15 Way Working Mums Can Learn to Cope Effectively

Not a working mum - my husky Tink

For a full time working mum exhaustion can hit hard and fast. The pain of going back to work after having a baby, the struggle combining work priorities with the never-ending demands from the school, or the desire to be a complete super-mum, can all make it difficult to cope.

I’ve been there. I’ve cried, screamed, and curled up in a ball of shame. I’ve forgotten birthday parties, been late to appointments, and argued with my husband over whose meeting can be canceled to pick up a sick child.

Until after one terrible, terrible day I told myself ENOUGH. I had to change my life before my life got totally out of control.

Coping With Working and Parenting

I spent a lot of time reflecting on how I wanted my life to look. And an equally long amount of time thinking about how I wanted my children’s lives to look. And I sat down with my husband Andy and asked him how he wanted his life to look.

And so I set my new life in motion.

15 Tips for the Working Mum Who isn’t Coping

      1. Firstly, know you are not alone! Seriously. Find me a working mum who hasn’t at some point lost it and I will shake her hand and buy her a tiara. For she is a queen.

        Seriously. Watch Big Little Lies. This is a mum’s world magnified.

      2. Talk to someone. Significant other (if you have one), your mum, your best friend, even your child’s friend’s mum. Getting another perspective will inevitably help. Hey, I’ll even talk to you if you want! Be honest. Brutally honest. It’s the only way to get the advice and support you need.
      3. Fix your scheduling. I used a diary for so long. I wrote everything in it. Then I forgot to check it. Now I rely on my Amazon Echo to remind me. It even reminds me to pick the boys up from school. Every invite, every appointment, every plan – goes onto my Echo reminders. And dear Alexa tells me about them in her loud stern voice. I’ve also synced my Google Calendar, so I can check in with Alexa and hear my appointments for the day.
      4. Make sure everyone chips in. With the housework I mean. Seriously, if I could train them to, I’d get the dogs cleaning up too. Our routine is to set a timer for 30 minutes once we get back from the school run. Then we all do housework for 30 minutes. No excuses. It’s 2 hours worth a day.
      5. Do NOT allow the school to make you feel guilty. Being a working mum is not neglecting your child’s education. The school must respect that you cannot drop everything for an impromptu meeting about the colour of crayon your child used in their latest picture. I’ve had a number of occasions where I’ve allowed the school to make me feel awful about myself, but I’ve learned to draw a line. My children turn up on time, they do their homework, we read and talk about their day, and they are both doing well. The fact that I don’t have time to knock up a batch of cupcakes does not make me a bad mother.
      6. Equally, do NOT allow work to make you feel guilty. You have every right to leave work on time so that you can see your family. You don’t have to attend every work social event either. In my early days as a parent, I didn’t even go to the work Christmas party. I was just too tired.
      7.  Take time out for you. ALWAYS. Non-negotiable. When the children are asleep, grab a hot chocolate or glass of wine, put on your favourite TV show and just relax.

        Drag race and bourbon. Could Sunday be any better? #werk #theshadeofitall #rpdr

        A post shared by Nic Tuxford (@ladytux) on

      8. When payday comes, buy something just for you. We can all fall into the trap of putting everyone before ourselves, especially when money comes into play. I’m not saying go out every month and drown yourself in Chanel purses, but at least treat yourself to something lovely.
      9. Finally, don’t pressure yourself to change overnight! Make the commitment to be fabulous and calm, but don’t go head first into the deep end and make things even worse. Start with one day and work your way up from there.

Being a working mum shouldn’t be painful. Take it easy on yourself and don’t try to be supermum. Because to your own children, you will always be their supermum no matter what.

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