By Kaitlin Madden
Every Monday, I watch Bethenny Frankel juggle her hectic life as a working mom on her Bravo reality show. Though things don't always go perfectly, for the most part, she's pretty good at making sure nothing falls through the cracks.
But what about "normal" moms? How do they manage to juggle work life and home life without 10 extra hands?
Turns out, they seem to be doing just fine.
The Benefits Of Being A Working Mom
According to a recent survey from Care.com, 78 percent of working moms say they enjoy being a working parent. The survey, which polled 1,000 women with children under age 18, found that not only are working moms content with their position, most don't feel that their work inhibits their ability to parent, and vice versa.
In fact, working mothers cited a number of benefits to their dual roles, including:
- Feeling that working enables them to be strong role models for their children (50 percent)
- Feeling that working makes them more creative as a parent and that being a parent has added perspective that enhances their contributions at work (40 percent)
- Feeling that they are more motivated to work and take on new roles since becoming a parent (32 percent)
Life At Home
While the average woman may not have a staff of five to assist her with child rearing and appointment scheduling, she does rely on the support of those close to her to make life a little easier. More than three-quarters (77 percent) of working mothers say they have a spouse or person at home who helps in raising their children. Of those, 89 percent feel that this person is supportive of their career goals.
Life At Work
Unfortunately, there is still room for improvement when it comes to working moms getting support from their employers. Nearly 3 in 4 companies that employ working mothers don't offer child care benefits, and only 6 percent offer on-site child care.
If you feel that your company doesn't do enough to support working mothers, don't be afraid to say something, says Kate Bugbee, managing editor of Care.com. "Go to HR and ask for more child care benefits. Ask for flex time to be able to work from home when needed. Snow days happen. Kids can catch the flu. Nannies can get sick. It helps when your office can support you -- and even offer backup care options. If you think you may need flex time, it is helpful to create a schedule that would work for you, but that shows you will still meet your commitments."
Other Ways To Make Life As A Working Mom A Little Easier?
Create a plan. Talk to your supervisor about your long-term career goals and how you plan to reach them. "We moms know that we don't come to work to waste time, so make sure the company knows what you're working towards and ask to come up with a road map to help you get there," Bugbee says.
Cultivate work relationships, too. "Yes, happy hours often happen when you're reading 'Goodnight Moon' or helping with homework -- and it's true that employees and supervisors bond at these types of offsite events," Bugbee says. "If you feel like you're missing out, initiate a group lunch once a month."
Remember you're not alone. "More women are going back to work after having kids. More women are graduating from college. With the proper support of human resources and company benefits, moms can get help balancing the complex needs of juggling it all," Bugbee says.
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