Have you ever been fascinated by certain people and wanted to truly understand what motivates them, what scares them and what keeps them up at night?
Over the last couple of years, I've noticed that working mothers come to coaching looking for solutions to very specific challenges, not the least of which is balancing work and family. The more I coach working mothers, the more passionate I've become about helping them with their challenges. So, I decided to conduct in-depth interviews with 25 executive mothers to understand their deepest, darkest worries so I could develop coaching programs to help them effect change in their personal and professional lives.
The survey revealed that executive mothers cite guilt as their number one challenge. Guilt that they have to leave their kids to go to work, guilt that going to work sometimes feels like a welcome break from their kids and guilt that they have to leave work early to pick up their kids from daycare.
Following are additional survey results of 25 working mothers in senior-level management positions across the U.S.
Top Challenges for Working Mothers:
- 91% feel they’re struggling to juggle kids, career, marriage, and personal time
- 87% feel that if they just had more time, they could get it all done
- 82% report that running from commitment to commitment and lack of sleep take a toll on their personal time, health and well-being
- 77% are struggling to lose those last 10-20 pounds post-pregnancy
- 73% feel they are playing a constant balancing act in which something always has to give
- 71% feel guilty, stressed and exhausted
Top Resources for Working Mothers:
- 89% have read parenting books, magazines or websites
- 78% have tried mom's groups
- 46% have tried parenting classes or workshops
- 82% said they received some benefits from these resources but were unable to make lasting change
Does this sound like you? While the study focused on working mothers, I'm sure working fathers face many of the same challenges.
So, what can you do about it?
One thing that was consistent for the dynamic group of women I interviewed is that they recognize the value of constantly re-evaluating, re-prioritizing and re-connecting with what's most important for them that day, week, or year. They understand the need to take a step back, get perspective and re-calibrate their priorities both as new situations come up and as they go about their daily routine.
You may find that there are some times in your life when you need to focus on making money, some times when spending time with your family has to be the priority and some times when you just need to carve out a little bit of alone time. The trick is to get enough perspective so that you feel you are intentionally making choices instead of having life "happen" to you, completely out of your control.
So, the next time you're feeling guilty, stressed or overwhelmed, take five minutes to go outside, look up at the sky and ask yourself, "What's the big picture perspective?"
Check back next month for the first in a series of articles that will provide practical coaching solutions to address each challenge identified in the survey. Also, stay tuned for the launch of an additional Pacific Life Coach website, specifically for working mothers.