The working mom culture in the USA has grown over the past 40 years with little to no leadership. Because of a lack of good leadership bogus goals like “have it all”, “do it all” and “balance it all” popped up.
Who created these goals and what were they thinking?
The awful thing about these goals is that some working moms try to reach for them, without question, because that’s what working moms before them have strived for.
With unattainable goals like these, it’s no wonder people view the working mom culture as exhausted and chaotic. It's no wonder that our society views the working mom lifestyle as something to talk about, speculate, and debate over.
It's Time to Change the Working Mom Culture
These goals need to be erased and the working mom lifestyle needs a makeover. Its culture needs to shift to something that everyone won't gossip about. It needs some kind of change that will make working motherhood just like anything else... normal.
Do you know who will start changing the working mom culture? Do you know who will be its greatest leaders? I’ll give you some hints.
It won’t be the US government. The working mom culture will improve with paid leave in the US (when and if that happens) but the working mom culture won’t change because of future laws. And besides we don’t have time to wait around while they make up their minds what will work for our culture.
It won’t be the corporate world. Lactation rooms and flexible work schedules are a good start but not everyone is receiving this. Other work/life programs are great, too, but we can’t wait for all of the businesses to grow a bigger heart and address each and every need of each and every employee.
You Can Change the Working Mom Culture
I’m asking you to step up and take the lead on changing the working mom culture.
Yes, I’m asking a working mom to do more work. Yes, you have a lot on your plate already. But you are so audacious from all that you are already doing (and you must believe this) that it’s imperative that you take this on.
Do you realize the amount of personal power and energy you have? You are able to manage so much, do so much, take care of so much. Do you vocalize all that you do? You have more power than you realize and it’s time to step into that power. The role you will play in changing the working mom culture is to audaciously and assertively educate others about how you live your life.
You'll stop complaining about your busy schedule or your long to-do list. Once you start making changes to your lifestyle you won't feel like complaining often. Here are five ways you can start changing your lifestyle which will directly affect the working mom culture.
Take real good care of yourself
Yes, self-care is crucial to changing the Working Mom culture! If you don’t take care of yourself well how can you take care of others well?
When you take real good care of your “self” it means sleeping well, exercising, showing more love, and having fun. When you do things like this do you notice how good you feel? How well you treat others? The disease to please can prevent you from caring for yourself, so address that first and then start creating your self-care plan.
Everything begins to fall into place when you make self-care your number one priority.
Realize That All Working Moms are Unique
One of the reasons why the bogus goals for the working moms are hurtful is because we are all unique. We have different careers, kids, significant others, houses, everything! How quickly we forget this tiny detail!
Pause before you assume things
We can stop assuming that someone else is better off than we are. Assuming is a dangerous thing to do, right? We can stop ourselves from assuming that things will take up more time or energy than they really do. We can stop assuming the worst, like believing that the kids are going to be cranky because of whatever reason.
Instead we can focus on what is. What is happening in that moment? This takes all assumptions out of the equation because your attention isn't on some thought, it's on what is happening to you in the present moment. You are practicing mindfulness.
Discover and define your values and daily set your priorities.
The first change to the working mom culture starts deep down inside of your mind, heart, and spirit. Do you know what you value in life? Can you name them right now without a pause to reflect? This is your first goal. Make a short list of things you value where if any of them come into question you will work your hardest to support, make happy, and protect.
Next what are your priorities this week that you must work on? What priorities do you want to fulfill this week? This month? This year? While your kids are still young? Once your kids move out of the house? When you have a plan, some goals, they define what you have control over. It’s all too often that we feel that we are out of control, living with chaos. Defining your priorities allows you to see what you have control over and what you can do about them. Gaining a sense of control over your life is empowering.
Last, start making decision, living your life, according to these values and priorities, your VP’s, right now. If they are challenged, and they will be, remember the reason why these VP’s made the list. They are a part of you that you’ll fight to the death for (OK, maybe not the death but you feel really strongly about them) and take comfort from that passion for your VPs.
Strengthen your emotional intelligence
When you strengthen your EQ you don’t get caught up in the drama of a lot of things because you’re aware of how you feel. You stop comparing yourself to others. You turn your focus on your own well-being, your career; focus on what you what (your VP’s) and not what other people are going for.
Find your Working Mom tribe
Find your tribe of working mom friends who can talk about the issues they face. Start a coffee group or wine group (whatever your pleasure is) and get together to share your challenges. There is strength in numbers.
Changing the corporate culture, know your story and share it in a positive and authentic light. Not lie about your struggles, when you share your struggles it gets rid of the image of perfection that you’re not doing it all. Enlighten them! They’ll spend less time feeling sorry for your chaos and more time admiring your audaciousness.
Find other working moms that are doing it, praise them, recognize them. By doing this you are letting them know they are doing something right and that you think other people could learn from them and their story. People need to know about you. Make this extra effort.
There are many other ways that you can help changing the working mom culture so let’s start brainstorming. It’s becoming my mission to change our culture and I’m open to hearing ideas so reach out and let me know your thoughts over on my Facebook page!
Yup, we have more “work” to do. So let’s get to it.