10 Ways Being a Working Mom Is Bad for Your Health

10 Ways Being a Working Mom Is Bad for Your Health
Image: Maria Sbytova/Shutterstock.com

working mom babyMaria Sbytova/Shutterstock.com

Juggling work and family is some difficult s**t. (Not that we need to tell you.) And even though you pull it off day after day, you may STILL be getting the short end of the stick when it comes to your health.

Some studies show that working full-time and being a mom can take a nasty toll on your physical and psychological health. Here's exactly how -- and what you can do to stay healthy anyway.working mom health

  • You’ve got too much on your plate.

    Suzanne Tucker/Shutterstock

    Nope, it's not just you. Research shows that the more childcare demands you have once you're back at work, the less capable you'll feel of taking care of it all. (It's not just you.)

    What can help: Getting your spouse to help out more.

  • Your job stress spilleth over.

    depressed working woman

    Working long hours and then coming home to make spaghetti and change diapers won’t necessarily make you depressed -- unless you hate your sh*tty job. Research shows that you can transfer job stress to your partner, which can lead to home stress and makes a nice breeding ground for depression.

    What can help: Sounds obvious, but look for a job you genuinely like.

  • It's harder for you to work out.


    Exercise is crucial to staying at a healthy weight, fending off a host of health problems, and keeping your stress levels down. But even if you love to break a sweat, finding time to work out when you're raising kids can be tricky. And gets even more so when you're working. 

    What can help: When you are home, get active with your kids.

    More from CafeMom: 4 Workout Lessons Moms Can Learn From Their Kids

  • You're less likely to breastfeed.

    Oksana Kuzmina/Shutterstock

    Fact: Breastfeeding your baby at least six months is good for both of you. Your babe's less likely to have infections or diabetes or struggle with obesity. Your chances of ovarian and breast cancer drop, too. But research shows that working makes it harder for moms to pump breastmilk -- partly because of the lack of social support they get.

    More from CafeMom: 13 Genius Breastfeeding Hacks to Make Life as a Nursing Mom So Much Easier

  • Your heart health may be at risk.

    woman holding chest

    If you're a single working mom, you're 1.4 times more likely to have heart disease and nearly twice at risk of a stroke than a married mom who works. One reason why? More anxiety about shouldering burdens by yourself.

    What can help: Every day, find a way to take care of yourself. You won't be able to care for your kids if you're sick.

  • You're more likely to light up.

    woman coughing
    Luis Molinero/Shutterstock

    Sorry to single you out again, solo working moms. But you're also more likely to smoke. And we all know what that does to your health.

    What can help: Finding support to help you quit smoking for good.

  • ... and more likely to eat crap.


    A venti coffee on the way in to the office. Crap from the vending machine at lunch. Your kids' leftovers when you finally get home ... It's possible that you've got some nutritional deficiencies going on, ranging from iron to vitamins and protein.

    What can help: Plan meals on the weekend, so they're ready to go on weekday mornings.

    More from CafeMom: Quiz: Should You be a Working Mom or a Stay-at-Home Mom?

  • Your sex life takes a hit.


    When you've spent all day answering annoying emails or dealing with lazy coworkers, who's in the mood for sex? According to a small Australian study, NOT moms who work.

    What can help: Look into flexible work hours and delegate more responsibility around the house, so there's less for you to do when you finally get home.

  • Working weekends and nights can mess with your brain.


    Work weekends? You're more likely to feel stressed, according to one study. The same goes for working night shifts, which can also put a strain on your marriage, not to mention wreak havoc on your body's natural rhythms and put you at risk for a host of chronic diseases.

    What can help: Explore the possibility of only working SOME weekends. If you need to sleep during the day, seal out light and noise so you get some quality ZZZs.

  • You have So. Much. Stress.

    WAYHOME studio/Shutterstock

    Your husband goes off to work and is able to leave the stress of home behind. You go to work and in the middle of a conference call are likely thinking, Oh, s**t. I forgot to sign Suzie's permission slip, give Bo his allergy meds, and -- Queue minutes of worry and distraction. An Israeli study shows that for women, the "mental labor" of thinking about family while at work leads to an uptick of stress and negative emotions.

  • But don't quit your job just yet.

    George Rudy/Shutterstock

    Sure, there are downsides to holding down a job while making sure your kids are happy, healthy, and not poking forks into your electrical outlets. But despite these doomy, gloomy stats, there are also benefits. In fact, one UK study found that the physical and mental health of working and stay-at-home moms wasn't that different.

    Bottom line: Do what's best for you and own it.

    More from CafeMom: 8 Reasons Being a Working Mom Is Good for Your Kid

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