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The adage "Mother Knows Best" is underscored this Mother’s Day as working moms rely on their resourcefulness to guide their families through a slow economic recovery. 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 and nearly one-in-10 (9 percent) have taken on a second job in the last 12 months to provide for their family. This is according to CareerBuilder’s annual Mother’s Day survey conducted from February 10 to March 2, 2010, among 604 women, employed full-time, with children 18 and under living in the household.
Growing demands at the office can make it difficult to achieve a healthy work/life balance. 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.
Heavier workloads and longer hours are resulting in less quality time at home. 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.
"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 for navigating through difficult economic times:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.