Working moms have enough stress to deal with daily without throwing a #quarantine virus into the mix. In addition to managing their own work schedule, they are taking care of their family, homeschooling children, trying to make ends meet, and worrying daily about keeping their family safe and healthy.
We talked with eight working moms from New Hampshire to North Queensland, Australia to find out what their secret is to balancing the everyday demands that life throws at them. They also share how their pets help them to reconnect with what is important.
Joan Igawa lives in California and runs Atomic Bullfrog Studios from her home. She is a single mom raising two teenage boys ages 14 and 18, and two dogs, Luna and Evie.
JOAN’S TIP: Include a walk as part of your daily routine. During my hilly 2-mile walk, I listen to music or a podcast, and gather my thoughts. If I’m having a challenging time, which happens a lot, I meditate on it while walking. I walk at a brisk pace, getting my heart rate up and working up a sweat.
My dogs keep me grounded. The affection that they give helps me relax and creates a nice calming effect. They are in tune with my emotions and seem to know when I’m having a difficult day. Luna and Evie bring immense joy to our lives. They are fiercely loyal and want to protect us.
Maria Barlow in an attorney in Illinois at the Law Offices of Maria M. Barlow, LLC. She is the mom of a son and one very busy puppy named Cinnamon.
MARIA’S TIP: Prepare breakfast for the week and dinner a day or two in advance. At least one night per week, have a make your own night (taco bar, mashed potato bar, pizza, sundaes). Be creative.
My puppy is so active and fun. She helps me decompress because she forces me to exercise. We now take three long walks per day just for her leisure and my stress management. She also helps me stay connected with my family because everyone loves her. My extended family is constantly asking me to bring her over to visit them or wanting to come to my house and play with her.
Kelly Bryant is the owner of Kelly Bryant Wellness located in Florida. As a mom and business owner who spends time helping clients, Kelly offers advice that has helped her prioritize her pets in the midst of life’s chaos.
KELLY’S TIP: Make pet care a priority every day. Life is better when these tasks get done so we have shifted our perspective to seeing pet care as part of our family routine, instead of a chore. Getting our daughter involved has helped. She throws the ball and helps get the food ready.
One of the best things that you can do for your mental state is to go crawl on the floor with your animals. Every time I get down on the floor, all of us – toddler and husband included – get excited and it’s just fun. For me, it feels like a great way to relax, decompress, and do something in the day that is less serious.
Elle Meager is the founder of Outdoor Happens, a blog that helps people homestead, grow their own food, raise their own animals, and enjoy family life in the backyard. She runs a 10-acre farm with her husband in North Queensland, Australia along with two daughters, five dogs, five horses, and 10 chickens.
ELLE’S TIP: Take up photography. Photography taught me to see things in a new light. I walk around the garden every day, taking my camera and dogs with me.
Dogs are the best companions one could ask for. They never judge, they love you just as you are, and they have buckets of love to give, expecting nothing in return. Spending time with them reminds me that “now” is all that matters. And the “now” with them is all about love, happiness, and play.
Mary Koczan is a content writer at Gift Card Granny who lives in Pennsylvania. She is the pet parent to a dog and two cats.
MARY’S TIP: Pick and choose your battles. It’s not the end of the world if the dishes sit in the sink an extra day or if your kid makes a surprise appearance during a Zoom call.
When I get stressed out, my pets sense it. They remind me to relax and provide comfort. After a long day, you’re likely to find my cat Louie curled up in my lap and my dog, She-ra, laying on top of my feet. My pets are part of my family. Even through difficult times, the experience of working from home full-time while attending to the needs of my child and our pets has been rewarding. We’ve learned a lot about each other and have grown closer as a family.
Kendra Bruning and her boyfriend are Arizona natives but have lived in Vietnam for three years. They are the founders of GameCows, a board game website. They have a 12-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old disabled dog named Cash.
KENDRA’S TIP: Learn to lean on those around you who can help. I lean a lot more on my daughter and boyfriend for help keeping everything in order. My daughter learned how to change Cash’ diapers, check him for wounds, and get him in and out of his wheelchair. She even organized a rooftop birthday party for him!
Cash got hit by a car and lost the use of his back legs before we adopted him. Caring for him every day reminds me that we can be joyful and in love with life, no matter how badly we suffer at times. It’s wonderful to be reminded of the small and good things that make life worth living.
Jody Crotty is an animal communicator and the owner of Jody Crotty-Animal Communication, LLC in New Hampshire. In addition to managing a business, Jody is the mother of two teenage daughters, and a crew of furry critters, including 3 dogs named Chewy, Perseus and Kara, and 2 cats Logan and Lili.
JODY’S TIP: Get up in the morning 30 minutes before everyone else to mediate. I find this to be very effective for my whole day. A quiet time to reflect on what I have to do helps me start the day with a clear and focused mindset.
It’s all about being connected and feeling the support and encouragement from my pets that helps my overall relationship with my family. If I’m stressed or anxious my animals are the first ones to the scene to help me be calm and find joy, which in turn allows me to feel happier. When I feel happy the connection and relationships with my family (human) runs smoothly and naturally.
Veronica Guzik, from Texas, is a working dog-mom of two, wife, and owner of pet business startup, Yayhound, an eco-friendly dog toy box that has new collections every season.
VERONICA’S TIP: Stick to your calendar. I set my alarm each day and walk the pups. I also set timers for work to get done, use push notifications, and reminders on my phone and fitbit. When you get in a habit it really frees up time throughout the day and makes juggling it all less stressful.
Fly and Bones, rescued greyhounds, are very resilient. They’ve been through a lot in their lives. Being able to spend time with them and see them happy and watch them grow reminds me that no matter what happens there is always a positive waiting for me on the other side. If they can be happy and stress-free and love others than I can too – no matter what.