Parenting isn’t easy. Neither is working. Now add the two together.

My nan says that we want too much these days, we want two cars, big houses, fancy technology and because of that the women must work. We argue over this topic, because of our generation gap… I mean she is 91! And in her day, you went to work- until you had a baby and then your job was the house and the babies.

Now with female employment rate around 71.8%, where would companies be if all women who had children left and didn’t come back? We are actively encouraged to return to work, however when we do there is so much to consider… mostly we need part time. I don’t want to miss out on all of my little persons day. I may not be able to spend all day with her, but I do want to see her! And not just in time for bed. Time dashes by when they are little, and I don’t want to miss everything. Childcare is ridiculously expensive (unless you are lucky enough to have grandparents close by). Then the argument comes up- can you really do you job in part time hours? Will you be as efficient and effective as a full-time person? What happens if your child is ill? Will you be available outside of your “core hours”?

“If we offer you part time then we may have to offer another returning mom part time and we might not want to”. “If we agree that you can finish early on Fridays to pick up your child we are giving you special privileges and may have to offer it to the next person who might not have a child” I am not saying that because we have children we should have special benefits, what I am saying is that we are still the same person with the same skills we had before we had children. If I was a valued employee before I went on maternity leave, surely that hasn’t changed. So if you would like to retain the skills, the knowledge and the person the adjustments will have to be made.

I have been fortunate in my career since having my little one. I was recognised for my skills and able work part time. In fact, it has been observed that I work more efficiently and am more productive in the “short” hours that I work than some people who work full time. But the life of a working mom has many challenges and I feel that although companies are aware of some of these “challenges” part time moms can be overlooked, singled out and labelled. Which considering that 3 out of 4 mothers with dependent children are in work and contributing to companies is concerning.

What are your thoughts?

30th November 2021

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