Women now account for more than half of the U.S. workforce and many working moms are shouldering the full financial burden of their households, closing in on the number of men who carry this responsibility. Thirty-four percent of working moms reported that they are the sole financial provider for their households, not far from the 39 percent of working dads who currently report that they serve as the sole breadwinner.
CareerBuilder’s annual study also finds that working moms continue to struggle with finding a good balance between the office and home, and often have to compromise quality time with their families.
Shorter Maternity Leave
Demanding work environments have led to some women cutting their maternity leave short. Of women who have had a child in the last three years, 30 percent didn’t take the full maternity leave their company allowed. While 45 percent of women who have had a child in the last three years said they took more than eight weeks of maternity leave, 17 percent took four weeks or less and 12 percent took two weeks or less.
Work’s Impact on Family Relationships
Juggling professional and personal obligations is an ongoing challenge. More than one in four working moms (28 percent) said their children have asked them to work less. Twenty-four percent reported that they spend two hours or less with their children each day during the workweek.
- 17 percent of working moms said their jobs have negatively impacted their relationship with their children
- 12 percent said their jobs have negatively impacted their relationship with their spouse or significant other
Tips for Finding a Better Work/Life Balance
- Explore other work arrangements – Six-in-ten working moms (60 percent) have taken advantage of flexible work arrangements, and the vast majority said it hasn’t negatively impacted their careers. Discuss options with your supervisor or HR department, armed with a game plan for how you can manage your workload, cover responsibilities, etc.
- Learn to say no – Set boundaries, choose the activities that are the biggest priority for you and forget about the guilt.
- Get organized – Keep one calendar for business and family commitments to avoid double-booking. Set up a schedule for chores, homework, dates with your significant other and family activities.
- Remember quality over quantity – If you’re only able to spend a few hours with your children each day, make the most of that time. Wait until your children go to bed before checking email or finishing up that presentation.
- Carve out “me time” – Moms need a break too. Schedule time for yourself to relax and recharge.