What are the Constant Worries as a Working Mother?
Does your job entail working away from home or do you have to travel sometimes for work assignments?
This weekend we went down memory lane with my children of what they remember from my working days in the corporate world. Funny, my eldest child said what she remembers is me always saying bye and coming back when they were asleep. My youngest said he remembers seeing me waving bye. Sadly, I use to leave early when they were asleep and returned late due to traffic jams.
Life in the Corporate World as a Mother
It is only on weekends that my children were lucky to see me and spend time with me.
Additionally, working in the corporate world is fast-paced and may need sacrifices.
Balancing the two jobs, being a mother and working can be a challenge as you might not be entirely at home to take care of their emotional needs.
What helps is constantly calling to check on them during the day and spending time with them when available as it strengthens your relationship with them.
If the job entails traveling or going for training especially when the children are small, it might be a tall order for them. I remember once I traveled locally for a conference, some mother travel abroad and when getting back my child ran to me and hugged me tightly. She didn’t want to let go. In the midst of all these emotions and crying all I could hear was why I left her. Eventually, she calmed down but insisted next time I take her along.
Obviously, that toddler age between 1 to 5 years cannot understand why you are not home as they miss your presence as a mum.
Why Do We work as Mothers?
Being a mother is a blessing and as much as we want to stay at home to take care of our children, one might want to follow their career path, go back to school, or work to get money for their family.
Children will mostly if asked say they want their mums to stay at home so that when they come from school they will find you there.
These children’s dramas can make a mum rethink their working status and opt to have a career gap until the children are a bit bigger and are able to understand why we need to work.
Ever heard your child telling you, “mum do not go to work today”? Or “I want to go with you to work too”? As sweet as it may sound, one may not concentrate with a baby around the office. Importantly, bills need to be paid and even if one reflects on the state of a relationship with the child and hours spent at work away from home sometimes sacrifices need to be done.
It gets even tougher when you are a single parent and sole provider to your family. In this rat race, one doesn’t have the luxury of someone else take up the burden of providing for the family as you are the sole breadwinner as a mum.
Working from Home and Covid-19 Effects
On the other hand, as a mother and having children you can wonder if you are a bad mother by allowing work to eat into so much of your time. All is not lost as due to technology one can work from home and be a stay-at-home mum.
Besides this, Covid-19 opened up opportunities for people to work from home remotely hence one can plan their day and still parent while working. This has had a positive effect on families as parents are able to work comfortable from their home offices and have ample time to spend with their children after they are back from school.
Working in corporate work has its’ advantages as you are able to network, increase your social groups, and move up the career ladder fast among other benefits.
Being a stay-at-home mum and working remotely also comes with numerous benefits for you and your children. The covid -19 pandemic also came with enough benefits from ample remote online jobs, homeschooling, and increase online shopping.
Obviously, one needs discipline and planning to ensure both the office work and children do not suffer. Possibly get a day scholar or part-time nanny to help you with the house chores as you work from home.
What Causes Career Gaps for Mothers?
Career gaps for a mother can come due to the following reasons:
- Motherhood, having a special needs child that will require a lot of attention and care, and may not be left on the care of a nanny or third party alone.
- Nanny issue, when a mother is not able to get a suitable nanny who the children are comfortable with.
- Fear of leaving your children with someone else due to numerous negative stories that one sees or hears on the media of mistreatment of small children.
Career gaps can have a negative impact or positive impact on your job search in the future depending on how you explain it.
This should not deter you from applying for jobs when you want to resume working in the corporate world as what matters most is are you qualified for the job and possess the skill the company is looking for?
The advantages of Working from Home as a Mum
- Children tend to be happier having you around.
- I noticed my children had more energy, increased confidence, and were more independent.
- Flexible working hours and one is able to be present in their school events, for instance, closing day, sports day, parent meetings.
- Improves bonding with children.
- One is more involved in their child’s life.
Personally, while working in the corporate world I had to delegate some of these duties due to time constraints and a demanding job role.
I always say there are two sides to a coin, it depends on the mother’s goals, needs, and wants. A lot needs to be taken into considerations when deciding to work from home or continuing with your corporate job or working away from home.
Both are good and it depends on how you see it. Children will grow and as teenagers will become more independent and may not need your presence so much as when they were in their toddler age.
As a mum, you want to create that strong bond with your children when small so that even in their teenage years they will still be your friend and want to share more about what is happening in their life with you.
Big Wins for Mothers
Parenting doesn’t stop even as they grow into teenagers or go to campus. You still want them to call and say “mum I love you” or just make demands on the time you spend together as mum and daughter or mum and son. You still want them to enjoy your company even as you all age.
Big wins come as a mum when the children are able to choose friends wisely, be able to adjust socially, know how to properly identify who should stay in their life, or let go of friends or toxic relationships. Even so, as a mum you want your adult child to be kind, be able to make sound judgment, have empathy and charisma.
Fears that Mothers Experience
In addition, we ask ourselves at the end of the day, will he/she find a good job, know his/her purpose, will he/she be a go-getter in a positive way, did I give them a good foundation.
Call these fears, I thought I was the only mother with such worries but after meeting other mothers it turns out we all do.
Lastly, feel free to share your thoughts as a mother in this modern fast-paced environment.