Being a full-time mom is hard enough, but add to that a 40-hour a week job that results in no personal time and minimal sleep, and the term “working mom” suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.
According to a 2013 Pew Research Center report, mothers now rank as the lone or primary income provider in a record 40 percent of American households with kids.
That said, what are among the challenges full-time moms/employees face and what are businesses doing to make life a little easier for these seemingly superhuman mothers?
Challenges of Two Shifts
A mother’s work is never done, which is certainly the case with working moms.
When a full-time mom clocks out at work, her day isn’t even close to finished. And, even with a spouse, mornings and nights are just as much work as a paid job.
Among the tasks working moms find themselves dealing with:
- Rise and Shine – Not only do working moms have to get themselves ready for work, they have to make sure the kids are up, dressed, fed, and out the door with lunch in-hand all before clocking in at their day jobs.
- Afterschool Activities – Just because class is out at three in the afternoon doesn’t mean the work bell rings too. Working moms must arrange for afterschool activities, transportation to and from those activities, and childcare until they can get off work.
- The Guilt – If the stress isn’t worrisome enough, many working mothers deal with guilt issues upon returning to work. They feel as though they are choosing work over their child, which just makes the workday seem that much longer.
- The Dinner Rush – If you think feeding an entire family is difficult, try doing it after you’ve just completed an 8-hour shift. Well, many working mothers do this five nights a week, not to mention making sure the kids bathe and go to bed on time.
- Career Goals – Not being able to work overtime, taking time off, and unexpected emergencies all result in working mothers being passed over for promotions, not receiving raises, and not reaching their desired career goals.
How Businesses Can Help
The challenges mentioned are just a handful of what working moms deal with on a daily basis when they’re also full-time employees.
Fortunately, many businesses understand what working mothers are going through and they’re finding ways to help, including:
- Childcare – Many companies provide childcare benefits that cover the cost of daycare and afterschool care for working mothers. Likewise, many larger corporations offer in-office childcare for mothers with newborns. From toddler games to getting the kids out of the office for something as simple as a daily walk, moms can have their children with them on site, yet know someone responsible is looking after them while they work.
- Customized Schedules – Employers know that working 9 to 5 doesn’t exactly work for full-time mothers, so they offer flexible, customizable schedules. So instead of 9 to 5, working moms can set their hours at 7 to 3 or 11 to 7.
- Remote Work – Working from home is another great way businesses are lending a helping hand to working mothers. And, with wireless technology on the rise, mobile offices are becoming more of a viable option each and every day.
- Extended Lunch Breaks – Extended lunch breaks offer working moms more time to take care of errands, reduce stress by taking a lunchtime stroll, and just decompress. In addition, more afternoon time gives full-time moms more after work time to spend with their kids.
Taking into account all the challenges full-time moms encounter just to make it through one workday, it’s nice to know more businesses are doing their part to help lighten the load.
If you’re a mom working a full-time job, how do you best make ends meet?
About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including small business and family.