couples

A note to other working mums.

“There are no perfect mums out there and there are no perfect employees either.”

Dear Working Mums,

I feel compelled to write you this letter to tell you a few things that I don’t think that you hear often enough.

I know what it is like to be so busy that your head is spinning. When you are trying to find the balance between being the perfect mum and the amazing business woman that you always dreamed you could be. I know that it is likely to be a long time since you stopped and looked at what an amazing job you are doing.

That is what I urge you to do now. Stop. Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and take a few minutes to read the points below and celebrate all that you do achieve.

1. You are not damaging your children by being a working mum.

Yes, that is right. You are not. Instead you are providing them with a positive role model for the future. Current research shows that children from families where both parents work achieve better grades at school and are more likely to continue on into further education than those who don’t.

2. You do not have to be perfect.

In fact there is no such thing. There are no perfect mums out there and there are no perfect employees either.

But you don’t even have to try to be close to perfect. You just have to be good enough.

Try to remember the Pareto Principle which states that 20% of the effort delivers 80% of the results. Think of all the time and effort instantly freed up if 80% is good enough.

"There is no perfect mums out there and there are no perfect employees either."

3. There is no right way to do things.

Work. Don’t work. Work part time. Day Care. Nanny. Pre-School. After school care. Family support. Work from home. Shift work. Work travel.

No one of these options or combination is the right way. In fact what works for one family can be a disaster for another.

If what you are doing works for you, then you have already found your “right-way”.

4. Don’t listen to other people.

A taxi driver home from the airport once asked me if I ever considered that one day I would look back and regret my decision to work when my kids went off the rails because they needed a mother 100% of the time. I didn’t listen to him. As with the point above, I assume his family reached the decision that his wife would stay at home and bring up the children.

Nobody knows what your core values are, nor what works for your family. It’s not worth an argument or even taking on their judgement.

ADVERTISEMENT

They just don’t know.

"Nobody knows what your core values are, nor what works for your family."

5. Stop fighting with ongoing guilt.

This can come from within, from society, from others, from employers and even from your children.

Feeling guilt and wrestling with it on a regular basis is destructive and serves no purpose.

In the words of a well-played song in my house – Let it go.

6. Be present.

Physically being with your children does not mean that you are actually with them. How often are we doing something else- on the phone, on email, online, planning something for later in the week, cleaning the house, shopping. The list goes on.

Aim for quality time with your children and family rather than quantity. Those amazing moments of full interaction and engagement are what will be remembered.

"Aim for quality time with your children, over quantity."

7. You are doing a great job.

How do I know? Because I have met thousands of working mums and have yet to find one who is making a terrible mess of it.

Your children are growing up happy and healthy and bathed in love. You are providing them with a safe and inspiring home environment filled with opportunities.

You are financially contributing to your household and providing your family with necessities and luxuries which bring joy.

You are providing yourself with the opportunity to contribute to the economy. You are using your skills and experiences to provide goods and services to others.

It is hard. Trying to juggle all your roles and aiming to find that just right balance takes a lot of energy and focus.

But whilst you have stopped for a few minutes to read this, take another few moments to acknowledge all that you have achieved so far.

And when you next get the chance, try to grab a slither of “me-time” and spoil yourself with something that will make you smile.

Best Wishes,

A Fellow Working Mum

What's one thing you would want to say to a working mum? 

Like this? Try these:

My day as a working mum. 

A working mum responds to Gwyneth Paltrow.