Maintaining a healthy work-life balance as a professional woman can be a challenge. Add children to the equation and life becomes a never-ending succession of school drop-offs and pick-ups; doctors’ and dentists’ appointments; all to be navigated whilst keeping your boss happy and making sure that you’re prepared for that important meeting. Lifecake, the digital platform for sharing family photographs, surveyed the general public to find out the challenges faced by working mothers, and what employers can do to help the situation.
Lack of affordable childcare
There are few things more important to a working parent than knowing that their child is in the care of somebody trustworthy, but increases in the cost of living, coupled with stagnation in salary growth, mean that finding quality affordable childcare can be a huge obstacle. 60% of respondents in Lifecake’s survey listed concerns around childcare as one of the major causes of stress as a working parent.
Ask any mother and she’ll tell you that guilt is a commonplace emotion, particularly when it comes to not being able to spend as much time with her child as she’d like. With demanding workloads to contend with, it’s no surprise that many women struggle to make it home in time to put their little one to bed. In fact, 52% of survey respondents believe they don’t get to spend enough time with their child as they’d like. Missing out on formative experiences in those early years can be tough, especially when faced with disappointed little faces.
Lifecake’s survey revealed that the majority of working parents (62%) want employers to offer greater flexibility of working hours, allowing them to fit parental responsibilities around their job. The option to work from home is an ideal way for mothers to ease their way back into the workforce after maternity leave, with the added bonus of avoiding the daily commute.
Not enough hours in the day
Remember the days of long lie-ins at the weekend, reading the Sunday newspapers? For many working parents, such activities become a relic of the past once little ones come into the picture, with any spare moments filled with mopping up spills, putting on washes and cooking different meals to cater to those fussy eaters.
Encouragingly, Lifecake’s survey suggests that the division of childcare duties has become more balanced between parents in recent years, with 70% of male respondents answering that men were taking a more active role in parenting compared to a decade ago. With 67% of participants also stating that today’s employers are more accommodating towards working parents, things are looking positive for moms and dads.
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