NEWS FLASH – Mums if you struggle to work and run an efficient home (and god forbid some time for you for exercise, friends, personal growth etc) you are NOT ALONE.
This is the hormonal REASON why work and home life are different and ARE NOT easy to merge and integrate.
Work requires the ” ball breaking ” hormones – yes testosterone is our Work Hormone.
Home requires ” soft, nurturing dear dear hormones” – more estrogen and oxytocin. These are our beautiful mothering hormones (the ones guys say they love about us too).
GUESS WHAT testosterone is the opposite hormone to oxytocin!
So work and home life inherently draw on different hormones and require different energy.
NO WONDER we feel confused, get frazzled and exhausted.
Work requires focus, outcomes, budgets, a purpose. Usually an endpoint based on delivering a service, a product or something. Mothering couldn’t be further from that. Mothering/nurturing offers no endpoint.
It was this realisation, after my first child, which helped me understand why the shift from corporate goal posts of rewards, wages and recognition left me suffering with post natal depression. PND should be called working woman’s maladjustment disorder. Well it was for me. I was looking for the same goal posts as work, but they are not there amongst the nappies, the sleepless nights, the seeming monotony of spin, rinse repeat life of raising a new born.
NOW I KNOW THAT HOME LIFE is valuable – so valuable but not renummerated as work it.
And I also NOW KNOW that work and home require different hormones.
My advice is: TRY NOT TO MIX THE TWO!
I will blog more on this later but for now, understand that Work requires the masculine, survival hormone testosterone. If we come from work into the home, without shifting our hormone states we will operate with testosterone on board. It makes us aggressive, irritable, bellow out orders, expect results. Quite the opposite of estrogen and oxytocin which is more about, come here, let me love you, shower you with food and cuddles.
Try this at work this week-
Try debriefing yourself on the way home from work BEFORE you get home.
To lower your testosterone you can try
– self talk e.g. ” ok, work finished for the day, I am not doing mummsy stuff. Work has to wait until tomorrow now and I feel fine with that”
– exercise – a 10-15 minute walk before collecting your kids will help defuse any testosterone
– increase your oxytocin (self love ) painting, meditation, sex, hugs – some of this will be easy to access, some not. Try getting your kids to give you a hug. Hold them and let your testosterone sink out through your toes into the planet and reconnect with your nurturing mummsy side.
I would love to hear about other ways you have learned to switch between work and home life. Feel free to share xx Sam