Superwomen, Take N.O.T.E.
In recognition of Mother’s Day this month, it’s important to take a moment to pay homage to all of the mothers and mother figures in the world raising and influencing the next generation. A mother is an individual who has a certain relationship with her children, whether it is biological or not. She may have given birth to those children, provided for the fertilization of them, raised them or served some combination of these roles. Regardless, women today push to be defined outside of motherhood alone.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 57 percent of women participated in the workforce in 2014. Today’s women are enjoying more freedom, independence and education; possessing higher-level jobs; and making more money than previous generations. We have become superwomen. Women do all of this and then add motherhood to the mix. It is an arduous, never-ending juggling act that women perform so gracefully. Yet, as easy as we make it look, mothers with younger children face unique challenges in finding work/life balance.
Statistics show that 70 percent of women with children younger than 18 participate in the workforce, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. While some debate if motherhood is a job, most will agree it is work, and stay-at-home mothers cope with work/life balance difficulties, as well. Whether you work outside of the home or not, mothers share common conflicts. Conflicts include, but are not limited to: blurred lines between work and home/self; managing time, expectations and finances; and tending to others’ needs and their own. You may be a superwoman, but even superwomen need help. When you are trying to find a balance between your responsibilities and happiness, it is important to take N.O.T.E.
No to nonsense – Learn to say, “No.” “No” is such a powerful word. It guards you from taking on unnecessary stress. Saying, “No” does not make you a mean person. However, it will help you define what’s important and ensure that you have time and resources for your priorities.
Own it – Whatever your feelings are about motherhood and work, own it. Let go of guilt. Loving your job or being at work does not make you a terrible mother, just like being with your children and taking time for yourself doesn’t make you a bad employee. Others are not responsible for your happiness and peace. You are.
Take it – Work/life balance is not something your job gives to you in a benefits package. It is something you develop and cultivate constantly over time. Take control of your life, and get your family and job on board. You are not trapped or stuck; you are a superwoman.
Enjoy it – Being a superwoman is a never-ending battle. While you will always be a mother, your children are only children for a brief time—enjoy the journey. Celebrate victories and achievements, and take time to relish in the awesomeness in you.