A new term I heard recently was ‘Rushing Women’s Syndrome’, something that quite frankly I believe applies to 95% of mothers in their 30s and 40s.
I recently attended a great talk by Dr Libby Weaver on this topic and I was fascinated as it is a topic very dear to my heart as I work with women everyday who strive to achieve balance in all areas of their lives.
As a working mother, business owner and Director, I can relate to the feeling that you are constantly rushing around to achieve all the “things” you want or feel like you have to achieve, every day of every week.
Having this syndrome can affect your energy, your ability to help others, your confidence, and your relationships, so what do you do to manage or reduce the impact of the syndrome in today’s world?
We have technology that allows us as working mothers to be accessible 24/7. We have dry-cleaners, house cleaners, modern washing machines, dishwashers, mySky, all the modern technologies that are meant to make our life easier. But is it actually easier or does the availability of this technology increase the expectations we have of ourselves to be able to do more in the same amount of time? I’m not yet sure!
Working with ‘corporate’ mums for the past eight years, I have seen many strategies that have helped minimise impacts from this very syndrome, to minimise the feeling of constantly rushing and never quite doing anything effectively and consequently putting ourselves last on the priority list, to fit it all in. How many of you have recently put off going for your evening walk, or to your yoga class because something else has taken priority? I can guarantee if this is you, you are not alone!
Some of the strategies that have worked for working mothers recently, include:
Set boundaries for yourself for when you will receive phone calls and respond to emails. Just because someone phones your mobile at 6.30pm, doesn’t always mean you have to answer it. For example, when you are having dinner time with the family, put your phone away so you are not distracted when you hear emails popping into your inbox.
When you return home, or pick the kids up from daycare, allow yourself at least the first 30 minutes to re-connect with them about their day. Don’t get caught in the trap of “just “ doing the last couple of calls or emails you “have” to do when you get home, before you can sit with them and talk about their day. One mother I worked with had her child refer to her as the “just one more thing” mother, and the “just one more thing” seemed to constantly take precedence over sitting with her kids.
Whether this is with your children or your partner, be clear on expectations about what the coming month looks like. We have found that if the family know what is coming up, they are more likely to understand what is happening, rather than just have it happen to them. For example, if you usually book a Thursday to do school pick up but can’t manage it for a month, be clear upfront with your child and explain that you can’t pick them up for the next four weeks, but you will take them for a hot chocolate every Saturday afternoon instead.
Ideas like the above are not rocket science but simple strategies that have worked for working mothers just like you. Take a step back, remember to breathe and tackle one thing at a time, it’s amazing by just doing this how much calmer and in control you will feel.