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Mother's Day 2019: 9 Ways to be a calm and composed working mother

If you are a working mother, here are some tried-and-true ways to keep your domestic and professional chaos at bay.

Tips for Parent By Varsha Vats / Jan 17, 2017

Are you a working mother who is far from unflappable?

Dictionary defines unflappable as marked by assurance and self control. Do fall in this category? Well, being a working mother isn’t so hard. A lot of experts tell you not to blur the lines between work and home but this overlap could actually help you stay reasonably calm. Here are some tried-and-true ways to keep your domestic and professional chaos at bay.

Work at home; home at work

You need to accomplish a certain number of things during a 24-hour period. Where you complete those tasks is beside the point; you just need to check them off the list in order to free up time for the things you want to do. Pedicures come to mind.

Juggle strategically

Sit at the kitchen table and work on a laptop next to a child of yours doing algebra. While the child does worksheets and you write your newspaper column, she is being mothered by you.

Make your home office a command center

Figure out which location in the center of your house provides some privacy, while reminding everyone you are a presence to be reckoned with. From this spot, you should be able to stir a pot of simmering soup or assist with a history project that involves the use of glitter.

Ignore the latest parental fear-mongering literature

Stick to the classics that remind us, with great wit, what we like about this business of being an adult with a complex life. For example, Shirley Jackson’s Raising Demons will help you decide whether it’s more fulfilling to spend the weekend doing housework or playing cards with the neighbors.

Getting out the door in the morning is the only thing

You have to achieve before 8:30 a.m. Stop trying to organize everything. Your only goals are to leave the house looking good and without your first-grader sobbing because she hates getting dressed in the morning.

Go with your gut, and don't second-guess it later

If you’ve spent days preparing for a meeting that starts in an hour and the school nurse calls to report a painful, though not hospital-worthy, monkey-bar injury, there’s no one right thing to do.

Leave the stories about your kids at home

While I’m sure your coworkers love hearing about Sophie’s ballet recital or poison ivy, you can keep them begging for more by limiting updates on family life to one per week.

Don't obsess over things

No one will remember in five years. Come 2015, no one, not even you, will still be angry that the PTA insisted on scheduling meetings during the workday. Or that your child was the last holdout against potty-training at preschool. Get a cup of coffee. Everything will be fine.


Stop thinking of yourself as split

Into separate but equal roles: mother, worker, you. Listen to philosopher John Locke, who said that a person recognizes himself as the same being throughout his life, in different times and places. You are one person, indivisible, who just happens to wear many hats.


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