The number of UK working mums has more than tripled since 1951 and statistics show that 68% mums now work.
This increase is thought to be largely due to the introduction of maternity rights and family-friendly policies, but changing attitudes to work and improved access to higher education have also played their part.
Being a working mum is your right
You’re a working mum! That’s the reality of it, and whether someone else thinks you are neglecting your family or not, the fact it every woman has a right to decide how they raise their family, and your decision is yours to own.
On the outside, it can be easier to put on your hard shell to protect yourself. But how do you feel inside? If you don’t experience even the smallest guilty twinge, then good for you! But if you lost sleep at night about the impact your working having on your family, here are some things to remember.
Don’t be ashamed to ask for help
Superwoman had a cape – you don;t. She could also fly, and use ‘magic’ powers to get things done without exerting herself. You don’t.
What you do have is a support network you can call on – even if you’re not sure what tat system looks like, there’s bound to be someone you can call on in a time of need. Use everything and everyone available to you, so you don’t burn out.
Don’t bring work to the dinner table
As much as you may want to have a moan about your not-so-fantasic boss, or talk about how great that project you’re working on is, there must be a balance. Home time is a time to connect with the family and make up for lost time working. Don’t dampen it by focusing on work-related banter.
Don’t bring home life to the office
And likewise, try to keep family issues and blow-by-blow updates about your children to a very minimum. Often, it’s ur own overtaking that can come back to bite the proverbial. So, protect yourself – keep family life updates to friends and relatives who actually care.
Don’t fight every battle
Mums know best – it’s a fact. Ask any mum and she’ll probably say the same thing. But recognise that not everyone works to your standards, and sometimes that’s okay. Unless it is a health and safety issue, or has a financial implication, let it slide. Moaning about everything going is a one-route course to being lumbered with more work than your schedule and sanity can cope with.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘No!’
Assertiveness is a must-have attribute for busy working mums and this is essential in the workplace and at home. The trick is to think about your delivery so you don’t seem obstructive or aggressive.
- ‘Can I have a think about that and get back to you?’; or
- ‘That sounds good, but I need to check a few things in my schedule before I overcommit’; or
- ‘I’d love to help, but with the other priorities, which would you like done first?’ (the latter is a good one for a line manager who likes to dump work on you willy nilly.