Why is it Hard for Working Mothers to Return to Work?
Working mothers are not only dedicated to work efficiently at their workplaces, but also look after their families. But serving the purpose is one thing and achieving success in a purpose is another thing. We do not need only solutions, rather we need strategies to balance the demands at workplace and family in the life of a working mother. After becoming a mother, a woman should never feel this is end of her aspirations, skills and talent. All she needs is to take a few steps in her life that can help in balancing her personal and professional life.
The conflicts between motherhood and professional career will always be there and balancing both is difficult. Most working mothers report that their contributions at work are not taken as seriously by their colleagues and higher authorities. The only reason cited is their motherhood. Many people also look at their profiles with a suspicion considering the discontinuity of job due to maternity leave and childcare issues. This suspicion and uncomfortable feeling makes the mother question returning to work after her maternity leave.
Unfortunately, working mothers are often found saddled with most of the household activities along with their outside work regardless of having an extremely supportive husband. According to a study , one-third of all husbands shoulder the responsibilities of their wives. Now that it is expected that husbands and wives share household chores and childrearing equally, it is easier for a woman to return to the workforce knowing that she does not have to “do it all” at home.
Daycare, nannies, babysitters and non-working family members are some of the most common arrangements adopted by working mothers before returning to their work. More than 8 million children of school-age and 15 million children of pre-school-age are placed in childcare. Figuring out a childcare schedule can be difficult; here are some strategies to help cope:
- Pursuing flex-time at work to be available for fulfilling all needs of your child
- Seeking domestic help and requesting care from relatives or close friends
- Hiring a baby sitter
- Using a private or a public child care facility including nursery schools or pre-school centers, day-care centers and company-sponsored programs
There is also another list of all possible options equivalent to a day-care center for a child. These options will help the mother returning back to her workplace without much worry.
- Parent babysitting cooperatives: The babysitting responsibility is sometimes shared between a group of families.
- Sick child care: This program works by sending an adult caregiver to the home. The caregiver is responsible in managing a sick child on an as-needed basis. They even run day care programs for children with chronic illness.
- Play groups: In this case, several parents come together to arrange supervised play for a group of children. This is also named as cooperative babysitting. Play groups meet once or twice in a week and may be for about 2-3 hours.
Drop-in care: This is very common in most working couples. Some child care centers offer the drop-in care service on an as-needed basis. Parents pre-register and pay for this service before hand and drop their children there for 3-4 hours, depending on their needs.