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A Working Mother at CareerBuilder Offers Six Tips to Better Balance Work and Family

Mary Delaney, President of PersonifiedYou may have a dozen reasons to celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday, but here’s one you may not have thought of — a tough economy. A recent CareerBuilder survey of 604 women, employed full-time with children 18 and under living in the household, shows that working moms may be feeling more stressed — and less appreciated — in our current economic climate.

Working moms, many of them recently tasked with the responsibility of keeping their families afloat due to unemployed spouses or other financial issues, have had to become more resourceful than ever.

According to survey results:

  • Twelve percent of working moms said their spouse or significant other has become unemployed in the last 12 months, with two-thirds (67 percent) indicating that it is causing stress at home.
  • Thirty-six percent of working moms said they are the sole provider for their household.
  • Nearly one-in-ten (9 percent) have taken on a second job in the last 12 months to provide for their family.

Work/life balance — what’s that again?

As a result, achieving a work/life balance can be a lot of work in itself, as moms are working more hours — which often translates to less time at home with the family:

  • Forty-three percent of working moms work more than 40 hours per week.
  • More than one-third (34 percent) who take work home reported they typically bring work home three days a week or more.
  • Twenty-three percent bring work home on the weekends.
  • Nearly one-in-five (18 percent) of working moms said they spend two hours or less with their children each work day.
  • Nearly three-in-ten (29 percent) reported they missed two or more significant events in their child’s life due to work in the last year.

So what can working moms do to achieve more balance?

CareerBuilder’s Mary Delaney, a working mother herself, offers other working moms her thoughts and tips:

“The tough economy has taken its toll on family units and working moms are challenged with doing more with less time,” said Mary Delaney, President of Personified, CareerBuilder’s talent consulting division, and mother of three.

“What we’re seeing from these moms is a great deal of resourcefulness and resilience as they provide for their families.  While they may not be able to spend as much time with their children as they would like, working moms are making the most of the time they do have and getting creative in work arrangements.”

Delaney recommends the following tips to help working moms navigate through difficult economic times:

  1. Talk to other working moms. Many families are in the same boat as you and having a support network is essential to your personal and professional sanity.  Getting tips from other working moms on how they juggle personal and professional commitments can be a big help.
  2. Seek out flexible work arrangements. The vast majority of working moms who have taken advantage of flexible work arrangements said it hasn’t negatively impacted their careers.  In fact, one-in-five (21 percent) said it has actually helped their careers.
  3. Have a plan. Structure in your life will save you time, stress and mental energy.  Keep one calendar for business and family commitments to avoid double-booking. Set up a schedule for chores, homework, family activities, playtime, etc.
  4. Take advantage of work perks. Companies offer a variety of perks such as wellness benefits, company discounts on entertainment venues, etc.  Talk to your HR department and see what is available to help save money on monthly expenses and fun family outings.
  5. Make the most of your family time. When you’re home, it’s all about them.  Wait until after the children go to bed before checking email or finishing up that presentation.
  6. Schedule some “me time.” Working moms need to take care of themselves too.  Put actual time on the calendar for an hour or more of doing something you enjoy such as going to the gym, taking a walk, reading, etc.

Working moms (or dads) — any tips to add that have helped your family get things back in order?

Amy K. McDonnell

About Amy K. McDonnell

Originally hailing from Ohio, Amy is the editorial manager on the content services team and has been with both CareerBuilder and the city of Chicago for nearly a decade. She writes on a range of recruitment topics on The Hiring Site, striving to bring a dose of clarity and humor to sometimes complicated issues around employee attraction, engagement and retention. When she's not working, Amy spends as much time as possible reading, pretending to be a chef, writing short stories, eating Nutella out of the jar, waiting for CTA buses and trains, going to see her favorite bands live, and spending time with people who inspire and challenge her.
2 comments
Mark
Mark

“What we’re seeing from these moms is a great deal of resourcefulness and resilience as they provide for their families.  While they may not be able to spend as much time with their children as they would like, working moms are making the most of the time they do have and getting creative in work arrangements.”
+1

Mark
Mark

“What we’re seeing from these moms is a great deal of resourcefulness and resilience as they provide for their families.  While they may not be able to spend as much time with their children as they would like, working moms are making the most of the time they do have and getting creative in work arrangements.”
+1

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  2. [...] but as Mary Delaney, one of CareerBuilder’s own busy working mothers, has said, there are things you can do to better balance work and family. and now, Jason Ferrara, VP Corporate Marketing at CareerBuilder and a father of two, shares his [...]

  3. [...] but as Mary Delaney, one of CareerBuilder’s own busy working mothers, has said, there are things you can do to better balance work and family. and now, Jason Ferrara, VP Corporate Marketing at CareerBuilder and a father of two, shares his [...]

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