What the Working Mom Culture Looks Like Today and How to Change It

 

 

A culture consists of behaviors, beliefs, and characteristics. Here's a brief description of the working mom culture and how we can change it.

If the Working Mom culture had a playlist you’d find songs about breaking down barriers or about overcoming obstacles.  You may hear songs like “Brave” by Sara Bareilles or “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson.

Working moms need a good playlist, right?  It could help us thrive in our negative culture!  It’s negative because there are too many people commenting about the working mom lifestyle and too much advice that includes the words “should”and “should not”.  There’s judgment coming from many directions plus our own negative self-talk.

Us working moms need to learn to tune people out, stop the disease to please and focus on our own careers, family’s and self-care.  But easier said than done when there are people in the workplace that don’t understand the working motherhood culture.  Some just want us to pretend our struggles don’t exist.  Sure, there’s a time and place and sometimes compartmentalizing is needed to thrive in the workplace, but we need a culture that allows you to be you.

Take a Pledge to Change the Working Mom Culture

There’s this working mom culture out there right now that isn’t so great.  It desperately needs an upgrade and it needs to be one most of us agree on. First, let’s define what our culture looks like now, where it needs to go, and what steps we can all take to get there.  My pledge is to guide this movement, get others involved in it, and to have us all come to an agreement that we are proud to stand behind.

Sound good?  Yup, it’ll be more work for a working mom to do but don’t you feel like it’ll be worth it?  I do.  Let’s do this.

What is a “culture”?  A culture is the behaviors and beliefs or characteristics of a particular social, ethnic or age group.  Here’s how I’d define the working mom culture today.

Current Behaviors That Could be Altered

We work our butts off to prove, to anyone that questions us, that we can do it all meaning we can be awesome contributors at work and can keep the family running smoothly.

How much energy do you think is zapped by our attempt to prove ourselves?  To change our culture, work on things that support your values and that are a priority.  Go big and define what your “all” is to you, as in “having it all”, get specific, and then live up to that image.

Sometimes we overextend ourselves to prove a point (to whoever).

Why?  Let’s try focusing on our own goals, like what we want out of life, instead of trying to prove to others we are right.  If you know you are right, then go with it.  What you think about you bring about.

Exhaustion and chaos are common symptoms of our culture.

A simple and not so complicated answer to make taking care of yourself a habit.  To do this you need a plan that includes things you love so much you can’t say no to it after you keep doing it.  Baths on Sunday nights to start the week off right.  Exercising during your lunch break.  Viewing food as fuel that will help you get through your day.  Make your plan and follow it.

We are extremely hard working and always will be, we have mouths to feed, a paycheck to earn, and a career to grow.

I’d add something to this.  We are hard working because we are hungry to hit our goals and won’t give up or give in.  Those superwoman moments feel awesome.

Our self-care is important but it’s usually last on our to-do list.

Time to update that to-do list.  What kind of self-care plan are you going to create and start following today?  It’s time we should ourselves a bit more respect by making our self-care a higher priority.

Our Current Set of Beliefs

We are unsure how to make things work and seek guidance on work/life balance.

Let’s believe that if we work hard enough it’ll all be worth it. We need to be audacious in our efforts to balance work and life responsibilties.

We sometimes second guess if our kids will be alright in daycare.  Can they handle the busy schedule they follow?

We want our kids to see us working our butts off because we want them to understand what hard work, dedication, and great organizational skills look like.  Children are resilient and we need to have faith in that.

The gender gap is a major problem.

We deserve equal pay and equal responsibilities to men.

Working motherhood is hard no matter how prepared you are.

If it wasn’t hard everyone would be doing it.  Although it’s a lot of work there are many rewards that we forget to be grateful for.  Try taking your focus off the negative and put it on the positive.

Sometimes we just want to give up.

We need to believe we can do this.  To help there are many Facebook groups out there for support, and many tweets out there with #workingmom attached to it.  When we feel like giving up we need to talk about it.

What Our Characteristics Are

  1. We are multi-taskers.
  2. Organization is a key to happiness so we make every attempt to be.
  3. We want to be focused but it’s hard when there’s so much work to do and so little time to do it in (hint: use energy management)
  4. Often we feel stress and pressure to be perfect.
  5. We miss our kids, but we’re doing this for them (as well as ourselves)

I need your help.  What would you add to one or any of the three lists above?  Leave a comment below.

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Liz McGrory

Liz is a work/life sway strategist helping stressed out working mom better manage their quadruple workload of self, family, home and career. You can also check her out on TheSpurce.com as their working mom expert and on The Maven Clinic as one of their career coaches.

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