Working moms are tired, overwhelmed and often feel under-appreciated. They feel like no one understands what it's like to be in their position. But so many share this feeling of isolation; no one talks about it, so they don’t know that other moms feel the same way they do. Isolation can have negative effects on mental health, so it’s important to address this feeling. But before that’s possible, it’s important to understand why the feeling’s there in the first place.
Here are some common reasons that moms in Chicago are feeling isolated:
1. Working Moms Spend So Much Of Their Time Keeping Their Jobs And Families On Track
Working moms often feel isolated because they have to keep everyone and everything on track. In addition, they have to manage their physical health, mental health, finances, and social lives. This is a full-time job, on top of their normal full-time job, and the full-time job of taking care of the family. This leaves little time for socializing.
It's important to make these connections though. There will always be work, but socializing is part of self-care. The key here is just being intentional about what actually needs your attention, and when, so that all your priorities are covered but you’re not actually trying to work another full-time job of socializing into the mix.
2. They Feel Like They’re Failing
So many moms feel like they’re failing at everything, and it's no wonder. When your job is demanding and your family needs a lot of attention, life can quickly get chaotic. And when life gets busy and stressful, it’s easy to feel like everything’s falling apart. You feel like if you stop for even a moment to reach out, all the plates will fall, and you’ll really be in trouble.
It’s important to fight against this feeling because chances are you’re not failing as bad as you think. And even if you are, it’s almost never the case that fixing it on your own is going to work well. Often, reaching out to your community and asking for help is the best way to get things back on track.
3. They Feel Like Their Friends Don’t Understand Their Lives
It’s really challenging to juggle work pressures and parent pressures while trying to maintain friendships outside of work or motherhood. Moms whose friends don’t have kids, or have kids but who don’t work, sometimes feel like their friends can’t relate to their life. It makes it hard to reach out; they may worry that they won’t have anything to talk about, or that they’ll feel jealous of how their friends seemingly have their lives together when that’s not the case for them. And sometimes friends just fall through the cracks of a busy schedule, because you think they’ll reach out and they think you’ll reach out.
If these relationships are important, try to prioritize them. Communicate with friends so connections can happen without extra stress. Don’t drop the people in your life that you value just because things get busy.
4. Working Moms Can’t Get Time To Themselves
It’s hard to find time for yourself. You might feel like you’re always busy with work, family, and other obligations. You don't have much time to take care of yourself or do the things you enjoy. In addition, you may feel like you're always putting everyone else first—and missing out on things because of it. There is a common misconception that taking care of yourself is something you should only do after the kids are asleep and all the laundry done. This isn’t true.
Make yourself a priority, even in small ways. Figure out what you want and need to feel fulfilled. Think about what you want for yourself and try to take time out of your week to focus on you. Go shopping or take a walk. Do something that’s just for you, even if it’s small. It doesn’t have to be a whole spa day, just stopping for a coffee you like or taking a ten-minute walk after work on a trail you enjoy can be enough. The important thing is that it makes *you* happy.
Working moms need support to thrive. If you find yourself feeling consistently isolated, know, ironically, that you’re not alone. This is a common problem for so many moms. But the good news is it doesn’t have to stay like this.
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Counseling services designed to help set you on a path of living a more fulfilled, calm, and happy life. St. Louis Our St. Louis team of therapists have a variety of training backgrounds and areas of expertise. We specialize in anxiety, depression, grief, chronic illness, therapy for men, couples, and maternal overwhelm. We can also help new moms with various postpartum concerns, moms in the thick of parenting, and moms with teens. We can also chat from wherever you are in the state with online therapy in Missouri and online therapy in Illinois. No matter where you are in your journey, we would love to support you. Chicago Our Chicago team of therapists offer a wide range of mental health services to help our clients through the different challenges and hurdles in their life. In addition to anxiety, depression, grief, therapy for men, and maternal overwhelm, we are specialized in professional burnout, therapy for breakups, and love partnering with working moms.