I had a meltdown in Target recently.
The details that led to this breaking point are irrelevant. But I was left feeling ashamed, and I reflected on it the rest of the day. I needed to explore the source of my stress.
My son Calvin—who at 5 years old is wise beyond his years—told me I was trying to do too many things at once; I needed to focus on just one thing. He was right. I was too busy thinking about work that I wasn’t living in the moment.
Being a mother is a rewarding job. But balancing the responsibilities of motherhood with the demands of a career in the private club industry can take a toll on mental health. I believe it’s important to openly discuss mental well-being—and advocate for the hard-working parents in this industry.
The private club industry is known for its high standards and expectations. Whether it’s managing the operations of a prestigious golf club, overseeing the activities of a country club, or acting as a middle manager for all of the above, the job requires dedication and attention to detail. Although we are commended for our multitasking, there are cons. Multitasking means one thing is not given our full attention. Many mothers are pros at pivoting—but at what cost?
One of the primary challenges faced by parents in the private club industry is time-management. The nature of the job often requires long hours, including evenings, weekends and holidays. This can leave little time to do things like attend school events, fix healthy meals—or simply be present for our families. The constant struggle to balance work and family commitments can lead to feelings of guilt and inadequacy.
The private club industry is also known for its high-pressure environment. Meeting the expectations of members, managing staff, and ensuring the smooth functioning of the club can be incredibly stressful. The need to perform at a high level in both professional and personal lives can lead to burnout and anxiety.
I have had the honor of meeting many mothers who work in the private club industry. They are some of the most hard-working people I have ever met. Because they are so good at their jobs, they are sometimes expected to give more—even when there truly may not be more to give.
Hurdles include lacking access to adequate childcare or support from family. This can result in feelings of isolation and overwhelm, as they are left to manage the responsibilities of both work and parenting on their own. The absence of a strong support system can make it difficult for mothers to take time for self-care, further exacerbating the impact on mental health.
The constant need to meet societal expectations and maintain a flawless image can lead to feelings of self-doubt. This makes it even harder to advocate for yourself when passed over for promotions or asking for a deserved pay increase.
Seeking a Solution
To mitigate the negative impact on mental health, it is crucial for mothers in the private club industry to prioritize self-care. This includes setting boundaries, seeking support from friends and family, and taking time for activities that bring happiness and relaxation. It is also essential for employers in the private club industry to recognize the challenges faced by caregivers by respecting boundaries, such as not emailing or texting on days off or while on PTO time and providing a clear picture of what is expected and what future goals may be.
Flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options or set schedules, can greatly benefit mothers in the private club industry. This allows people to better manage their time and responsibilities with minimal surprises, reducing stress and improving mental well-being. Rotating working holidays would set the private club industry apart from other hospitality jobs that require mandatory attendance. Part-time benefits would also be a great addition to the private club industry. This would support employee retention and provide an attractive perk to prospective employees.
Being a mother while working in the private club industry can have a significant impact on mental health. It is crucial to prioritize self-care and seek support when needed. Employers also play a vital role in creating a supportive work environment that recognizes and addresses the challenges faced by these employees. By doing so, we can support and improve the well-being of the people who are key to keeping this industry thriving.