According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 73 percent of mothers today work outside the home. Still, many moms leave the workforce or reduce the number of hours they work while children are young, often returning to work later on. These work transitions can increase stress as parents and children adjust to new routines and less or more time with mom. Whether working or at home, so much of a mother’s life is taking care of and worrying about her children’s nutrition, education, social life, sleep habits, and activities, that it’s easy to put her own physical and mental health on the backburner.
“I’ll start eating better as soon as I finish school,” I naively told myself in college. Snacking had been my mechanism for staying awake to complete homework, and my snack choices didn’t include celery or carrot sticks. Going back to work this past fall has been more of a challenge than I expected. I had believed that work was going to be easier than school because my evenings would open up. In reality, I am busier than ever, and my snacking habit has stubbornly remained. I recently spoke with five of my friends who have made the transition from working to staying home, or returning to work, to learn how they embraced the change and found time for themselves and their many responsibilities.