What Working Mothers Want

What Working Mothers Want

I often think that working mothers have superpowers. I mean, where in the world do they get the energy to juggle the responsibility of being a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a niece, an employee, a friend, and at the same time, keep sane? (You should be able to tell by now that I am not in that working mother category).

To be honest, for the longest time, I believed that most working mothers work for one simple reason – they just cannot afford not to. I believed that most of them have to work because they have financial commitments and lifestyles that require them to have dual-income. Given a different circumstance where money is not an issue, most of them might not want to work but instead, focus on raising and being with their children.

To substantiate the validity of my beliefs, I wrote an email to all the working mothers at the PSDC, asking if they would still opt to stay in the workforce if they had no financial commitments and can afford to live on a single income (their spouse’s). To my surprise (and perhaps ignorance), more than half of them responded that they would still keep their jobs but would consider having a half-day job instead of a full-day job. While family is their top priority, they also value their personal development. One of the ladies stated that being part of the workforce has made her a ‘better’ mother, as it has given her a strong sense of self and some ‘time-out’ to be her own person. In her opinion, it improved her confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth which deeply impacted the way she carries herself at home as a mother and as a wife. Most of them also stated that they would still work because they highly value financial independence. They work so that they could buy things without having to feel guilty that they are spending their husband’s hard-earned money on their personal wants.

I guess the reality is that most women need and want to keep their jobs, but at the same time, want to spend more time with their husband, children, parents, and friends. One might wonder of these women are asking for far too much. I would say no. I mean, people CAN have their cake and eat it too, right? It is not easy but not impossible either. Here are some ways employers can play their role in helping these working mothers get the best of both worlds and achieve greater work-life balance:

Offer Greater Flexibility

A lot of working mothers would like to have flexible working hours and the flexibility of working from home. A lot of time is wasted in travelling (mostly being stuck in jams). Having flexibility of time and working location would be a huge boon to these working mothers and eliminate a lot of stress of needing to rush from school to work and work to school. Employers should also consider giving time-offs for the mothers to attend to medical/school/personal emergencies instead of having to take leave.

Provide Child-Care Facilities at the Workplace

Having a children’s section for mothers to bring their children would be super helpful, as they do not have to worry about what to do with their children or about missing work when babysitting services are not available.

These are not comprehensive but they are good to start with. 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers! You are a great asset to your family, your employer, and your country.

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