What Working Mothers Need In The Workplace and Some Realizations
Being a mother is the MOST difficult role in the world. I'm sure you all will agree. Whether be it be Stay-At-Home-Moms, Work-At-Home-...
Being a mother is the MOST difficult role in the world. I'm sure you all will agree. Whether be it be Stay-At-Home-Moms, Work-At-Home-Moms and like myself, Work-Out-Of-Home-Moms, we all have a say at how tasking it is to fulfill this role. There is NO PERFECT way to being a Mother and I will not preach how to be one.
We all have our own struggles and challenges on performing this high-profile job, that of being a Mother. As they say, to each his own. No one should judge how one mother performs her job of taking care of her family, even of herself, managing the household, tutoring her children, and handling her family's budget. We are all unique individuals, our husbands or partners are too and that goes for our children as well. As mothers, we listen and act on our instincts hence we do what we think and feel is right.
It's funny because sometimes, even if we've done everything we can in our capacity, we still feel guilty for thinking if we've done it right, if we've done too much or if we've done too little. I've had that share of mommy guilt, which I've written about in my past post. That's the beauty of our roles. We have our own check and balance, we have our set of key performance indicators, we are always conscious and self-aware of how we are as mothers. That sometimes, we become too hard on ourselves. I realized, that we should just relax and not pressure or stress ourselves too much. All we have to do is LOVE our children unconditionally and everything else will follow.
Working Mothers Conversations
I've had great conversations with my other mommy friends at work and off-work, and deep sharing about their parenting styles, their established study habits with their children, their children's achievements or lack of it, their struggles in time management, lack of sleep, their worries, their prayers, even their sex lives (or lack of it too), their countless guilt, their insecurities, and challenges on handling their children's academic performances and also behaviors. How we'd wish we could bring our kids to work all day
I've shared a a thing or two to my mommy group of friends at the workplace. Looking at our sharing from afar, I've realized that we all know we are not perfect and that we have some troubles keeping our household clean or organized at all. That we all work hard to send our kids to school. We sacrifice our times at work to be away from the children. But that in order for us to be still sane while juggling motherhood and work there are certain things we need to fulfill our roles.
As mentioned earlier, there are certain things we wish we all have in the companies we work for in order to support our roles as mothers and as well as a contributing employee to our team. I've listed a few:
- A job with complete benefits (Medical, Dental, Educational, Insurance, Loans) - I admit that one of the reasons why I stay with the company that I am working for is because of its benefits that may not be present in other companies. I am blessed to be working where I'm working for because I don't worry much in case I or my children get sick or has an emergency case, because I can rely to our health care benefits. One more of the benefits I appreciate is the educational loan at 0% interest payable in one year. Now the bonuses are really a bonus should you have those in your company because it allows one to save, invest or but that automatic washing machine you've beeing eyeing for months.
- A workable schedule - I am one of you who has a lot to accomplish first at home or attend to school programs and sometimes deal with a crying toddler due to separation anxiety. But at the same time we don't want to be late for work or file leaves, so a workable or flexible work schedule would really help a lot. Unfortunately not all companies allow this. Sometimes, even if it's allowed we have to justify filing for it.
- An understanding boss - Working lives for mothers would be a lot easier if we have an understanding boss. Most of the time, it's either he or she is a parent as well. But sometimes, even if he/she's a parent, we cannot really expect their understanding all the time. We may have our valid reasons for being late or for choosing a later work schedule, but if they are strict about coming to work at a fixed schedule all times, then there's nothing we could do but comply. All we could just do is communicate clearly our situations, if there's any special arrangement you'd like to propose, and tell them what can be expected of you. But just make sure that you deliver your outputs and exceed some expectations. As they say, under-promise but over-deliver is better that anything.
- A Nursing/Breastfeeding/Breast pumping Room - After I gave birth to my second child, I went back to work after two months of maternity leave. How I wish it could be longer but there's nothing I could do, a policy is a policy. I was breastfeeding and I carry my breastpump to work everyday. I had duties at work, and duties as a breastfeeding mother. I had to juggle both at the workplace. It didn't help me at that time to breastpump in the comfort room. No matter how comfort that room sounds, believe me, it's uncomfortable for breast pumping. I had to go to the rest room every three hours to pump with the feeling of discomfort because it's not a proper room for doing it. But that time I had no choice, but to do it there. Fortunately, after a year, our company dedicated a room for breastpumping mothers. Too bad, I stopped breastfeeding already for I had no more milk supply.
- A Support Mommy Group - Stress gets to any working mothers' nerves at work and admit it also at home right? We all need to destress. Unfortunately, we cannot always afford a salon time or a spa just to release stress. So one of the most affordable (what there's a cost? If you just want to have snacks or lunch together) and most of the the free stress-reliever is a good laugh and sharing of tips with mommy friends at work. Sometimes showbiz chismis or personal/relationship secrets are juicier topics to talk about. Go and be social and you will find yourself lighter and more ready for work after that break full laughter and support from mommy friends.
- A Health and Wellness Program - I am guilty about having a lazy butt when it comes to exercising. But I know that every moms need to take care of our health and well-being. We need to give our bodies our attention as well. Yes we do everything for the family and we try to be supermoms right? But how will we able to sustain that if we're not healthy? It would be very helpful if our companies have a health and wellness program designed for women/moms. A discount at gyms, free Zumba or Yoga classes go a long way. Commit at least a day of the week to this activity for a healthier and more stress-free you
- Special activities for children - We do wish most of the time to be able to bring our kids to work with us right? It would be such a treat if the companies we work for have certain activities where we could bring our kids such as during Summer (like a family outing) or Halloween (could be a trick or treat). It will not only