On International Women’s Day NewsLifeMedia releases Kidspot.com.au study results revealing that Australian mums are frustrated, exhausted, guilty and proud when it comes to balancing work with childcare.
Australia’s number one parenting and lifestyle site Kidspot.com.au asked 800 mothers from around the country about their work-life balance and what they needed from childcare and employment to make things work better.
Motherhood is forcing women to reconsider their careers with a vast majority of women surveyed (89 per cent) feeling that that having children has negatively impacted their career; 62 per cent believe it has had a negative impact on their career progression; 54 per cent on making a career change; and 52 per cent on their job prospects.
NewsLifeMedia CEO Nicole Sheffield said, “The results of this study show that work and childcare is a complicated, emotional and stressful experience for most women. Affordability and flexibility are the leading benefits sought by mums and the current options for both employment and childcare do not address these needs.
“It’s important to remember that this is not forever, Australian mums are asking for flexible working conditions to meet the needs of their young families while supporting their desire to make a contribution to society, their children’s upbringing and their financial future.
“We need to retain experienced and educated female workers – it is in everyone’s best interest. At NewsLifeMedia we understand and advocate the importance of maintaining a work-life balance. Leaders are empowered to coordinate flexible working arrangements in consultation with their teams and management, depending on the needs of the business, recognising the value of maintaining a highly engaged workforce and balancing employee and business needs.”
Most mums surveyed were clear that they wanted more flexible options. The cost of childcare arrangements is the largest single barrier to achieving the ideal solution (51 per cent) and the absence of suitable, flexible childcare solutions that fits with the non-flexible work environment is a hurdle.
Fifty eight per cent said working part-time is their ideal employment situation with the happiest mums surveyed being those who worked part-time – 49 per cent feel happy about their choice and 46 per cent felt privileged, the most frustrated being stay at home mums at 45 per cent.
Just over one in four (28 per cent) mums returned to work full time. Their choice mainly driven by financial (71 per cent), work/life balance (41 per cent) and ambition reasons (34 per cent), yet full time working mums feel the most guilt (57 per cent) and exhaustion (79 per cent) of all mums.
More women are juggling work and family responsibilities yet still hold the lion’s share of household responsibilities, according to NewsLifeMedia’s Inside Modern Family Meal Times Survey 2015. 63 per cent of Australian mums are employed either full time or part time yet 83 per cent are still the main person responsible for household grocery shopping and 82 per cent responsible for the preparation of the meals.