An Open Letter to Working Moms

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Dear Moms:

Whatever your work/life situation, if the ‘new normal’ has left you frazzled, to refresh and recharge with positive energy & inspiration, see 31 Quotes to Inspire, Ignite, & Uplift You.

I curated this collection of inspirational quotes as a means to channel creative energy and manage stress–due to the current global pandemic and also from worrying about my mom who was in and out of the hospital the past several weeks. [Note: I’m happy to say my mom is finally home and feeling better!]

But back to you, back to us moms.

You must be exhausted. If you are among the “fortunate,” you were suddenly catapulted into full-time telecommuting. I hear you!

How is that working out? Zoom meetings with young children or pets making impromptu appearances?

Is your wi-fi robust enough to support everyone’s online activity in your home?

Does your family finally have a better understanding of what you do for a living?

How are you juggling your 9-5 and overseeing your children’s day-to-day education? If you are a teacher (thank you!), how are you coping with radically changing gears developing an online curriculum that reaches all of your students?

As many states roll out re-opening for business, I can only imagine your stress level if your young child(ren) attend(s) daycare or an after school program.

For those serving in the frontlines of COVID-19 (thank you for your service) who are already battling the hurdle of finding childcare, what advice can you offer to other moms?

For moms with older children, how are your teens coping with social distancing?

Grieving missed birthday parties, canceled high school proms, extracurricular activities? What creative ways have your children and their friends stayed connected beyond the usual texting and video-chatting?

My son’s high school student senate posted a collaborative video, “Better Together At Home” on Instagram. [Warning: You might cry–it is an uplifting and poignant reminder of what our children are going through.]

Hopefully despite the challenges you are also finding some joy in having unexpected extra time with your immediate family. I am grateful to have my college sophomore home–not only because we missed him, but also, he enjoys sharing his culinary experiments with the family.

Oh, and lest I forget, he is the Pied Piper with our two cats, Volcan and Peter.

My high school-aged son has been sleeping in later — more sleep is something a growing teen can always use! He’s used his extra time to develop a website where he can house his photography portfolio.

I hope you and your family are finding new ways to connect and recharge yourselves.

Back to us, though.

As working moms in the ‘new normal,’ it is even more important to manage your stress since stress levels affect immunity. (For more on stress and the immune system, see Dantzer et al., 2018).

For some ideas on stress management and self-care, see allthingsrelax.com – inspiring women to relax & rejuvenate. I created this blog when I was working on a high profile project at Bloomberg BNA.

To this day, I will never forget some advice our unit’s VP gave me as I was leaving the restroom. She must have seen beyond the pleasantries we exchanged and reminded me to ‘just breathe.’ (Thank you, Lisa!)

On a final note, I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day to moms around the globe, especially my mom who is a cancer survivor!

Sandi Duverneuil is currently an international student adviser at Penn State University (University Park campus) and formerly worked in the Washington, DC area in publishing in various private, nonprofit, and government agencies. In her spare time, she writes about relaxation and stress management at AllThingsRelax.com and is also a self-taught artist (abstract figurative painting).

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