In my line of work, I meet a lot of moms who are weary. They are tired because they are trying to be housekeepers, breadwinners, entertainers, chefs, chief comforting officers, and taxi cab drivers. And when the pandemic served up online learning, moms had to take on even more roles like the head of IT and teacher.
While I didn't need a research study to tell me that moms are busier than ever before, a study by Pew Research did indeed show that moms spent more time in both the labor force and on child care than in the past.
No wonder so many moms are exhausted at their core. I get it, I've overextended myself more than once by saying "yes" too often and not asking for help until I was teetering or over the edge. But there is a life raft that leads out of the fatigue... and that life raft is called help.
My top 5 ways of leaning into the power of "us" to get things done are listed below.
Involve your partner or spouse
If you have a partner or a spouse, discuss how you can effectively split up household duties. Consider each other's strengths and lean into doing what you each love or have the capacity for the most.
For example, my husband prefers to cook and I prefer to clean so we divide up duties in the kitchen. Does that mean I never cook and he never cleans? No. It means that he cooks more often and I clean more often, but since it's a partnership duties ebb and flow and we adjust based on the current scope of our lives.
Involve your kids
Kids can pick up and put away items that they call theirs - toys, papers, electronics, clothes... the list goes on. They can also cook, clean, feed pets, take out garbage, shovel the driveway and much more.
Our role as parents is to help our kids learn and grow so they can be effective and happy adults and learning to manage the tasks that are necessary in a home are part of that skill set. Obviously depending on the child's age, the level of supervision changes.
Lean on friends and family
Everyone brings different types of strengths to the world. Some people can cook, some can build, others can fix tech, others love to watch kids, while others can sew and so on.
If you're overwhelmed, consider the superpowers of your circle of friends and family and ask them to support you in your time of need. Then, when you're feeling on your feet again, you'll be a great resource to share your superpowers with them.
Lean on your neighbors
I remember when we had two deaths in our family in the span of two weeks. We were overwhelmed to say the least and the people that rose to the occasion for our family were our neighbors.
They cooked for us and it was the most remarkable kindness and showing of the "power of us". You don't have to have a deep grief event to lean on your neighbors. From what I've learned, neighbors are some of the best support you can have in your circle of support
Hire a support team
If you don't have a partner or your family is too far away and you don't have kids or the volume of to-do's is just too much to manage, consider hiring out and delegating to a support team. They can take on many roles including a cleaning person, a childcare provider, lawn care or home improvement maintenance. It may just be for a short time that you need to outsource but lightening your load when you need it can offer you some breathing room.
People are almost also willing to offer their assistance, you just have to ask. Asking for it shows a sign of your resourcefulness. Surrounding yourself with people who can pitch in during challenging times is a highly valuable asset. Don't hesitate to reach out if you find yourself in need, you will be able to give back in the future.