about the work-life balance as a mother, and how other moms treat you when things don’t go perfectly.

 

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