The most popular challenge working moms face is dealing with the disease to please. The disease to please means you go out of your way to help or support others sometimes at your own expense. It becomes a disease when you can’t stop taking care of others and can’t say “no”.
If you suffered from the disease to please before motherhood it wasn’t a big deal. You had plenty of time and energy to be there for people! Helping people made you feel good about yourself. You felt motherly.
There comes a time, though, when you’ve had enough of taking care of people. You grow tired from the disease to please. Here’s how you can find the cure.
When the Disease to Please Becomes a Problem
When you become a mother you can’t afford the time and energy it takes to please everyone as often as you once did. Now your priority is your new family and working as efficiently as possible at work. In the beginning of working motherhood, this and sleep is all that matters.
The problem with this situation is that people who have grown to depend on you won’t like this change.You can sense it, too. Although you are a new working mom people remember the “old you” who helped out, was their go-to person, and the dependable one. How do you get them to recognize the new you? You need to get used to saying, “No.”
There’s a Unique Cure For Everyone
Each of us has a different career with different co-workers, managers, and corporate cultures to contend with. Each of your children is unique with their unique needs. Your support system, hopefully including a significant other but maybe not, is different. Your home is different with different demands you feel you need to fulfill. And most importantly YOU are beautifully unique.
The quicker you realize the uniqueness of your disease to please the quicker you can find your cure. You’ll figure out how to express your change of heart to others so you do not feel pulled in different directions.
Admit That You’re Suffering From the Disease to Please
Don’t ignore that something doesn’t feel right. Find strength in your mother’s intuition and bravely listen to your gut. You may need to reprioritize your responsibilities. If you’re a new working mom how you spent your time pre-baby compared to now is completely different.
How you can make things click again is by admitting that you can’t continue being there for everyone. You must set limits and be OK with them. You can only do so much and you’re already doing a lot.
Build a Support System Who Will Be There
There’s a reason people say it takes a village to raise a family. The updated version should be it takes a village to raise a family and succeed in a career! Successful working moms are not doing it all on their own. They have an awesome support system.
You must start building yours. Your support system, tribe, crew, whatever you want to call it consists of people who love you unconditionally. They don’t cast harsh judgments but don’t hold back the truth. There’s no jumping to conclusions or interruptions because they hear you out.
When you are trying to cure your disease to please talk to your support system about it. They can help you straighten things out and face the reality that you need to draw the line sometimes and that’s OK. When you talk about your problems you find clarity and sometimes the cure you’re searching for.
Write About Your Struggles
Do you feel like you have too much on your mind? Then dump your thoughts onto a mind map. Here are some simple instructions. Write your challenge in the middle of a page and circle it. Next, draw lines or branches off of it that lead to possible solutions or other challenges you need to address. Keep writing down solutions or other challenges until you can’t think anymore.
Do not allow fear to push you back into accepting the unacceptable. Fight the disease to please.
You have changed and you must assertively tell the world. A cure may not appear overnight so don’t be too hard on yourself during this time. Becoming aware that something needs to change is a HUGE step because once you are aware of it’ll always be on your mind.
Working Mom, Want In?
Do you feel like you could be doing a better job at self-care, family life, home care, or career planning? Then request your invite to the Working Mom Mastermind group!