The Key to Stress for Today’s Working Mom

Stress is major issue for today’s working mom, and she’s not getting much help with it.

This is one of the noteworthy conclusions found in a recent survey by Day-Timer on the importance of time management for working moms.

Is too much on Mom’s plate?

It seems Mom is trying to do it all, and plan it all — typically with minimal help from her family — and it’s a major cause of stress in her life.

Of those polled, the biggest cause of stress in moms are “Trying to do it all,” and “Unexpected financial burdens” — the two top answers chosen by at least half of the respondents.

When you consider that she’s managing a household, feeding, cleaning, shopping and chauffeuring among her duties — all while holding down a full-time job — it’s clear to see that time management is at a premium for the working mom.

In case you were wondering when Mom needs the most help — mornings were the most stressful time of day, the top claim by 45% of the respondents.

Seeking a plan to relieve stress

Day-Timer recently completed this survey seeking to better understand the problems facing working moms in order to continue providing valuable solutions for busy people.

The results showed how improved planning can be a key factor in the working mom’s life. When asked how many schedules the working mom is responsible for, the typical response was that Mom managed her own as well as the majority of her family’s activities.

It appears the working mom is craving better time management but hasn’t settled on a single planning tool, instead choosing a combination of several planning tools. The traditional wall calendar and a mobile device are the leading choices.

Other noteworthy survey findings:

• When Mom feels overwhelmed, she handles it by “Working through it” — a response given by nearly 80% of those polled — as opposed to taking a break or seeking help
• Family fun outings are the number source of happiness for the working mom – far and above the top choice
• The rewards for being a good Mom? Affection from kids and Harmonious family life received the most top votes

Tell us: How does the working mom you know manage her stress and stay organized? Please comment.

Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at

10 thoughts on “The Key to Stress for Today’s Working Mom

  1. Wow! Will certainly take a look at Flylady and iin response to the question “What happens when your time commitment is far outbalanced in one area, such as in your business?” I would say experience has taught me to accept that SOMETIMES one thing must absorp a disproprtionate amount of time and that is OK. If it goes on for too long or starts to be at the detriment of others then you have to step back, take a look at your core values and objectives and realign your time management to your long term strategy and goals (and yes, I do have a rolling 5 year plan for all aspects of my life!) and the time to slow down and think (10-15 minutes every day) is in my Day-Timer (usually early in the morning becasue that’s what works for me). Off to look at FlyLady now.

  2. I’m a mum raising two boys, work from home for my husband part time, work part time 20 km from home and volunteer all over the place. Several years ago I was introduced to a site about getting on top of the housework. Amazingly the routines with this system equate to time management AND calendar use. I have always been able to run and office effectively and efficiently but had never thought/been taught how to run a home the same way. All too often the media is to blame for its portrayal of women/mothers/business women and the load they can achieve. Flylady’s system (Finally Loving Yourself) has been of benefit to all in my household and sees me using my DayTimer to manage everything I do as the emphasis is on doing little bites of work for a limited time 7 or 15 mins then moving on. By looking at tasks in smaller amounts and using a timer it is truly amazing how much can be achieved with no one person doing all the work.

    1. Wow Sharen, it sounds like you found some good solutions to managing a full workload. Finding a set of routines is always a great productivity solution because it enables you to accurately judge your workload and then streamline some of your processes.

      Thanks for commenting!

  3. I think the stress eminates not from a desire to be super woman but from an inbuilt genetic need to care and nurture. I am a business woman; a Mum; a Grandma; a wife, lover, & soulmate to the best man in the world; a Scout Leader; a confidant; a duaghter; and just plain old me. My stresses come from needing to help and support all the wonderful people in my life professional, social, and family. None of the above lists are in order of importance and when the stress gets too much? Well I listen to music, walk in the woods, and just take a deep breath. Mornings are fine, especially that wonderful hourbetween 5 & 6 when it’s just me and the cats!

    1. Great comment Carol. Thanks for sharing your perspective. What happens when your time commitment is far outbalanced in one area, such as in your business?

      1. Over time I have learnt that sometimes one area of your life demands abnormal levels of attention and that is fine. If it goes on too long or is at the detriment of other areas that is not. That is when you MUST step back reassess your current activity against your long term goals and dreams (yes I have a 5 year plan for all aspects of my life) and reprioritise. I put time in my schedule for thinking (usually early in the morning) about what needs to be achieved and I don’t beat myself up if something doesn’t go to plan. Often when we are spending too much time on one area it is because we are not focussing and not working efficiently, it’s usually a good clue that we are off track and need to take a moment to check our bearings. Even when business has taken me away for weeks on end there’s always a way to reaffirm your commitment to the other areas especially now we have all the modern communication methods. Always remember that courage doesn’t always roar it’s often the quiet voice that says “I will try again tomorrow”.

  4. This study is interesting to me. I can’t help but wonder who is putting all of this stress on us moms to be and do everything. I have a guess… moms. We think we’re supposed to be able to do it all. Superwoman Syndrome. Oh, and mornings are terrible!

    1. Interesting thought Prof! Many of the working mom’s I know seem embedded in “Superwoman Syndrome” (including my wife), whether it’s a necessary evil or an expectation of their role — not sure which comes first.

      The hardest thing to do is slow down for a moment each day and evaluate your true capabilities.

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