Most mothers are becoming supermoms. Being a supermom is someone that can perfectly balance work and home-life responsibilities. It’s being the PTA mom-of-the-year to landing that big sales lead at work. Yet, is the supermom myth bad for a working mother’s health? According to recent research released by the University of Washington, it is.
Whether you are a stay-at-home or a working mother, you are likely to feel overwhelmed or stressed (after all, it is the hardest job in the world). According to the US Department of Health, about 13 percent of pregnant and new mothers are dealing with depression. A recent study showed that mothers working outside the home were less depressed than stay-at-home mothers; but, if they strive to be “supermoms,” they became more depressed than the stay-at-home mothers.
According to the study, women have been told that they can do it all, but the truth is that there are many obstacles that stand in the way. At work, most maternity leave is not considered long enough. Secondly, few companies offer childcare solutions to employees. When working mothers with the “supermom attitude” fail to strike a balance, they feel guilty, which often leads to depression. This can also affect their spouses and children, who can develop anxiety and aggression issues later on.
How can working full time and being a supermom coexist together?
- Accept the tradeoffs. A mother may miss a child’s school play or be ill-prepared for a presentation (sometimes). In the grand scheme of things, it’s really OK.
- Get assistance. Not everyone can do everything all the time. So, remember that it’s alright to ask for help.
- Create a strategy. If you find that you are constantly worrying, write your top concern down on paper each day and put it in a “concern box.” After a few weeks, review your concerns and come up with a game plan to alleviate those worries. Consult your spouse, family, and friends. Don’t do this alone.
- Scheduling some relaxation time. A lot of research, according to stress experts at the Stress Institute, suggests using breathing exercises and massages to reduce stress.
So, it’s alright if the apple pies burn sometimes or if you can’t put in those extra hours on that presentation today. Mothers should give themselves many breaks because they’ve definitely earned them.