Family, Self

6 Secrets Working Moms Use To Stay Sane (Despite Life's Constant Craziness)

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working moms

Working moms, like yourself, not only make the world go ‘round outside of the home and in the workplace; you shape the world from inside the home, as well.

You prepare meals, help your kids get their homework done and make time for your spouse and family, in addition to attending to leftover work obligations. These are daily emotional and physical grinds — yet you're somehow managing to meet them all simultaneously.

But at some point, you awaken to ask yourself, “Just how much more can I be stretched to meet the demands inside and outside of the home?”

And more importantly, “How can I maintain my sanity, while I juggle so many responsibilities?”

Here are 6 ways to maintain your success in all areas of your working mom life — and your sanity, too:

1. Have a girls' night out.

Obviously, this also means that you need some friends. We’re not talking about co-workers, where you all talk about work all night. And we’re definitely not talking about hanging out with your mom and grandma for Bingo night.

At least once every few months, surround yourself with great girl friends that allow you to have a mental, emotional, and physical escape from your role of mom, wife, and daughter — where fun is the only expectation. We all deserve to let loose sometimes!

2. Treat yourself to a cheat day.

Pick a day where you choose to make yourself a top priority all day long — and perhaps give into your guilty pleasures, too.

This is the day you skip your workout, give up your healthy eating routine, completely ignore your chores, and so on.

I know this is easier said than done, but how else will you have time to just relax and go off-script? If you're waiting until the "right time" comes knocking at your door, you'll be waiting a while.

3. Schedule some "me time" into every day.

Like the cheat day, this is about making you a priority. But while the cheat day is about one specific, special day, “me time” is something that should be sought daily.

Find even just five minutes a day where you can escape the demands and obligations of the world, including family, to be with yourself and your thoughts. As a busy woman who's constantly juggling the needs of others before her own, you will have to schedule this into your day. Don’t expect your kids, husband, or the world to just give it to you.

While it might sound selfish or even impractical, doing so will make you happier, more grounded, and even a better spouse and parent. Some examples of "me time" could include, gardening, reading, practing meditation, or going for a nature walk.

4. Laugh often.

Experts have been studying the positive effects of humor on stress and burnout. There’s merit to the saying, “Live, Laugh, Love.” And given your current lifestyle, you can’t afford to not have a sense of humor — so find ways to incorporate a little laughter into each and everyday. 

Occasionally substituting your nightly national news for a late-night comedy show (i.e. The Daily Show) may be sufficient. The Pandora App on your smartphone has channels exclusively for comedy, as well. Even taking a minuteto scroll through silly memes on Facebook could do the trick. And don’t forget some of your friends and family that are just naturally funny. 

5. Love yourself unconditionally.

Simply put, you have to love yourself — flaws and all.

As a working parent, you are stretched very thin both professionally and personally. I’m sure you have missed a deadline, fallen asleep during movie night, failed to prioritize your spouse, or even yelled at your child, simply because you were tired. Yes, you are human with real human emotions and make real human mistakes.

If your family and friends continue to love you through your ups and downs, then you have to make sure you love you through them all of life's craziness, as well.

6. Seek a great counselor.

Why might you need a therapist? Simply to have that unbiased person to help you manage the many hats you wear day in and day out. Someone to whom you can vent after a long day, cry when you are feeling overwhelmed, as well as share some laughs about your various flaws. More importantly, a great counselor will support you through the good and not-so-good days, as you support your family and “run this world", as Beyonce says.

What's more, counseling has changed over the years. Not only can you visit a counselor face-to-face, now you can have your counselor right in your pocket or purse, too. You can video conference, teleconference, email, or live message them any time of day or night — whenever you need a bit of extra support. 

RELATED: 5 Ways To Get It All Done As A Working Mom (Even When It Seems Impossible)

Success doesn’t come easy. Every day is another challenge to manage not only your career and family life, but your personal identity, as well. 

You may not be able to accomplish all six of these recommendations consistently; however, start with at least one and build your way up. And despite the not-so-good moments in life, remember that your family loves you and the world needs you. 

So to take time to accept, enjoy, and love the amazing working mom you are.

Dr. Eric A. Williams is a counselor and marriage and family therapist specializing in both interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships who helps individuals and couples reconnect with their inner selves, as well as their partner. Contact him today to set up a face-to-face or telemental health counseling session so that he can “walk alongside” you, ensuring both personal and professional success.