How to be Super (Working) Mom This Holiday Season

Thanksgiving and gift wrap and work and kids and decorating . . . here we go.

ByABC News
November 17, 2014, 1:37 PM
Use these tips to help keep your sanity during the hectic holiday season.
Use these tips to help keep your sanity during the hectic holiday season.
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— -- Thanksgiving and gift wrapping and cooking and work and kids and decorating ... here we go.

The kickoff to the holiday season is almost here, and for working mothers, with the spirit of the season comes major stress.

It's a two-month period Teresa Taylor, Fortune 200 executive and author of the book The Balance Myth: Rethinking Work-Life Success, calls the "holiday meltdown." It starts, she said, with trying to find the perfect Halloween costume and goes downhill from there.

It's the "season of school plays, to brine or not to brine the ‘perfect’ turkey to gift wrap, ribbons and bows. Oh, and I work full time. I fail to keep it together when the simultaneous pressures of fourth-quarter, end-of-fiscal-year work and holiday pressures collide," Taylor said.

Not to mention the financial stress the holidays put on the family budget plus the inevitable pressure the close of the fourth quarter puts on so many working moms.

Taylor offers the following five tips for working moms to keep it together during the hectic holidays:

1. Wear the game face. Don’t be a Scrooge… it is not necessary to let everyone know how miserable you are. It is not productive and only creates more chaos. It is ok to cry but find a place that you can cry alone – mine was the women’s bathroom in my office.

2. Elementary school only comes once. Each school grade comes with unique characteristics that shape your children. Try to rise above the details and look at the bigger picture. Don’t let your pressures stress out your children. They might think it’s their fault. Treasure – don’t dread -- this busy holiday-at-school time.

3. Manage your time more efficiently. Be present in what you’re doing, finish it and move on. I have my list of things to do, and I’ll assign time slots to it. If I have one hour to work on a presentation at work or one hour to wrap presents, I do the best I can for that one hour.

4. Combine your work and family schedules. I used to keep two different calendars – one for home and one for work; but, I was missing work deadlines, my kids’ activities and other events. So I combined the calendars, which caused me to start talking about my family at work and integrating my two lives. It’s one life and one calendar! And, now, I don’t miss a thing. More than ever, the holidays are the right time for combining.

5. Stay in the moment. When you’re at work or in a meeting, be there. When you’re at home, be there. If you’re in a business meeting, don’t be wishing to be somewhere else. Be present where you are, and don’t feel guilty about where you’re not. If I’m at a holiday play, I put down my phone and take it all in, and recall why we partake in the rat race—for our children.

At the end of the day – or at least every time the holidays came around – all over again, I learned a valuable lesson about adversity, setbacks, disappointment, difficulties and everything else that came rolling down the pike. It takes faith that things will work out, and they always do.