I’m going to preface this blog by acknowledging that no matter our gender or situation, we ALL face pressures of some kind. This is important for everyone to remember… “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” But just for the moment, and speaking to my own experiences, I’m diving deep into the pressures women regularly deal with and the ways we can overcome them.
Whether this is the first blog of mine that you’ve read, or you are a regular across my socials and website… let me introduce myself.
I’m Kate Langford.
I wear a lot of different hats. And only after many years of simultaneously wearing all of these hats has it become almost like second nature to know when to switch. If this resonates with you, and you’re struggling to find the balance, I’m not here to tell you it’s easy… but I AM here to tell you that it can be done.
The difficulties of being a working mum
Look, I’ll always be the first person to stand up for other women. The old fashioned mentality that women can only be one or the other (career woman or mother) has GOT to take a back seat. Unfortunately, there are still some companies who view a ‘family-first’ approach as incompatible with their business model. If you have the luxury of being picky, cut them out. You don’t want to work for a place like this…
However, there are still many things that do fall into our responsibility basket. The first thing I will say about this is to ask for help.
If your partner or family could be doing more to take the extra stress away, ask. I’ve seen so many women (myself included) fall into the trap of “I must be strong, I can do it all!” But the reality is… no one can.
No one can be expected to do it “all.” Career, housework, cooking, shopping, budgeting, disciplining the kids, keeping fit, being a good friend… It’s just not possible to sustain all of this all of the time.
If you find yourself feeling swamped under all of these responsibilities, shout out for help. Not only is it unreasonable for anybody to expect all of this of you, but it’s also going to take its toll on your mental health. And then there’s definitely no way you’re getting everything done!
The awesome things about being a working mum
If you can get to the end of a week and think to yourself:
- I achieved most things on my to-do list
- The kids are happy and healthy
- I feel like I almost took enough time out for myself this week to relax
- Our home is a comforting place to come back to
- I feel positively connected to my partner, friends, and family
That’s a winning week in my eyes. Even feeling one of these achievements is better than none at all. Notice there’s no mention of perfect organisation? Of 100% healthy meals 100% of the time? Or of definitive “success” at work?
In my eyes, all women are successful. All women have something to be proud of and grateful for.
How to find the balance
If you want to stop feeling the pressure, feeling stressed, and feeling overwhelmed… it starts with you, because no one else can manage the way you react to situations but you.
One of the best ways to view these pressures is just as current situations. Not life situations.
For example, a stressful day does not equal a stressful life. A bad day does not equal a bad life. A day where you really struggle to just get ANYTHING to work is not a life where nothing ever works… they’re just momentary situations.
So here’s the key to finding the balance…
Make time for yourself.
The quickest way to becoming fatigued, overworked, grumpy, and inefficient, is to not take any time out for yourself.
Here are some of my favourite things that come with self-care time:
- Having time to reflect on the positives from the last day, week, or month
- Being able to consider your next steps with a little more clarity
- Not being distracted so you can actually work on that passion project
- A sense of calmness and clarity
- Energy and enthusiasm (don’t look for it, it’s there. You just need regular time out for it to make itself obvious)
- The self-confidence and compassion that comes with frequent time for you
- Time to focus on your own health and fitness, if that’s what you desire
- Being able to spend time on your own hobby without feeling guilty
- Not thinking about anything
- Not doing anything (if that’s what you want to do!)
So, I know that the idea of ‘self-care’ can cause extra stress… “Kate, how am I supposed to find time for myself when I don’t even have time for my own kids?”
“What would I even do with spare time if I had it??”
“This is ridiculous, I have too much to do to care about myself.”
I can’t tell you what you should do with this time. Or how you should reschedule your week to find it. But I can tell you why it’s important…
Why you must take time out
What if I told you that business isn’t a sign of success…
Rather than spending the extra 10 minutes or half an hour doing chores or scrolling through our phones…
What if we spent it doing something that fills our cup?
If you don’t know how to fill your cup, or what activities might help you do this… all the more reason to make this time.
Finding the balance, feeling a sense of personal accomplishment, and having the strength to wear all of your hats will only come when you make time for inner growth. There’s actually a great article on this here.
If this blog has got you feeling like it’s time to shift things around, we’re here to help.
Not only have I got years of personal experience managing my many hats and responsibilities, but I’ve also helped so many women gain back their own sense of self.
I’m not saying I have the perfect antidote to mum stress.
BUT I do have some great methods for managing it which have proven success.
Click here if you’d like to speak with one of the awesome women on my team and find out how we can help.
- Don’t think you’re not smart enough or strong enough to do everything you need to do and do it well
- Ask for help when you need it
- Make time for yourself