More and more women have joined the workforce over the last several decades. Despite their growing notability in the workforce, for working mothers, juggling work and family responsibilities hasn’t become much easier. Today’s working mom has to deal pay inequality and the climb up the ladder, but they face a bigger dilemma; who will watch the kids?
The ultimate working mom dilemma
One of the biggest decisions women have to make is whether to quit her job or become a stay-at-home mom. Many never stop to imagine themselves facing this decision, as the thought of quitting their careers never crossed their minds. It’s true that there are many options such as nannies and daycare. But they soon realize it’s not as simple as they imagined.
Mary Beth Ferrante, CEO of Live.Work.Lead, states that our disenchantment with integrating motherhood and work undermines the expectations of our generation. No previous generation has applied more effort in creating a harmonious co-existence between work and life.
Ferrante continues saying that, for Baby Boomers and Gen X, it was normal to draw a line in the sand and expect family life and work to be separate. But with technology significantly changing the way we work today and into the future, it is increasingly difficult to separate the two. Our ability, and now expectation, to respond to emails late into the evenings and weekends, has us wondering why flexible hours are still something to negotiate, or why we feel judged when we leave the office at 5pm to pick up our children, even though we are often getting to work hours earlier than others.
Working mothers feel the constant pressure of being available around the clock both at home and in the office. And although most are up for the challenge, employers must ensure their success by adjusting the work culture to support them in all aspects – life, home and work.
There are many ways employers can help loyal employees who are in need of more flexibility. Working mothers thrive in environments that support their development both professionally and personally. They need managers who will welcome them back onto the team, and remain flexible and open to accommodations. That’s to say, flexible hours, breaks for pumping and more. With a flexible work culture such as this, working moms are able to achieve the most success and benefit greatly.
Working moms are no less committed to their job than the regular employee, but they certainly face more challenges. They focus on getting the job done, while also spending a few hours a days with their children. Women should not have to face the dilemma of being a working mom or their professional careers. There are many other avenues for them to explore and experience.