Working Moms: Meeting Challenges Head-On

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More than half of the U.S. labor force is composed of women, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Nearly 74% of mothers are classified as working moms. Massachusetts and Rhode Island are ranked first and second, respectively as the best states for working moms. Utah, on the other hand, sits on 38th place while Florida is last.

Day-in and day-out working mothers need to worry about stuff in the office while taking care of business at home. Day care facilities in Salt Lake City would know. It’s a balancing act that has significantly seen some changes for about six decades ago.

In the 1960s, for example, one out of ten mothers were the primary income earner. In 2016, it was 4 in 10.

Main Challenges

Guilt coupled with the feeling of inadequacy for not performing at a top-notch level at work are the prevailing sentiments among working moms. Mothers want to be present in every school activity of their kids. If they can’t because of pressing matters at the office, guilt sets in. At the same time, bosses demand the best from their employees.

To compound these problems, there is the logistical nightmare of deciding whether to hire a nanny or look for a professional facility where you can leave your toddler while you go to work.

These are not easy decisions, and neither one will be gentle on the wallet.

The International Nanny Association (INA) indicates that the national average hourly rate for a full-time nanny is $19.14/hour. Centers for babies or toddlers charge differently, but according to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), the average cost is somewhere around $11,666/year.

woman working on her laptop

Making It Work

Now take several deep breaths and get down to business. First, the guilt. Get rid of it. There’s no use in dwelling on the missed soccer game because you had to go to work. You need to come to terms with the choices that you’ve made. You need to work to support your child. End of story.

The sooner that this sinks in, the better it will be for you at work as well. While you don’t necessarily need to totally free your mind from all the worries at home, acceptance and a careful calibration will render you more productive at the office.

Discovering Life Hacks

Cynthia Meyer, in an article in Forbes, cites a few life hacks that can help you cope with being a working mom, like keeping a calendar or giving chores to your kids or readying meals in advance. There are plenty of similar recommendations that you can use. Not all of them will suit every working mom’s context, but looking into them is a good way to de-stress your life.

On a more macro-level, investigate the possibility of telecommuting. Data shows that more and more professionals — around 80% to 90% — have shown preference to work at home even on a part-time basis — moreover, around 42.3% of those who telecommute care for their children.

If you truly buckle down, you can remain a highly effective professional while being a magnificent mom at the same time.

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