At JustMums Recruitment we work with women every day and know the challenges that modern parenting presents to working Mums. There’s a sense that we can have it all, and in some respect that is true, it is possible to have a thriving career alongside a family life which was something not afforded to our mother’s generation without huge sacrifice. However, are we putting too much pressure on ourselves to achieve the unachievable?
This week we celebrate Women’s Health Week which aims to shine a light on the health and wellbeing of all women, and what we’ve been presented with is a less than ideal model of women’s health. The Women’s Health Survey 2018 (put together by Jean Hailes) spoke to 15,000 women from across Australia and has found some very worrying results:
- 66.9% of women felt nervous, anxious or on edge on several days or more in the last 4 weeks.
- 46.1% reported that a doctor or a psychologist had diagnosed them with depression or anxiety.
- 34.3% of women reported that they didn’t get time to themselves on a weekly basis.
- 70.3% reported doing at least 2 hours of exercise per week.
- 50.8% described themselves as overweight or obese.
I suspect this is just half the story.
Are we just too busy trying to do everything that we forget to look after our health and wellbeing? I know for many women, especially mums, they are the last on the list of priorities. We’re always making sure that our family are well looked after and healthy, but we forget to look after ourselves. The irony being that we are the most important person to take care of as we can’t do all that we do with poor health.
I know many women that have minor mental health issues and lead an ordinary life, it’s certainly not something to be ashamed of. I recognise that I have periods of high anxiety and I know to be gentle on myself when this happens. We should, and we do, support our network of women all the time. This article by Fat Mum Slim ‘I am not my anxiety’ really resonated with me as it highlighted the normality of a woman living with anxiety.
“I’m a functioning person with anxiety. You probably wouldn’t know I was going through it, unless I happened to stutter or fumble as I struggled with talking. You wouldn’t know unless I cancelled plans on you, or retreated from being social. You wouldn’t know just by looking at me, but I’d probably tell you because I’m an open book”.
So, what can we do as busy working mums to start to make ourselves a priority? Here are some ideas:
- Make time for your passions – whether that be going to the gym, reading a book, doing craft…
- Take time to rest – don’t overschedule yourself or your family
- Learn not to feel selfish when you say no
- Challenge your negative thinking
- Intentionally schedule “me time” in your calendar
- Establish and stick to a routine
- Make lists
- Unplug from social media
- Take a mental health day
Most importantly remember to utilise your mum support network when you’re feeling overwhelmed and in need of a break.
Our team are passionate about supporting mums on their career journey so please visit our website to see the various services we offer.