This Sunday, we celebrate Mother's Day again. Whether you are a mom, a stepmom, or a mom to be: it is the day to be honoured by your children. And so you should be. Besides the festivities within the family, this day is also an excellent opportunity for mothers to reflect on their role: does my role as stay-at-home-mom still satisfy me? As a working mom: am I spending enough time with my children?
"There are no wrong moms, let that be clear," says Özlem Simsek, Managing Director at international recruitment agency Robert Walters, and proud mom of 2 girls. "But regardless of your choice, it's important that you feel good about yourself, and that you know there are alternatives when you need a change."
No wrong choice
The children's health and happiness are usually a mother's top priority. That is what makes it so difficult for many working moms. They often find themselves in a dilemma: on the one hand they are eager to work and build a career, but at the same time they want to make sure their children do not miss anything. Choices must be made to find a good balance between work and family.
Every mother is different, of course: some people consciously choose to be a dedicated stay-at-home mom, others feel the need to work, whether for financial reasons or not. If you choose the first option, people around you will undoubtedly argue that you are not career-oriented enough.
If you consciously choose to work, people around you might say that you are not there enough for your children. Özlem: "Nothing is less true. As a mother you obviously know best what you and your children need. Don't listen to other people's opinions or comments but do what makes you happy and what is within your power. There is no wrong choice, if you feel that your children are not feeling short-changed, and they feel good in the home situation. A day like Mother's Day is the moment to reflect about this and to be proud of yourself.
Your personal happiness relies to a significant extent on having the right work-life balance. When you find that balance as a mother - and as an employee - you will automatically feel better about yourself. Benefits like flexible hours, the possibility of hybrid working, and flexible vacation days can have a positive impact on this. "Do you feel that your work-life balance is not optimal yet? Then take some time to determine for yourself what needs to change. Don't be afraid to discuss the possibilities with your employer. If flexible working hours or part-time work are not possible within your current position or organization, then perhaps now is the time to look around at what the job market has to offer," says Özlem.
A good work-life balance, however, is not the only thing that affects a mother's well-being. The atmosphere at work and the satisfaction you get from your job are just as important. As a working mom, it is a clever idea to occasionally reflect on your role as an employee. Do you still enjoy your job? How is the relationship with your manager and colleagues? If this is all positive, then your happiness at work will also be felt at home. If things are not going well at the office, however, you will also bring those negative vibes home to your family. Özlem: "Everyone has bad days now and then, and every mom occasionally prefers to stay home, especially when a child is sick. However, if you feel days like this are becoming the rule rather than the exception, you may not be in the ideal job. Mother's Day may be the day you decide to take a new path.”
So be sure to treat yourself well on Mother's Day, enjoy the well-deserved gifts from your family, and take a moment to think about what really makes you happy. Because no mother deserves to be unhappy.
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