Challenges Facing Working Mums

Some women have the ability to maintain a busy career in addition to a bustling family and appear to do it beautifully.  I certainly admire them for their discipline and dedication. I am certain that even for these women, that it is a major challenge balancing this strenuous lifestyle.

For other women, this dual responsibility is a formula for exhaustion, frustration and a never ending battle for survival.  The struggle to prioritise their time between the abundance of accountabilities to their children, family, employer or business can be overwhelming.

It is surprising how often there is guilt and stigma attached to being a working mum coming from external sources. The pressure may come from: husbands, family, friends and surprisingly enough even other women. Despite there being a shift in social roles including the functions men and women fulfil within families the burden weighs heavily on super mum’s shoulders. It is a balancing act where super mum strives to satisfy a mother’s need to be present during the child’s formative years whilst maintaining the income stream required. In the process ensuring that meeting their responsibilities doesn’t interfere with their employment commitments and obligations.

So many personal and professional sacrifices are made by the super mum. In a competitive work environment often requiring work beyond a forty hour week, working mums face slowed career advancement because they may struggle with burning the midnight oil. Extended hours to meet deadlines are often required but this may prove problematic if you need to meet family obligations. What this means for working mums is that they don’t always see the same opportunities to advance their careers as their male counterparts do.

It is no longer the prevailing standard to have a household in which only one parent is working. Increasingly, mums are the co-earners and in some case the primary breadwinners within of the family. As working women, we face challenges and obstacles that men do not. There are demands on time, energy, resources and emotions.

Consider the woman rising at 6am to get her kids dressed, fed, situated for the day who then drives to work, then actually needs work for the day. Her journey continues after her eight or possibly nine hour day as she heads off to retrieve the kids, drive home, cook the dinner. It doesn’t end there as her mothering role for the evening (another six hours) has just begun and she eventually gets the kids to bed. Finally, super mum crawls into bed wondering where the day went and hubby wonders why there is a look of horror on her face when he asks ‘I suppose sex is out of the question?’.

The most difficult aspect of this lifestyle is the consistency of the load and how unrelenting the demands are not to mention the toll it takes the super mum’s relationship with her partner. Somewhere in the chaos she needs to make time for him.

As women, mothers, wives we are resilient, resourceful and adaptable. We somehow find ways to overcome the challenges.

The 6 Greatest Challenges Facing Super mums are;

  1. Finding the right work life balance
  2. Lack of understanding and flexibility at work
  3. Cost of Childcare
  4. Missing out on important milestones
  5. Spending quality time with their partner
  6. Slowed Career advancement

The key to survival for super mum is planning, perseverance, learning to delegate and say no, accepting limitations and most importantly to stop being so hard on herself. Acceptance, that it may not be possible to be what is perceived as the traditional stereotype of mum. She is the non-conventional breed of super mum. To all you working mums like myself who have live in this whirlwind, be proud of the fact that you are the best that you can be, given the circumstances you face, and in the end, strive to raise independent, happy healthy children.

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Author: Chris Drougas
As an accountant & finance broker Chris has worked in the financial services industry for almost 2 decades. She is managing director of Lending Consortium and is passionate & committed to her clients & family…..’because finance should be simple’ but so should life.  Visit Chris at www.lendingco.com.au