Resilient Working Mother

Juggling household and work

My mother was a working mother and also managed to make home cooked meals daily except on Sundays. Her daily routine includes managing the household and still doing her best at her day job. Making it look so easy for us. But when it was my turn, I just felt overwhelmed with all the changes. Doing it all did not seem to come by easily and I can see myself just falling apart almost every day. Adding to that is the mom guilt I feel when I couldn’t give my all which always results in myself being burnout.
First 2 years of my daughter’s life were a blur. Looking back, I was smiling in all the pictures we’ve taken but I was struggling inside without knowing what was really going on.

I still am pulling it all together. Have given up hope on the picture perfect, Pinterest like mother. I have accepted the fact that I can never be that picture.

Being a good mom is not ticking off the box at all what your family thinks you should do or what society has written out for you. Is about waking up trying again and maximizing whatever you have with your kids, your spouse, your work, and yourself.

Why resilient?

I first heard of this when I started my job as an assistant to an Organizational Psychologist. The first training I attended to assist was, ‘Building Resilient’. Resilient means that you can spring back or recover quickly from difficult conditions. As a mother juggling it all, you will face MANY, I mean MANY difficulties daily. No matter how careful you plan your day and everything in your life for that matter, something just decided to pop up.

According to research, for the past 10,000 years humanity lived in a relatively stable climate. But only in recent times has there been a rapid change in society the only key to resilience thinking is to incorporate the concept of self-transformation.

In situations we are forced to transform ourselves because of the level of unpredictability we are facing currently. As working mothers, it has been magnified more because we are always in the state of survival juggling our work and household chores.

When it started as whispers of help, has now become a scream for helpless. Building resilience is important to make sure that at every point of break down we can get up and do it again.

“To the brave and broken hearted who have taught us how to rise after we fall, your courage is contagious.”
-Brené Brown

 

Common Mentality: “Just Bounce Back”

Resilience basically means returning to its original form like rubber or spring. It can be unrealistic to force someone to just bounce back, especially mothers, that have gone through so many changes physically and mentally. But with the experience of suffering and struggle it forges the resilience in us. Sharing your struggles with friends and family might lead them to rush or urge you to face your fears.
“Just get over it.”, “Move on” and “Focus on the positive side of this.” Often as much as we try, we can’t just get over it. Resilience involves, struggling well, by experiencing both the struggles and the courage to keep working on the day to day basis. It is important to understand in building resilience, we need to experience the fullness of the crises and stressful life challenges into our collective identity, which would mold how we go about living our lives.

How to build resilience:

1) Mastering the Gifted Wisdom of Unpleasant Feelings

The goal is not to just forget about it but to experience it and able to create awareness around this feeling. Shift the notion from thinking as a bad feeling towards an unpleasant feeling. What we feel emotionally is felt in our body first and it does not feel good.
Imagining walking by the beach watching the waves, it would subside. It is important to stay present at the experience and surf those waves. Surf anywhere you want to let them ride off the course.
Using the formula:
1 choice
8 feelings
90 seconds
1 choice is about creating the awareness of that feeling you are experiencing.
Pin potting the feelings sadness, shame, helplessness, anger, vulnerability, embarrassment, disappointment, and frustration.
When that wave of emotional get in our biochemical fired off and it would last between 60-90 seconds which means the feelings are temporary.
You can watch the full video by TEDxSantaBarbara by Dr Joan Rosenberg about Emotional Mastery.

2) Believing you can improve

Understand the fact that it is a long growth process. Neuroscientist found out that the fixed mind set shows less activities in their brain while the growth mindset shows higher growth.
Growing up in a school system that only praise for good results and a failing grade shows that you have failed. We need to transform the meaning of effort and difficulty. There was a another study that shows when a group of students were not able to even write but when the growth mindset was thought to them, within a year they managed to out do the better then better grade students.

3) Embrace all the help that is given

Please try your absolute best to throw the mom guilt and swallow the ego in you, embraced all the help that is given. Be it from family members, friends or even your neighbors. It does take a village to raise a family.
I remember my grandmother shared me her story when she was living in the army quarters. She was heavily

4) Be proactive

Studies show the average working mom works equivalent of 2.5 jobs that is juggling on your 9 to 5 job and household chores.
Yes, it is the hardest thing to do. It is particularly important to stay proactive and always have the resilient mind to think ahead about what is coming.

5) Your health is not negotiable

We cannot keep a healthy household and create a healthy workplace if you don’t take care of your current health. It is important to squeeze 10 minutes of dance or a walk at least mindfully around the neighborhood.
If the basic needs are neglected, you are reflecting to your kids that it’s ok to neglect in order to juggle household and work.

Conclusion

To build resilience, we must embrace all the imperfection in our daily lives and celebrate our little wins daily. Do it in your own time in your own way.
How are you managing juggling work life and your household? Any other tips that helped you be more resilient?
Please do share.

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