Here are the key warning signs that you might have working mother syndrome.  Don’t panic, you can get through it.

1. Going to work on Monday morning feels like it’s a day off!

2. You feel like it’s a ground-breaking achievement to have an empty washing basket and full wardrobes.

3. You’re meeting with a client and reach into your bag to get your diary only to mistakenly pull out a copy of ‘Where is the green sheep?’

4. Your diary contains as many drop off/pick up, dentist or doctors appointments, play dates and parties for your kids as it does business meetings.

coffee shots working mother syndrome blog sue collins two in a row

5. You slam down your morning coffee like you were doing shots at a bar and then reach for the next one.

6. Watching the Bachelor is more like therapy than entertainment and your three year old son has been known to offer you a rose when you look vacant.

7. You need at least 2 glasses of wine to experience the‘I don’t give a sh*t’ state of mind.  Which you can also apparently experience through yoga, mindfulness and meditation blah blah blah…

8. You drive your 3 year old to daycare instead of kinder and he tells you you’ve gone the wrong way before you realise you’re not sure where you put the other child- just kidding, the 6 year old knows where he is.

9. You’re trying very hard to sound important and professional on the phone to a client while pushing your child on a swing in the park hoping the call will end before your child gets bored.

10. The only way you can catch up on sleep is by going to bed a 730pm hoping you’ll get to sleep all night without interruption. It’s almost like a reverse sleep in!

Cures and remedies for Working Mother Syndrome

  1. Give up work
  2. Give up the kids
  3. I’m working on a C- see below.

Lets get real, it’s hectic working and raising kids.  Can you really cure being busy during this phase of life?  Probably not unless you can start being less busy. 

Realising that the line between work/life balance really is just line drawn someplace and that trying to fit in all the usual aspects of family life and keep the business ticking over while still keeping a sense of self and maintaining health and wellbeing is just the juggle of a working mother.  And it’s probably easier to say the above sentence in one breath than to achieve work life balance! To strive for it all to be perfect just got me stressed, anxious and feeling down.

If you are finding it’s getting overwhelming, just remember it’s not forever, this is just another stage in your life.  You’re definitely not alone, we all feel it at times.

For some quick fixes to keeping a lid on the overwhelm I try to

  • Take a break and go for a walk, read a magazine or listen to music at least once a day.
  • Use my diary and keep updating my ‘do it’ lists so I can see that I’m actually getting things done.
  • Call a friend for a chat
  • Plan a holiday (even if it’s just in my imagination)
  • Go shopping – for you that is, not groceries at the supermarket!
  • Look at some cute baby photos and remember why you’re really doing this juggle.
  • Check out @dadwhohasitall on twitter- very funny!
  • And the best stress buster for me really is, when I am with my kids, I am just with my kids- not trying to email, text, blog, read, take calls or get them settled so I can get back to work. 
  • More recently I’ve started listening to Audio books when I’m at the gym, running or in the car.  I can’t find time to read but this I can do.  Also great to put on the earphones when cooking dinner if the kids are happy doing their own thing!

There are heaps of sites promoting ways to cope and I particularly like this blog written by Liz O’Donnell ‘8 Habits of Smart Working Mothers’ some interesting perspectives in here.

I also found this video by Maree Forleo (her show is a fav of mine) interviewing Grace Bonney on the Truth About Work Life Balance some interesting perspectives in here too!

But if you don’t find some useful idea’s there you could also try yoga and meditation and oh yeah- mindfulness– ha ha!

‘The balance between work and life is easy– said no working mother ever!’ @towinarowblog tweet that!

So lets get real about it, see it for what it is and enjoy ourselves.

Or write to me, lets chat and figure it out! 

Best wishes,


*In all seriousness, if it’s making you feel more than just a bit down- do see a doctor and make sure you get some support.  I don’t know if working mother syndrome is scientifically real or just in my imagination…

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