As a working mom, I put in 14 hour days on average. The least stressful part of my day is actually the time spent at the office. As is the case with most working moms, my day starts at about 6:30 a.m. and lasts until the last kids goes to bed at 8:30 pm. No wonder I’m exhausted.
According to a study commissioned by Welch’s Grape Juice, working moms put in almost 100 hours of work each week between paid work hours and domestic (in other words, unpaid) labor with the family. That makes motherhood the equivalent of working 2.5 full-time jobs. The study worked with about 2,000 moms with children between five and 12 years old. Different aspects of motherhood were considered, but the most striking findings were related to how much time moms put in on a daily basis. Consider this your reminder that you are a superhero!
Think about it. The chores that need to be done before, after and sometimes during work hours are endless. Playdates, carpools, homework etc take a lot of thought and energy. Meals are particularly stressful as the nutritional burden falls almost completely on me in my household. Planning meals and food shopping are particularly time consuming. Also, my kids are picky eaters and creating healthy meals everyone will eat with limited time is a struggle.
I work hard to keep our family life running smoothly. A constant supply of coffee, wet wipes and frequent self reminders to be present and patient with my kids helps get me through the long days. I wish I had family nearby to help in a pinch, but I don’t. I do have a babysitter though that I really trust, which is very important. Sometimes an hour of me time is all I need to return to the routine feeling refreshed and energized.
The time with young kids will not last forever and I know I will miss the chaotic schedule at some point. An older mother told me once that the days go by slowly, but the years go fast. I am already finding that to be true. If I had the chance to do it all over again, would I? You bet I would.