Working Moms Are Happy Moms, Survey Says

working mothers moms happyBy 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.

Then again, she also has a nanny, two assistants, an intern and millions of dollars to help her out. Of course she can do it all.

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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jaguar6cy

The single mother is the new normal. It doesn't matter if it's good or bad for children. Having a career is the important thing. And the government can always be persuaded to provide more free benefits as they become needed. Democrats buy votes that way. This is the brave new society that liberals have given us.

March 07 2012 at 1:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
korryaortiz

wow..come on people..if the mom wants to work thats cool..if she doesnt and wants to be a stay at home mom thats cool too..its their life and their choice! not yours! im a stay at home mom of a 21/2 year old..i love being a stay at home mom..were planning on having 1 more child..after both my kids start school (full day school..so 1st grade and up) i plan on joining the work force again..sometimes i think of maybe getting a part time job right now or even when my daughter starts pre-k but then i think of all the things i would miss out on and its soo much things..i mean shes only a baby and a toddler for so long and it really does fly!!. i enjoy spending time with my daughter, but i also like working and making some extra money(which i mean come on...who doesnt like extra money?!?!! and lord know we could use it! lol) but for those mom who chose to work full time i think its awesome! now in some cases maybe the mother has to work to help provide for the family..maybe they have a job they worked hard to get whatever the reason thats their choice. i personally would say..if you CAN afford to stay home...stay home for the first 5-6 years till your child starts a full day school...those first 5-6 years are amazing and you will never get them back, they learn so much and do so much and its a shame to miss them....but anyways thats just my thought on it

March 07 2012 at 12:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kathy

Are you guys serious about these comments? What century are we living in?! All mothers stay home and raise your kids for a perfect happy healthy world... Please! Does anyone any more know how to have a healthy balance to their own lives? What is wrong with a mother working hard enough to satisfy her own needs as a hard working American, and still be home in time to be there for her children. Children do need to spend some time away from parents, in a structured environment, where they can play with other children too. And hey, I live in NY, 9 months out of the year we cannot just walk to the park because of the weather. My kids, are happy, pretty good grades and headed for college. I am not rich, not poor, but a happy mom makes for happy kids. Maybe a few more people with some common sense and strong love for their children instead of just themselves might help "society".

March 06 2012 at 8:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
*~*KATIE*~*

wow, you guys are sit so high on your horses in judgement! I am a full time grad student, have a full time job and am mother to a very happy, wonderful four year old boy. While he is in pre-school learning and playing I am working to fund his college education. At home we have quality family time, and I do homework after he has gone to bed. To each her own. Shame on you all for being ignorant.

March 06 2012 at 8:33 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to *~*KATIE*~'*s comment
LMC

Katie,

In my opinion, it is ignorant to state that others views are ignorant. Other individuals have their personal beliefs just as you do. Why is your opinion non-ignorant and the other posters views are ignorant? And, on a high horse? As for myself, I based my post based on credible psychological research (which I did much of on family dynamics in grad school for psychology) as well as personal experience. I am guessing you may bee a young mom and when we are young we tend to have ideological views and positions without a firm foundation for them. As we age and gain experience and education we are usually more careful in thought before stating our positions and in doing so without insult to others views. Debating views is one thing, but there is no reason to insult the views of another.

March 06 2012 at 8:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Winnie

Naturallly they are happier. They don't have to take care of their kids. Why did they have them if someone else is going to raise them? A mother by birth = but that's all.
And the poor kids don't know who their mother is. No wonder unemployment is high with mother's taking a lot of jobs that men could have to support their families. It's not hard to adjust to living on one income. Doing with fewer luxuries for a few years doesn't kill anyone. With a little less spending prices might come down.

March 06 2012 at 8:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LMC

These married mothers may be happier in the short term (or so the article makes it seem), but their children rarely are. I speak from experience on both a personal and educational front here. As a one time latchkey child myself, as a former graduate psychology student, as a previous stay at home mom who was forced to go to work (though I was not one of the happy working moms mentioned in this article) and as a current stay at home parent raising my granddaughter I think I can attest to both the short term and long term happiness of mom and the children here. How happy children are today when both parents work is evident by what is taking place throughout society. Kids are committing more crimes, and violent ones at that, than ever before in large part because of a lack of parental availability, influence and guidance in their lives. Further, we are seeing a rise in serious mental health issues among our youth largely for the same reasons. Additionally, credible studies indicate that when mom goes to work, she is more likely to get divorced than a mom who stays home until her children reach legal adulthood (usually 18). These same studies also indicate overall greater marital satisfaction, and greater family cohesiveness and happiness when mom stays home to take care of her family. So which scenario is better not just for the children's happiness, but for mom's happiness and the family as a whole in the long run? Mom can always go to work part time when the children reach elementary school (but be home in time for their arrival from school) and then full time once they go off to college or simply become legal adults if that will add to her overall happiness. And, she'll likely have happier, well adjusted children, and a much greater chance of having a lifelong, happy marriage to boot! This is the best scenario for mom, her children, her marriage and for society as a whole.

March 06 2012 at 6:54 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to LMC's comment
cfreeperson

There are a few holes in your logic. It presumes that there's always going to be a dad who's a breadwinner in the picture. Not so, and even if there is a dad, he may not make enough to support the family. Also, it's possible that the dad may divorce the mom or even, heaven forbid, die unexpectedly, leaving the stay-at-home mom without money or a job to support the family.

The studies that indicate that, when mom goes to work, she is more likely to get a divorce may indicate that she is less financially dependent and is better able to get out of a bad marriage. Do you know any women who stay in an abusive (emotional or physical) relationship because they don't have the resources to get out? I do. There is a domestic violence shelter for women near my workplace that is nearly always at capacity, filled with women and their children who have no other place to go due to their financial dependence.

I would also posit that, just because a mom works, her children do not necessarily have behavioral and mental health issues. It's very possible to have a caregiver relative or day care situation that is healthy for the child. Yes, the kids know who mom is...and they know that mom loves them whether she works or not.

Yes, I was a working mom and my kids have their fair share of problems, but not from my working. Having a drug addict father who was unwilling/unable to provide either financial or emotional support had more to do with their problems. I never wasted one moment feeling guilty for working. I had no choice.

March 06 2012 at 10:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
novaviolin

What about the children?! How happy are they with their mother gone from 9 to 10 hours a day?! If she stops to get groceries or her commute is an hour or two make it up to 12 hours! 8 hours of sleep(any less and you can hardly call it happiness). 4 hours just to say "Mommy loves you, here is a hot pocket" hardly makes you a "happy" mother!
My mother had to live life like that and it was an absolute torture for her to be away from us for most of the day! She constantly sacrificed her sleep to make us healthy meals from scratch and I guess chronic exhaustion contributed to her leaving us fairly early at 67. Miss her every day and now mother myself see how it was unfair for her to be a working mom.

March 06 2012 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ectullis

When the unemployment rate makes it to 100% it will be s mute point.

March 06 2012 at 5:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
vampyreincubus

Lie. Some of them may seem happy but it is only because they can pay their bills, working and supporting yourself does give a sense of accomplishment but the ones that cant pay their bills are no happier. On top of the fact that the quality of family life has dramatically decreased since both parents have pretty much no choice but to work to support themselves. No one is home to take care of the children and watch over them and a lot of parents anymore just don't give a crap and neglect their children and leave them at home alone.

March 06 2012 at 4:40 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Pam

Next up...survey on if working dads are happy

March 06 2012 at 4:33 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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