Back to homepage

Balancing Home and Career While Keeping Overwhelm at Bay


Balancing Home and Career While Keeping Overwhelm at Bay


For a lot of people, striking a balance between family and work or career is an impossible pursuit that is almost analogous to chasing an elusive dream, with a significant number failing. Statistics don’t lie. According to the American Psychological Association, “… about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce.” From these fractured marriages, come a lot of children who also have to go through difficulty. Scholarly studies reveal that there is a nine to ten times increase in the percentage of juvenile crimes by children from broken homes.

Unfortunately, staying at home full-time may not be an option available for every parent, especially for single moms. Seeking a job or career can be important to support the financial needs of the family or to fulfill an emotional need. Though there are rewards when you have a separate life outside the home, overwhelm can be a possibility. If you are one of these women, you could be wondering, how can you juggle the two roles and succeed in both without being overwhelmed?


Why Women Can’t Have It All

Achieving a balance between two important aspects of life is no small challenge. It can be relatively easier for men with an efficient wife on his side, though it can be just as difficult for involved dads. For moms striving to be available and involved in their children’s lives while toiling on their jobs, the struggle can be extreme, even with a husband or partner. Many women wearing both hats discover the hard way that that “they can’t have It all.” The social norms and culture have made the tasks of staying effective, efficient and productive on both more challenging for them.

Upon analysis of Anne-Marie Slaughter’s ‘Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,’ the Harvard Political Review says, “Women have emphasized the incompatibility of achieving professional success and fulfilling traditional expectations of parental roles…”  Furthermore, other women’s challenges include sexism in the workplace, social pressure, varied demands and stresses depending on the nature of their jobs (rigid/inflexible schedules, repetitive tasks) etc.

After maternity, with “baby blues” and all, the road can become bumpier. Your mind can often shift to the baby while at work. As the baby’s immunization and check up schedules, hospitalization, teething pains, etc. coincide with job-related trainings, travels, meetings, deadlines, etc., risk of overwhelm draws stronger. This goes on and on as the baby grows older, or as another child is added to the family, if you do not address your issues early on. 


The Real Issue Called Overwhelm

 Juggling motherhood and a job/career, can burn you out. In your eagerness to meet all the expectations, you may rush everything, wanting to finish as fast and perfectly as you can. You may ignore your limits. Approaching that limit can mean the spiking of your stress level, the tautening of your nerves, the draining of your energy, and the diminishing of your focus, so you become overwhelmed and your productivity plummets. That’s what stress can do to your mind, body and productivity at home and at work.

Stress can spur you into action, not wanting to let your family and bosses down. Being overwhelmed isn’t healthy either, physically or emotionally. It can leave you irritable, blowing a fuse and losing your temper, so you may raise your tone to your child or a workmate. Zapping your concentration, you can commit blunders, which may not only entail a repeat of the task, but it can lead to an accident as well. Chronic stress can also weaken your immune system, so you run the risk of illness and increase your risks for many life-threatening conditions, such as stroke, heart attack and hypertension.

Overwhelm can complicate your life further. Studies reveal that more overwhelmed working moms find it tougher to advance in their jobs or careers when they have a family to take care of. Women also said that while having a job parenting is more difficult. Studies also show that more working women have family-related job interruptions than men, taking more time off to attend to a child or other family members. The chance of becoming overwhelmed is higher not only for women, but for women who need to keep a job to provide for their children.


Do You Fit the Profile of an Overwhelmed Mom?

Stay-at-home moms have a reason to ‘jump for joy’ when ‘online jobs’ become available to them. Though staying at home and taking care of the family are seriously embraced by many women worldwide, it is undeniable that many wish they can strike a balance and pursue both. Moms working at home are now realizing that even when they are doing home-based jobs, it can still be a tough life. The parameters of challenges and the stressors can be unique when you are home-based, but these will always be a part of the equation. Foremost of the stressor is guilt.

You feel guilty for not being able to fix an all-natural, healthy breakfast and a lunch for school. You feel guilty for not being there when they do their homework or for not being able to comply with the science or the art project requirement. You feel guilty for not having to cook a hot, delicious dinner when you need to stay longer at work, for not watching a ballet recital, or not arriving home while they are still awake. The guilt drives you to work harder to compensate for those lost moments and to buy your children things that they want. These can cause ‘working mommy burnout.’

If you are overwhelmed, you are in danger of performing more poorly in these two roles. You can seek help from an experienced counselor/therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC. Talking to a counselor can help you avoid overwhelm. If you are still not being counseled, check if you have the signs of or overwhelm. Psychologist Dr. Sheryl Ziegler offers these seven signs of mommy overwhelm in her Working Mother post:


Achieving the Balance with Counseling

It isn’t uncommon for working mothers to experience time management and priority issues, even when they love the family or are passionate about their job. When there is too much on your plate because of changes and transitions, overwhelm cannot be too far off. Overwhelm can kill your passion and you can lose sight of your purpose.

As a working mom – you need to prevent this from happening to enjoy life more. This is why recognizing the signs of overwhelm and seeking professional help early is important. A great place to start is with a skilled counselor/therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC.  

You can discover that there is another side to miserable, working mother – that of a successful and happy working mom with an equally flourishing marriage. What’s the formula? There is no correct equation. The key is to find that delicate balance, not only for yourself, but for the whole family. A CCS – Cameron, NC independently contracted counselor can help you and your loved ones understand overwhelm and what you are wanting to achieve. With counseling you can achieve a balance, without losing the unique fulfillment that comes from all your roles. Call today to schedule an appointment.

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC

Counties: Harnett County

Areas: Cameron NC, Linden Oaks NC, Sprout Springs NC, Anderson Creek NC, Olivia NC, Pineview NC, Johnsonville NC, Spring Lake NC

Zip Codes: 28326, 28327, 27332, 28394

Recent Comments



    • No categories