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Survey: Working Moms Are Actually Happy But Lack Support In The Workplace

February 28, 2012

Working mother holding child cupSome working moms have a little secret: not only do they not suffer from so-called "mommy guilt" for working outside the home, they actually prefer it that way.

According to a new survey conducted by Care.com, 78 percent of working mothers are happy to work outside the home, and 50 percent said that they believe working sets a good example for their kids, reported Life Inc. The benefits carry over to the workplace, too: many respondents said they believe their roles at home made them more creative and productive employees.

"Most love being a great role model for their children and may feel more creative and motivated as a working parent and even feel they add a better perspective to their jobs now that they are moms," Katie Bugbee, managing editor of Care.com, told Life Inc.

The survey, which polled 1,000 working mothers with children under the age of 18, comes on the heels of other research that indicates today's moms may be more career driven than in previous generations. According to AdWeek, mothers age 35 to 45 are much more likely than their predecessors to hold advanced degrees and executive positions in the workplace. Some women even prioritize their jobs above traditional mommy duties: Ad Week noted that a 2011 survey by Parenting.com and Today.com found that 42 percent of working moms would choose a 50 percent pay raise over 50 percent more time with their kids.

"Working mothers... bring their professional skills and work ethic to the task of being a mom," said Carole Evans, president of Working Mother Media and CEO of the National Association for Female Executives, to AdWeek.

But while today's mothers are achieving more at the office (and enjoying it), the Care.com survey revealed that not all of them are finding much family support from their employers: According to a press release, 73 percent of respondents' employers do not offer childcare benefits and fewer than 20 percent offer flex-spending accounts, which allow them to apply un-taxed funds for child care costs. As a result, nearly 40 percent of moms said they had to miss work during the last year because of a childcare issue.

"This survey makes it clear that much still needs to be done in the workplace to support them in motherhood," said Bugbee in the press release. "...When nearly 40 percent of the female workforce has to miss work because of a childcare issue, the productivity loss is felt on the bottom line."

Other key findings from the Care.com survey include that 64 percent of respondents said they do not feel work demands interfere with their ability to be a good parent. Another 58 percent hope to advance the corporate ladder while 78 percent indicate they do not believe they were passed over for a promotion because of their mommy status.


Compiled by Aimee Hosler

Sources:

"The Mom Achiever: The Hard Working, Highly Educated Mothers of Today," adweek.com, February 27, 2012, Susan Kuchinskas

"Working-Mommy Myth: They're Unhappy," lifeinc.today.msnbc.msn.com, February 22, 2012, Eve Tahmincioglu

"Working Mothers Feel Empowered at Work and Supported at Home, But Few Have Support in the Workplace According to a New Survey From Care.com," prnewsire.com, February 21, 2012

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