We all know a mum’s job never stops. Even before the pandemic, we’d come home from a day of work, errands, school drop-offs, and childcare pick-ups, and then… it’s shift 2.
The house needs cleaning, the kids want snacks, and there’s homework to be done.
Since coronavirus, it has unfortunately only gotten tougher, now with home-schooling and needing to somehow manage working from home on top of the pressures of managing a global pandemic. It’s no wonder there has been a spike in mental health and stress recently.
But we aren’t alone.
Now more than ever, it’s important for us to come together as a community, support each other, and be transparent about what is and isn’t working to help us through these extraordinary times.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, here are some simple steps to take today to find some balance:
- Let it go – First and foremost, recognise that we can’t have it all, especially during a global pandemic. Some days life at work might be manageable, and life at home may be chaotic, or the other way around. And that’s OK. Before looking for the perfect life balance, realise there is no ‘perfect’ and we each need to define what realistic and rewarding balance looks like for us.
- Embrace what is working – Trying to ‘fix’ every aspect of your life that has changed or isn’t what you’d ideally like it to be, will only lead to you burning out and finding more things to fix. Make a realistic assessment of what is functioning well in your life, what you have to be grateful for, and what is bringing you joy, even if it’s for short moments. These are the things to focus your headspace on as much as possible. Continually remind yourself throughout the day of these positive parts of your life to build and maintain a resilient mindset.
- Disconnect and re-connect – Whatever your guilty pleasure is, remove the guilt and ensure you’re taking time to truly relax and disconnect. It may be 30 minutes of a trashy TV show, or 10 minutes listening to a podcast. Enjoy that time – it’s yours. Then, take a look at the people around you and take a gut-check on who is supporting, uplifting and empowering you. It could be your friends, family, partner, neighbours, or even an online community. Whoever it is, make sure you’re making time to connect with them and remember you are not alone.
- Reach out – Despite the demands of parents being at an all-time high, now is not the time to try and do everything yourself. In my line of work, for example, I’m seeing a lot of mums facing the challenge of somehow continue speech therapy treatments for their children during social distancing and school closures. It’s impossible to expect you’ll turn into an at – home speech therapist overnight (on top of being an at-home school teacher and more!), and there are readily available online services that can immediately take these pressures off your plate. Whether it’s online speech therapy, mental health support, online educational resources or even exercise tips for the family, seek support so you can focus on the real priorities.
About Francesca Pinzone
Francesca Pinzone is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of online allied health services provider, Umbo. She is passionate about bringing health services to children in rural communities and removing social inequalities. She has a MA in International Public Health from the University of Sydney, a Graduate Certificate in Social Impact from the University of NSW, and a Bachelor of Science, Nursing from the University of Technology, Sydney.
Francesca has over 12 years of experience working in non-profit organisations and in international development, having previously worked with Medecins Sans Frontieres in Pakistan, UNICEF in India and CanTeen in Australia, and also currently teaches Creating Social Change: From Innovation to Impact at UNSW Sydney with the Centre for Social Impact.
She is also a mother of a child who has received speech therapy.