Work Demands Pull Mothers Away From Their Families

May 6, 2004 ( - A third of working mothers are not happy with their work/life balance and nearly one-in-five state their employers are intolerant of working shorter days due to their children.

To alleviate concerns at the workplace about splitting time, more working mothers are bringing their work home, which in turn cuts into quality time with the family. Overall, nearly half (49%) of the 235 employed full-time women with children under the age of 18 living at home surveyed by admit they are preoccupied with work while at home and 33% say they always or often work weekends.

The demands of the workplace have resulted in working mothers having to miss events in their children’s lives. Half said they missed at least one important occasion in their child’s life due to a work commitment in the last year and nearly a quarter said they missed three or more events.

Overall, 40% of the working mothers canvassed say they spend less time with their children than their parents did with them.

To have more quality time with their families, the survey sample is taking advantage of alternative work arrangements such as arriving and leaving work early, taking personal days and telecommuting, with 74% saying these work style adjustments have not impacted their career progress. Even with an impact, working mothers would find a way, as 38% said they would take a pay cut to be with their families more.