As a new study about working moms emerges, we learn that attaining a solid work-life balance might be more challenging than previously believed.
How many times did you hear that you can do it all as a mom, both at work and home, but you found yourself at crossroads? Most likely too many times, while workplaces are still created for employees without child-care responsibilities.
A recent study aims to explain why the “supermom” attitude can actually harm your mental health. Here is what you need to know.
Working Too Much or Not at All: How Does it Really Feel?
A team of researchers led by Katrina Leupp, a sociology graduate student from the University of Washington, made quite the discovery about being a “supermom.”
They surveyed 1,600 women, all 40 years old and married, across the US. The participants, a mix of working mothers and stay-at-home moms, were part of the US Department of Labor’s National Longitudinal Survey of Youth.
The participants answered questions about the work-life balance by indicating how much they agreed with various statements, including:
- A woman is happiest if she can stay at home with her kids;
- A woman who fulfills her family responsibilities doesn’t have time for a job outside her home;
- Working moms lead to more juvenile delinquency.
Furthermore, the team examined the women’s levels of depression.
“Supermoms have higher expectations for fairness, so it makes sense that they would be more frustrated with the division of household chores,” explained Leupp.
Researchers discovered that stay-at-home mothers had to deal with depression symptoms more compared to working moms. Leupp highlighted the fact that employment is essential for women’s health.
However, researchers found that the participants with a “supermom” attitude had higher chances to experience depression symptoms than those who had somehow a more “down-to-earth” standpoint. The reason?
According to the team, there’s some frustration over-sharing household chores and guilt over not being that good at the work-family balance that triggers the depression for the “supermoms.”
The results are worrying, and raising awareness about the struggles “supermoms” have to face daily could significantly help.
Remember, if you feel that there’s too much going on in your life and you think you just can’t do it anymore, you should seek professional help.