Working mums are using anxiety drugs and alcohol to help them unwind due to the pressures of “doing everything”, according to an Australian report.
The Ipsos Mackay report The Working Mum says “drinking and using prescription anti-anxiety medication was an all too popular mechanism to deal with stress, with some mothers feeling they drank more than should”.
One respondent said: “You drink to calm your brain down so you can actually go to sleep.”
Another said: “You wouldn’t believe how many people are on Xanax. I wrote one post of Facebook asking about it and I ended up with 120 posts back from all these women who said, oh yeah, well, Xanax [an anxiety-reducing drug] is good for this and not that, and try this other one.”
However, working mothers also employed a range of other techniques to help them manage, including exercise, massages, watching TV and offloading to girlfriends.
The report also finds that women are increasingly questioning how having it all became doing it all. It finds that while the role of women has undergone dramatic changes in recent decades, it seems that time has stood still in the home, with many mothers still carrying the bulk of family and household responsibilities, leaving many feeling constantly stressed and exhausted.
Ipsos Mackay says: “Forever catching up on chores, today’s working mum is exhausted, stressed and sleep deprived from lying awake at night worrying about the next day’s to do-list or from starting the day at 5am to make the school lunches, do a load of washing and finish the kid’s homework for them.”Nevertheless, most say they love their jobs and found all the juggling well worth it for the financial, professional and personal rewards.
The report also found that the caring role for mothers does not stop when their children are grown and includes mothering adult children, step kids, aging parents and even husbands /partners. It also found that worry was a constant companion in mums’ lives, with most concerns centred on their children across a range of areas, from drug and alcohol usage to relationships, employment, body image and technology.