Life as a Working Mom With Endometriosis
Being a mom is hard. It’s the hardest thing we will likely do in life.
There’s no manual or rule book. Just when you think you have it figured out, your kids enter a different stage, requiring a completely different set of parenting skills.
Add in a side hustle or job outside the home, and you’ve upped the ante.
Now let’s just top this with a chronic illness like endometriosis, where we experience chronic pain and fatigue, and we can feel like we’re drowning, but we’re doing it all with a smile, of course, because we’ve “got this.”
Oh, my fellow endo sisters, whether you’re a momma or not, I’m sure you can relate to this feeling of life obligations butting up against your health needs. How are you supposed to do it all?
Being a mother with endometriosis
The real and honest answer is: you’re not. You can’t do it all.
So, we first need to set proper expectations.
Don’t put pressure on yourself to be Martha Stewart in your home. Your kids don’t have to have a freshly prepared home-cooked meal every night. You don’t need to volunteer for every committee at work or in the community.
We need to recognize that managing endometriosis is a job in and of itself. We need to make time and space for that.
That can feel impossible on many days, especially for the single mamas out there. You are overcoming mountains greater than you ever wanted or planned to climb.
Making time for yourself
Where do we start? We start by understanding your greatest need right now.
This answer will be different for each person, but what do you need the most help with in this season?
Do you need support with your workload in the office? Schedule a meeting with your boss.
Do you need help getting the kids to all the activities? How can you get in on our carpool with fellow moms or ask family to help out?
Do you need help with managing the home? Are your kids old enough to start doing chores? Can you price out a cleaning service that comes maybe once a month, and if you get one or two neighbors to do the same, you get a lower price? Is there a high schooler who could come over once a week to fold some laundry or help clean up the playroom for you?
Managing your stress
Each person’s needs are unique, but once you start to see your pain points more clearly, you can start to ask for more specific help that will bring you some meaningful relief.
Managing stress is also a crucial step to managing a chronic illness while wearing many hats in life.
This, too, will look different for each person, but could you start practicing mindful breathing while you’re in the shower? Can you take a couple of deep breaths each time to sit down to eat?
Can you do a few stretches while your baby does tummy time? Can you take a walk on your lunch break at work to get some fresh air?
It doesn’t need to be big. Often small, consistent practices provide us with the greatest benefits.
What tips do you have for navigating life as a working mama with endometriosis?
Have you taken our In America survey yet?