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Focus on the Family: Can Working Mothers Have Their Cake and Eat it Too Without Parenting Burnout?
By Kelly Nault
Not long ago "bringing home the bacon was the father's role but now working mothers are "bringing home the bacon too. Today, 50% of the mothers in our country (with children living at home) are working full time and most experience the stress of trying to balance it all especially when it comes to parenting. Sound familiar?
The Only Way Working Mothers Can Have It All
Although working mothers bring home some of the bacon (and if you are a single mother all of the bacon), it hasn't changed the fact that most working mothers are literally cooking the bacon too.
In The Widening Gap: Why American Working Families are in Jeopardy and What Can Be Done About, Dr Jody Heymann found that 80% of women report doing far more of the household chores than their spouse. In addition to taking on more chores, it is common for working mothers to have unrealistic expectations of themselves"parenting perfectly and being the perfect career woman also.
When asked if it is possible for working mothers to have it all, I always answer, "Yes. It is possible for working mothers to have it all but only when they ask for and accept help."
The trouble is most working mothers have difficulty doing this"asking for help.
Preventing Working Mother Parenting Burnout
Even though most moms know it take a village to raise a child, most mothers don't ask their village for help. This puts undue pressure on moms and their families.
Three simple ways mothers can ask for help and prevent parenting burnout:
Parenting is a big job in and of itself. Get real. You can't do it all, by yourself. Realize that the best thing you can do for your family is to ask for help. Burning your candle at both ends only leads to burnout parenting!
Graciously accept help. When someone asks if they can help you, always answer "yes and then figure out how. Let others in your life, especially your children and spouse, help you more. Remember to thank them and focus on what they did well so they will want to help you in future.
Find ways to farm out the things you don't like to do. Don't like to iron? Consider sending them to the cleaner and use this extra time to focus on your family. Don't like to clean but love to cook? Trade chores with household members or with a girlfriend who loves to do the things you don't.
How Mothers Can Focus on the Family and Get Their Work Done
The day you die your inbox will have messages unanswered, your laundry hamper will hold dirty clothes and your to do list will have items left incomplete. But on that day, will you look back and feel that your focus on the family was a fulfilling parenting journey, or sadly realize it had become a chore you felt you had to do?
Make certain your focus on the family is satisfying by choosing to balance your work and family by finally hanging up your "Super Mom cape and letting others help you.
About The Author
Kelly Nault, MA family counselor and award winning"author of When You're About To Go Off The Deep End, Don't Take Your Kids With You inspires moms to put themselves first"for the sake of their children. She shares time-tested tools that motivate children to want to be well behaved, responsible and happy! Sign up for her free online parenting course for working mothers at http://www.ultimateparenting.com.