More of you than ever are returning to work and juggling a seemingly superhuman daily schedule. And, while you are (of course) managing it all yourselves, it turns out you want some help. Lucky we’ve come up with a solution in the form of the Working Mums Club, then
THE GUILT FACTOR
How do you feel when you step out of the door to go to work every morning? Regardless of how much you enjoy your job, more than 60% of you who took part in our recent survey agreed that you feel guilt over working. And it doesn’t discriminate whether you’re 20 or 40, a full-time CEO or part-time shop worker.
While no one likes finding out that those first wobbly steps were taken while you were in a meeting, many of us choose to work – more than 65% at last count.
More than 60% of you who took part in our recent survey agreed that you feel guilt over working
Yep, even with the guilt, awkward childcare and endless problem of trying to get out the house in the morning, you still do it. Why? Because you love it. Not always (and not when you’ve had four hours’ sleep) but, generally, you value your position in the working world.
It’s a chance to do something for yourself, not just for your family. It’s also something that brings financial independence (even if you do spend most of it on childcare). And, of course, it’s no small fact that you get to nip out for a coffee now and again. Hell, at work, you even get to go to the loo in peace.
All of this goes some way to explain why 70% of you were back at work one year after having your baby. The majority of you took between six and 12 months, giving yourself a solid foundation for motherhood, but without letting go of your career.
For many of you (88%), the decision to go back to work was mainly motivated by finances, but other factors featured, from simply enjoying what you do to wanting to secure long-term career prospects. And full marks to your partners, who mostly supported your choice (70%) – in the majority of cases, it was a joint decision.
But, while work is important, your role as a mother is never forgotten. Very few of you opted to go back for fear of being bored – less than five per cent said you didn’t think you would enjoy being a stay-at-home mum.
LOVE YOUR WORK LIFE
Considering the can-do attitude most mums approach life with, it’s no surprise you are an asset to the workplace. Once you’ve survived the roller coaster that is pregnancy, birth and the early weeks with a baby, what can’t you do? And the good news is 72% of you report feeling supported at work.
Plus, 84% of you have been proactive when it comes to finding your ‘happy’ balance, asking for – and being given – flexible hours or a part-time role.
As for the 28% of you who don’t feel supported in the office, complaints include organisations not having empathy for people with families, being made to feel bad for leaving on time to collect your child and consistently working overtime – 57% of you don’t feel your workload reflects your reduced hours and days.
THE FAIR SHARE
Then there’s the second shift that many of you do when you get home – that’s the washing, clearing up and general domestic stuff that builds up while you’re out.
It’s no real surprise that 60% of you feel you do more around the house than your other half, with – and this is perhaps further evidence that society needs to educate both boys and girls about gender equality – 11% of you saying your partner’s upbringing is behind his lack of interest in housework.
But, despite having to juggle the conflicting demands of work, life, family, relationships and domestic chores better than a Cirque du Soleil performer, one of the most surprising results of our survey was this: more than 70% of you said a resounding ‘No!’ to the new government proposal allowing you to share maternity leave with your partner.
Although nearly all said that your man would love to stay home, it ultimately comes down to money, with 55% admitting it makes more financial sense for him to be at work.
The one thing almost all of you agree on (94%) is that working sets a positive example of modern female role models for your children.
And just as in all other areas of your lives, you’re doing as much as you can to take control of your career – and aiming for a good work/life balance – but you need more support, whether that’s emotional or practical.And that’s something Mother&Baby wants to help you with.
We’ve launched the Working Mums Club, in conjunction with a host of successful working mothers who have been through it all, and will be on hand to advise on any of the issues you’re struggling with.