In honor of Mother’s Day, The Work Buzz presents the results of CareerBuilder’s annual survey of working mothers, along with a few mom-friendly tips on creating a favorable work/life balance during the “Great Recession.”
By now, most of us have felt the effects of our harsh economy firsthand. Whether you’ve lost a job, found yourself working longer hours to compensate for company layoffs or you simply lie awake at night worrying about the state of the union — somehow we’ve all had our foundations rocked by the ripple effects of the financial implosion.
Unfortunately, the poor economy has impacted more than just the employer/employee relationship, and many families are finding it necessary to alter established roles and lifestyles in light of economic changes. Often at the helm of this reconfiguration are working mothers, attempting to maintain the precarious balance between work and home.
If the CareerBuilder survey makes one thing clear, it’s that today’s working moms just don’t seem to have enough time. Forty three percent of working moms reported spending more than 40 hours a week in the office and nearly one-in-ten have had to take on a second job in the past 12 months — and all this extra time at work has taken a toll on life at home. Of the moms surveyed, 29 percent say they have missed two or more significant events in their children’s lives over the past year and nearly one-in-five say that they spend two hours or less with their kids on workdays.
Mary Delaney, President of Personified, CareerBuilder’s talent consulting division — and a mother of three — says there are ways that working mothers can ease the tension between their personal and professional lives. “While working moms may not be able to spend as much time with their children as they would like, they are making the most of the time they do have and getting creative in work arrangements,” she says.
Below, Delaney offers her road-tested, stress-reducing tips for moms on overload.
Talk to other working mothers – Build a support network of families that are in the same boat as you — that way, you can trade tips on balancing personal and professional commitments. Plus, it helps to know that you’re not alone.
Seek out flexible work arrangements — Working moms can have flexible work arrangements and still prosper professionally. Most working moms with flexible work schedules said it hasn’t negatively impacted their careers. In fact, one-in-five said it has actually helped their careers.
Get organized — Set up a calendar with both business and family commitments to help you avoid double booking. Creating a schedule for chores, homework and family activities will help save time and ease stress.
Take advantage of work perks – Most companies offer a variety of employee perks — like wellness benefits and entertainment discounts — that can help working moms both manage stress and spend quality time with their families. For example, use wellness benefits to try out a yoga class or entertainment discounts to take your family to a museum at a reduced rate.
Put down the BlackBerry – At home, focus on your family. If you have emails to write or work to finish, wait until the kids go to bed.
Schedule some “me time” – If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t effectively take care of others. Put actual time on your calendar for something you enjoy such as going to the gym, getting a manicure, reading, etc.