Moms are busier than ever. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, moms are bearing the brunt of the home-schooling burden. More family members at home means more meals to plan, prepare and clean up, and more messes to manage. Plus, mental health experts say moms are carrying more of the mental load — the to-do list running in our brains of groceries to buy, laundry to do, gifts to order, appointments to schedule and on and on.
Now that my family is home doing virtual work and learning, the number of meals I cook a week doubled, and the house doesn't stay neat from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. like it does when kids are away in school!
How are you handling extra family and kid and house duties? Here's how our Mommy M.D.s — doctors who are also mothers — are coping.
"It was really hard at the beginning, trying to juggle it all, especially since we had no one coming into the home to help," says Nilong Vyas, M.D., a mom of two, a board-certified pediatrician and the founder of Sleepless in NOLA sleep consulting in New Orleans. "It was difficult because I had to plan three meals and two snacks as well as cook and clean and run a business and home-school. But communicating the needs of the family with my spouse helped as we delegated responsibilities. But as the kids started back at in-person school, I had more time to get done the things that needed to get done around the house. Plus, a significant amount of the cooking was eliminated, and I had more time for myself."
"I delegate," says Brooke A. Jackson, M.D., a mom of twin girls and a son, a dermatologist, founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology Associates in Durham, North Carolina, and author of the forthcoming book "Skincare for Runners." "I'm seeing patients, and my three kids, ages 13, 13 and 11, are home all day, making a mess in the house, so everyone has a different night to make dinner."
"The house is a bit of a disaster zone these days," says Marra S. Francis, M.D., a mom of six children and an OB-GYN in Helotes, Texas. "I'm just trying to adjust my type-A personality to look past the piles of schoolwork and laptops on each countertop surface and focus on the fact that my kids are still doing well in school. We aren't doing any entertaining, so a tidy house is not my first priority."
Need a fun little stress-releasing break? Invite your friends to play an online game. They're as close as your phone, and many are free. They take just minutes to play. Some of my favorites are Words with Friends, Wordscapes and Among Us! I'm organizing a group of moms to play this game, popular with kids and also fun for adults and easy to learn. According to the Among Us game developer: Join your crewmates in a multiplayer game of teamwork and betrayal! Play online or over local Wi-Fi with four to 10 players as you attempt to hold your spaceship together and return back to civilization. But beware ... as there may be an alien impostor aboard!
Jennifer Bright is a mom of four sons, co-founder and CEO of family- and veteran- owned custom publisher Momosa Publishing, co-founder of the Mommy MD Guides team of 150+ mommy M.D.s, and co-author of "The Mommy MD Guide to the Toddler Years." She lives in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. To find out more about Jennifer Bright and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: Oldmermaid at Pixabay