As the new school year begins, many families find themselves navigating back to school schedules, from pick-up and drop-off times, after school activities, adjusting work & meeting schedules, and other potential hidden duties like lunch bag & dinner prep— while many households split responsibilities, many mothers often shoulder a significant amount of them. According to Motherly’s 2023 State of Motherhood report, 58% of moms report they are primarily responsible for the duties of running a household and caring for children, up 2% since 2022.
Moms often know before signing up for the tremendous role of “MOM” that it isn’t easy. We know the messy and beautiful experiences leave imprints on our hearts & minds and on our children, and we also realize we’re helping to raise the next generation of problem solvers and community members. Our children look to us and the world around them with limitless curiosity, intrigue and wonder, to see how the world works, how we treat others and how we treat ourselves.
Well-being won’t fully be addressed by mothers alone, it’s crucial for the systems of support, like the organizations we work for or engage with, to consider how to better sustain their talented multi-faceted teams. As the founder and managing member of Inner North Outer Experience—where we help foster sustainable well-being and connection—and with 10+ years of experience navigating corporate America, I’ve learned so much along the way. Here are some helpful tips for both parents and organizations to consider.
Parents: Top 5 well-being tips for parents
Daily outdoor mindfulness walk
There’s tremendous potential health benefits from only dedicating about 18 minutes a day to disconnecting from digital and spending time outdoors—from reducing anxiety and depression and promoting clarity, creativity, and greater heart health, there’s many studies highlighting its benefits.
Monthly or quarterly date
You may think paying for a babysitter isn’t worth it, but it can really help to have some time away. Whether you go solo or with your partner, get dressed up and go somewhere fancy or simply go somewhere to reflect, making time for yourself is important.
A weekend well-being getaway
If you’re able to get a weekend away, there are select well-being retreats focused on helping women and mothers both relax and gain greater understanding of who they are now and what that means in their lives. As leaders who’ve navigated the life transition of becoming a mom in corporate environments, our retreat co-creator and I understand there’s a lot of change moms undergo when reevaluating our priorities, values and new identities while figuring out what’s next for us as we move into the world of motherhood. Check out our debut T.R.E.E. Leadership & Well-being Retreat, Oct. 27-29th, Lake Austin Spa Resort.
Abundance gratitude journal
Every night, whether it’s a word or a phrase, jot down something you’re grateful for. When you have a bad day, it can be something to look over to remind you of how much abundance you have in life.
Ask for flexibility & compassion
While we all hope to have great leadership who understands the requirements of being a parent, they may not and they’re not mind readers so, if possible, ask for flexibility and understanding. Perhaps it’s asking for a slightly later meeting time to accommodate for pick-up or drop-off times or understanding that you may need to take the call while in the drop-off/pick-up line. You won’t know unless you ask.
Organizations: Top 5 ways to consider well-being for parents
If you have parents on staff, consider how you can refine your approach that’s inclusive of your full team. Perhaps that means pushing your weekly sync call an hour later, or allowing your team member to leave early and make up time in the evening. Understand if your company offers “Flex-Time” and how to incorporate it. Ask in your anonymous surveys about how to offer flexibility for all.
Compassion, often with good intent, can have both positive and negative impacts pending on how it’s shown. “Hand-Up” compassion is often help that doesn’t remove something that would have been offered if they weren’t a parent, it provides opportunities. For example, If you have a role or an assignment that may require a few more hours, and you would’ve considered the person if they weren’t a parent, you should still consider offering them the choice of it, rather than thinking it would help them by not offering it at all.
Inclusion & belonging
Leaders, consider what the needs are of your team without singling a person out. There’s numerous ways to build trust and foster inclusion for parents, from offering flexibility without seeking praise, alerting your teams of “evening team events” a week in advance, to ensuring your parents are transitioned in and out of parental leave programs respectfully, or even checking for bias in your decision making that involves parents.
Well-being benefit programs
Explore your current well-being benefit programs and consider how open or feasible they are for working parents to participate in. Consider in what ways your well-being programs address and reduce the common stressors that impact well-being at scale in your organization.
Addressing parental bias
Consider incorporating company-wide training that highlights ways in which bias impacts parents and psychologically safe methods for leaders and employees to recognize and address parental bias when it’s observed personally or on their teams.
Whether you’re a parent and/or leader, you have the opportunity to influence and impact not only your own well-being, but that of many—all while the children of today observe the positive impacts that investing in one’s well-being can bring.
This story is a part of The Motherly Collective contributor network where we showcase the stories, experiences and advice from brands, writers and experts who want to share their perspective with our community. We believe that there is no single story of motherhood, and that every mother’s journey is unique. By amplifying each mother’s experience and offering expert-driven content, we can support, inform and inspire each other on this incredible journey. If you’re interested in contributing to The Motherly Collective please click here.
Credit: Source link