6 coping strategies for working mothers under pressure
Covid-19 has brought considerable pressure to working mothers. As a working mother with 3 “grown up” children living at home I can feel the strain. I cannot even imagine what it must be like to have young children in these challenging times.
The challenges of home schooling, working remotely and the constant pressure of running a home are certainly taking their toll with many mothers hanging on by their fingertips. Parents juggling time, space, energy, computers, and wi-fi! This has meant disruptions to the working day making it hard to stay focused and productive leading to longer working days.
As a career coach working with clients, it’s very apparent this is leading to fatigue, lack of confidence, and lower levels of resilience. There is often little positive feedback for reassurance you’re doing OK. To compound this there is a strong feeling of isolation from friends and colleagues.
The following are some suggestions to help you get through.
1) Future vision
Take some time to think about a happier time in the future. What will it look like? How will you feel? Where will you be? Who will you be with?
Capture this on paper, put together a vision board from magazine cuttings and coloured pens. Let your imagination go free as you visualize your future self.
2) Be grateful
It may seem like an awful time at the minute but I challenge you to pick three things a day to be grateful for.
Treat yourself to a nice notebook and start writing down each day:
- 3 things you are grateful for
- 2 nice things you are going to do today
- 1 good unexpected thing that happened yesterday
Take some time at the beginning of each day and work out what your priorities are for the day. It is important to be realistic otherwise you can get demotivated. Think carefully about where and who the demands on your time are coming from. YOU decide how you spend your time. To help, you can put your actions under the following headings and decide from there.
- what MUST be done?
- what do I WANT to get done?
- what would be LOVELY to get done?
4) Break it down
Once you have decided your priorities break them down into bite-size chunks. Use the pomodoro technique and work in 30-minute chunks. This works well with the kids too. Remember to tick off your achievements as you go along to record your progress.
5) Park it
If there are things that you are not getting round to, be honest with yourself and ask the following to see if it can be “parked”
- does this need to be done today, this week or this month?
- what would happen if I didn’t do this?
- is this the most effective use of my time?
6) Reach out
You are not alone – think about who can help you. Take the time to think..
- who can I pass this activity on to?
- who can I get in touch with to get advice on this?
- who can I get in touch with who gives me a boost?
“The quality of our actions depends on the quality of our thinking”
– Nancy Kline
Invest your time in thinking about how you are spending your time.
We don’t throw away money after all.