The Pros and Cons of Being a Working Mother

Monday 2 December, 2013
Image Photo Credit: Deciding whether  to go back to work after having children is an important decision that many mothers-to-be are faced with and one they should start thinking about as soon as they find there's a baby on the way. So what are some factors that come into play when deciding on the best possible option for you and your family? Here is a list of the pros and cons you should consider before making up your mind: The Pros 1. Working mothers enjoy improved well-being. Recent research by sociologists Adrianne Frech and Sarah Damaske found that women who worked full time after the birth of their first child had better mental and physical health at age 40 than women who had not worked for pay. 2. The chance to hold a conversation... with an adult Yes, baby talk can seem like a masterful skill, but there's no substitute for an intellectual conversation between two adults. You'd rarely have the opportunity to experience real conversation if you were at home with the baby all day. 3. Children of working mothers have been proven to do better at school. A study from the US and Denmark found that children with a working mother do better in high school than those with a stay-at-home mum. The data tracked 135, 000 Danish children from birth until the age of 15 and compared their grade point average in year 9. It concluded that maternal employment positively affected children's academic performance. 4. Appreciating every minute spent with the kids Spending eight hours a day from your beloved little monsters gives you the chance to truly miss them and value every second you spend with them. 5. You get to leave the chaos behind for eight hours every day You get to wave goodbye to your nanny step outside and leave the frazzled mess that is your house every morning. 6. You have more money to spend on holidays with the kids I can't leave the financial benefit of having a job out of this list. Women who work for pay have the opportunity to use the money they make for the benefit of their kids and their family. 7. You have the quiet satisfaction of having both a successful career and family. While articles and blog posts like this one may spend an eternity debating the best way to balance work and family life, stay at home mums will never really get to experience what it's like to try to achieve that. On the other hand, even though you might never find the perfect balance, working mothers will often come close to reaching that equilibrium. The Cons 1. You miss eight hours of your child's day Although you might sometimes feel relief as you exit the abyss that has become your home in the mornings, you probably feel the overwhelming urge to take your little munchkins with you wherever you go. It's hard leaving the behind and facing the prospect of missing out on all their wonderful new experiences. Which leads me to... 2. Missing his/her first word, first step, classes, etc. It's hard to think that you missed the first ever word/step/achievement. They'll probably say or do it many times thereafter but nothing is as exciting as that first time. It can be particularly difficult hearing about it from the nanny or babysitter and may result in an emotional outburst of guilt. Setting up a nanny cam doesn't have to be the excess effort of an overly paranoid mum. It's a good way to keep track of the kids' activities when you can't be there physically. 3. You're tired. Always. You wake up and face a long list of household errands to run in the morning. You leave, get to work, only to face an even longer list of tasks your boss expect you to achieve in the next eight hours. You power through it, only to get home and face the evening version of the household errand list. You go to bed, sleep for a couple of hours and do it all over again the next day. To say you're 'tired'? is probably an understatement. 4. Having to hear/see you child cry when you leave every morning Being a working mother means having to adhere to time frames and deadlines that extend beyond your household and your family's needs. Leaving the house to get to work at a certain time is something you have to do, regardless of whether the children are happy about it or not. It's a terribly difficult time of day, especially if you have a baby at home. 5. Trying to meet the expectations of childless colleagues who will never understand Life goes on in the office, just as it did before you had the baby. Everyone else there is still moving towards career goals at the same pace they did before and you're under a lot of pressure to keep up with the same workload you managed pre-baby. In this situation, it's important to communicate with your boss about the amount of work you can handle. If it's too much work, slow down. Balancing work and family is hard enough. 6. You feel like you're failing as a parent and as an employee When it's not all working out, it's all falling at pieces. You feel like the stay-at-home mums at least have the family life down-packed. You on the other hand feel like you're on a constant uphill battle towards an ideal that you'll probably never even achieve. Unlike stay-at-home mum, working mums have to deal with failing in two different roles when times get rough. 7. You're isolated from society While stay-at-home mums and working women without kids get to spend time out of the house socializing with friends or members of the extended family when they have some spare time, working mums don't actually have spare time. They feel they'll never be able to keep up with both unless they dedicate all their time and attention to their kids and their jobs. Tell OneShift your thoughts about the benefits and drawbacks of being a working mum -The OneShift Blog
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