Welcome to Part 3 of my Tribute to Working Mothers! This week, we’re talking about stress and how to manage it all.

A study presented last year at the American Sociological Association cited that working mothers spent about 1/4 of their waking time (or 29 hours per week) thinking about either family or job-related tasks and their ability to accomplish them in a timely manner.  Men spent only slightly less, 1/5 (or 24 hours per week) of their waking time doing mental labor. Both moms and dads spent about the same time thinking about family-related responsibilities.

From here, though, the genders diverged. Mental labor had a negative effect on moms but not dads.

In Part 3, the It-Girl mothers answer three questions about working outside the home…

What’s one thing you need to make life easier?

How do you manage stress?

What’s one thing you want your partner to know or realize?

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Here are Steph’s experiences…

{What’s one thing you need to make life easier?}
I wish I knew how to not fail so much. I fail every single day because I just can’t do it all.

{How do you manage stress?}
Eat and exercise!

{What’s one thing you want your partner to know or realize?}
I don’t have a boyfriend and I haven’t had a steady boyfriend for 10 years. And that’s been hard. So hard I can’t even put into words the sheer loneliness and pain of that experience. I have always put my daughter first and my work first. As a former crime reporter, I wrote stories about the horrible things that happened to little girls when no one was paying attention. And especially how predators prey on single mothers, who are often emotionally vulnerable because they’re lonely and exhausted and need help. And I never wanted to put my daughter in that position. I purposefully made choices that held men at arm’s length, as far away from my daughter as possible. I dated, and I got close, but I never let anyone, except one guy, get close to my daughter, ever. There was no one to protect me or her, so I had to be her protector, even if it meant keeping guys away from her and me. So maybe that’s the thing that guys, and my friends, and my family need to know—or I wish they knew. How lonely my world really is.

And Lynette’s

{What’s one thing you need to make life easier?}
I would love to have a cook because I hate to cook. Especially now, being back in full-time (and then some) work. I’m a big believer in eating dinner together as a family, but the last thing I want to do when I get home from a long day is cook a meal that I know is probably not going to taste that great.

{How do you manage stress?}
Very poorly! I usually don’t recognize stress in myself until it’s too late. I have a really hard time saying no (to the point that I add so much to my plate and it makes me sick or flip out or randomly burst into tears). So, I’ve been focusing on identifying those stressors before it’s too late.

{What’s one thing you want your partner to know or realize?}
I have a hard time identifying something that he doesn’t already know because I tell him everything.

See what the rest of the moms had to say:

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