1.) What is the hardest part of being a working mom?
2.) Can you share more about your feelings? Tell me the last time you felt that way?
3.) Did you try to resolve your issues? If you tried to resolve was it successful? How did you discover the solution?
4.) Problems you face regularly being a working mom. Why do you think they were hard?
5.) What don’t you love about the solution you have tried already and how frequently you tried and how much it costs?
Interview 1 Summary:
October 7th, 10 am to 10:30 am. Phone interview
Emotions: The individual stressed and frustrated due to work both personal and professional workload. Interruption by kids in the middle of her work was adding to her stress.
Values: The individual whom I interviewed values caring for the family, as well as balancing life between work and family
What is an individual trying to do: The individual is trying to multitask between professional and personal workload, including work, family, kids’ education, house chores, and health of the family.
Current solution: Individuals engaged outside service called Trello to perform quick errands like mailing, car servicing, etc. and other family-related activities.
Deficiencies of the current solution: This above service is not going to resolve all the issues also the cost of service is high.
Typical source of advice/Knowledge: The individual is trying to spend as much time as possible with kids to avoid screen time and using some outside services for kid’s education.
Other pertinent information: Individual sounded inadequate in everything and no self-satisfaction and feels that she is not giving much attention to work or kids also concerned about her health.
Oct 13th Tuesday 11:00 am. Microsoft teams call
Emotions: Individual is more stressed and frustrated after the pandemic hit due to an increase in work and having not enough time to accomplish everything.
Value: This individual was very concerned about the impact on a kid’s education due to the nature of her work. The individual was also worried about an increase in screen time for kids and she cares about time management.
What is an individual trying to do: The individual is managing professional work, as well as take care of kids and family. Due to the nature of her job she needs to spend long hours on the computer which limits her from spending quality time with her family. Multiple priorities causing many distractions, individual feels that she is not productive. Most challenging is the day to day house chores and dealing with young kids during working hours and kids interruption during working hours.
Current solution: Engaged help from babysitter and home cleaning services. She works on improving her yard and watches some TV shows a late-night to help to reduce her stress.
Deficiency of current solution: The current services that she uses are only monthly or weekly and she feels like that is not helping with her daily activities. The individual is taking one day at a time and hopes to have a service that can offer solutions to any kind of service.
Typical source of advice/Knowledge: The individual is trying to search for possible solution in her day to day life.
Other pertinent information: As per the individual, time management is the issue and likes to reduce the screen time of kids. She is hoping for a solution for her workouts and wants to get some dedicated time for herself.
Oct 13th Tuesday 3:15 pm F2F with social distance.
Emotions: The person I interviewed feels she is more guilty and exhausted.
Value: She values about work and spending quality time with kids and wants to take care of her health issues. Make sure she will be there for her kids when they need it. Wishes for work-family life balance.
What is an individual trying to do: The individual is trying to juggle between work and family. She feels like not preparing quality food for the kids. She is unable to help with teen homework and not paying attention when kids are talking. Kids getting more frustrated since the mom is not giving much attention. Also trying to resolve issues between siblings and more distractions at work. Most challenging is cooking and providing nutritious food for kids. Also, a little worried about her health, as not paying attention to herself.
Current solution: Trying to order food from outside on most of the days, addressing issues between siblings by talking and limiting access to screen time with unacceptable behavior. Finding time to support kids home works as much as possible.
Deficiency of current solution: Ordering food from outside is not a healthy choice, also because of the work, she is not able to help with the kid’s homework.
Typical source of advice/knowledge: This individual trying to help kids at home as much as possible but she ignoring her health and trying to find solution for many of her issues.
Other pertinent information: Time management is a big issue. Pulled in so many directions also in this hard time worried about job security. Feeling guilty even if she tries to relax or watch TV. Need someone to help with cooking and chores occasionally at home. Also, nice to have an on-demand tutor to help with kids’ homework.
Oct 16th Friday 8:00 pm. Phone interview.
Emotions: Hectic and exhausted
Values: She cares about family and kids’ education, with kids’ activities a high priority.
What is an individual trying to do: Trying to accomplish more things in a day and multitask as much as possible. Juggling between work, kids drop off pick up, kid’s activities, taking care of outside work like shopping, mailing, food prep, and kids lunches.
Current solution: Individual is creating a list and grouping them by type of activity and trying to accomplish that group of things in each period. For example when she drops off kids at the same time taking care of grocery shopping, giving clothes to the laundry and walking during that time in the park, etc..
Deficiency of current solution: Time management is still an issue, also putting her career aside because of competing priorities and not staying relaxed due to many things in mind.
Typical source of advice/knowledge: Individual knows how to plan activities together so that she can use time wisely.
Other pertinent information: Prioritizing family over personal career, unable to carve time for her work out, and not made any time to gather with friends.
Oct 17th, 2:00 pm phone interview:
Emotions: The individual is frustrated with younger kids and more tired by the time she finishes her work. Feeling not accomplished much in a day. Also feeling guilty trying to push kids toward electronics to avoid the distraction from work.
Values: Caring for kids and family.
What individual is trying to do: Individual is trying to accommodate between work, kids, cooking, feeding kids, dealing with interruption them, and taking care of house chores. She will be on calls during the day due to the nature of her work and trying to deal with young kids online school and trying to work 3times more work than before.
Current solution: Individual creates a list of things to be accomplished and prioritize top 5. She trying to accomplish high priority items. Also using some time management apps to make sure she allocates time for her top priority items.
Deficiency of current solution: Individual is big on time management apps but feels nothing is good, all the current apps have limitations.
Typical source of advice/knowledge: Individual knows time management and not taking too stress about low priority issues in her list. Managing her emotions well by ensuring she accomplishes top priority items.
Other pertinent information: Trying to accommodate some time for herself and spending quality time with kids. Also, she felt that the burden of the house is more on women than men.
From these interviews what I understood is working mothers are juggling between work and family-related work with pandemic worsening the situation. Their work has increased tremendously after the covid crisis with access to resources limited. Demands and expectations both at work and at home have increased. Everyone started feeling more frustrated, tired, and more stressed than before. Some feel guilty that they are not spending time with kids and some feel they are tired, forcing kids to spend time on electronics. But overall, everyone feels they need some time for themselves and everyone is neglecting their health due to competing priorities. Some people are trying to resolve some of the issues, and some are taking one day at a time. Everyone likes to get some help with time management, prioritization of work, services for outsourcing work, and finally need some time for their health/wellbeing.
Reflection: Finally, these individuals need a self-satisfaction of accomplishing things and everyone wants to spend some quality time with kids. Everyone needs help with their daily chores, and everyone wants to have time management also trying to accomplish too many things in less time. Everyone is interested in personal care and their health, but they are giving the least priority to those issues. Also, most of the individuals are highly interested in a product/service/app that can help in their daily life which helps to address some of these issues.