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Mother’s Day - Challenges For Working Mothers

Joanna Clare

This year, Mothers Day in the UK falls on Sunday the 19th of March. Mother’s Day is a special day that is celebrated worldwide to show appreciation and to acknowledge mothers. Mothers come in various forms - biological mothers, adoptive mothers, step mothers, foster mothers, single mothers, bereaved mothers, and the many relatives, friends or indeed strangers who find themselves in the role of ‘mother’.

Whilst most people associate the occasion with a pretty card, a bunch of flowers or a box of chocolates, it gives us a time to reflect on the important role that mothers play in their family’s lives, sometimes taken for granted and the unique bond that is shared.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a mother or a mother figure in their lives and of course, some people have difficult relationships with their mother for various reasons. This is something that should always be held in mind when dealing with others as Mothers Day for some, can be a very difficult and lonely time which can manifest quite significant negative or sad emotions.

However, in this article we will briefly discuss the challenges that some working mothers may face. Recent data shows that the number of UK mothers who are employed has reached its highest level in 20 years and three out of four of these women have children.

Some mothers may find it difficult to balance work and family life due to the lack of flexible work arrangements which can make it challenging to balance both work and caregiving responsibilities. Part time and flexible working hours may not be available in certain roles but others do offer a certain range of flexibility with scheduling hours, such as education or healthcare for example.

There are over three million single parents in the UK ~ 90% being women ~ not everyone has a support system or network to rely upon, so will have to pay for childcare which come in various forms ~ nurseries, after school clubs or childminders. Unfortunately the cost can become quite high which is an added source of stress but the positive is that you do have the reassurance that your children are in a safe environment and are being well looked after while you work.

Guilt can weigh heavily upon working mothers if they feel they’re not spending enough time with their children or become overwhelmed at times with tiredness or stress. The heavy demands of a job and of a family can leave little time to focus upon yourself. Try to prioritise your own mental health and reassure yourself that you are doing the best that you can.

You may not feel it at times, but you are appreciated!

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