It has been found in a study carried out by supplement brand Haliborange, that many working mothers are forced to send their children to school when they are sick, as they simply can’t take time off work. Four out of ten mothers have made this decision when faced with the pressure not being able to take time off.
Sadly, 1 in 6 of mums have expressed the “guilt” that has been placed upon them from their employers after taking time off to look after their poorly child. From 2000 women who assisted in the study, one in ten had actually received a written warning from their boss based on their actions. This adds further stress to working mums when they also feel they could potentially lose their job. 27% of the mums felt this.
In many situations the mother is automatically “expected” to stay at home when their children are ill rather than pass the responsibility to the father. Single mothers have no choice here but to make the decision to send them to school or take time off and feel those pressures.
Mounting work loads and also negative moans from colleagues adds to 19% of mums worries. Over 80% of the women questioned highlighted that work colleagues without children couldn’t appreciate how difficult it is to juggle work and children need time off because they are ill. Some women had to even forfeit pay for their time off.
As a working mum I have felt an enormous pressure in my previous career to keep the plates spinning when my child was ill and a decision had to be made by me on each occasion. I did have open minded and a supportive employer at the time which eased the pressure however the guilt simply crippled me from all angles whichever decision I made.
I think women and their families are under increasing pressure at the moment with job security and some working mums financial contribution to their family is absolutely critical for their survival. It’s not all just about the work and peer pressures that contributes to the guilt and stress of being a working mum, but our economic surroundings which is placing a burden on us all.
How have you/do you manage when your child gets ill?
Oh, I remember this well….
Not long after baby number 1 was born I was already “dreading” the thought of work and quite adamant I wasn’t going back to my old job. The hours, the commute, the pressure, the “absolutely” non-flexible working policy and also the not fitting in anymore because I simply couldn’t go out and play after work – every night! This was several years ago and believe me you were expected to return quickly to the same job and carry on as if nothing had changed. Leave at 5, and you were not pulling your weight or “doing a half day”!.
It was time to move on and reinvent oneself….
Armed with super confidence (haven’t a clue were this came from) and a mission to work flexibly I re-entered the marketplace with full force and a new “identity”. Well not literally, just my bundle of joy in mind and my desire to balance the act. I charged into the City to find that job and had a list of opportunities to explore.
As I delivered presentations, sat through panel interviews I was getting closer to the “mum” subject and the questions to follow…..This was to be a challenge!
Demonstrating my skills and experience was easy but to think on my feet (erm, I am sure I left bits of brain at home!) and convince potential employers I could “juggle it all” was a real challenge. I hadn’t really considered how much my perception of work had changed and my ability to convince, reassure and demonstrate what a working mum does was pretty difficult. I hadn’t prepared for it and that awkward questions around “hours”? Back then home working was a relatively new feature in some jobs and this was to offer me the flexibility I yearned for.
Thankfully my experience assisted me well and I was offered a few of the positions but with a caveat outlining my availability as and when needed. It came with the territory.
What resonates now and didn’t then was how much my priorities had truly shifted and how I meticulously had to communicate this. Being from a sales background I leapt into my pitch with some ease, but had a steep step ahead of me to convince.
I suppose what I am trying to say is that I am sure we will all find our feet and our way but for me I hadn’t factored in that within such a short space of time I had changed and I wasn’t approaching my career the same as before….I now had to perform my working life with an added responsibility…a”baby” and if I was to keep my position and my head above water I had to start pedalling and HARD!
Schools have broken up and the Easter holidays are upon us! Great for some working families, however this extra long Easter break may become a logistical nightmare for many.
This is a rather “late” Easter as the religious dates go and accompanied with school holidays, Royal wedding and more bank holidays thrown in, unusually, some children will be only attending school for approximately 6 days throughout the whole month of April!
Many parents will agree that the extended school holidays will create pressure as working parents “struggle” to “juggle” childcare for their children. An even more complicated scenario arises when siblings who attend different schools with varying holiday schedules.
The headache doesn’t stop here. The cost! I have arranged a smattering of activities for my eldest child. Thankfully he is football crazy and therefore there are some economical options to keep him occupied over the days when I must work. I have heard of some rather expensive clubs which, on top of usual childminder before and after school fees really add up. I dread to think how much families have to spend when there are more than one child to cater for with school holiday activities. Thank goodness for grandparents is all I can say!
This feels more like a summer holiday break and I have heard of many working parents who won’t even be able to take any time off as their job commitments take priority. I am sure the this is where long bank holiday weekends will be greatly received here!
What are your plans? How are you going to juggle?