Working Moms in Active Pursuit of Work/Life Balance... Yet Highly Fulfilled?

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What do American working mothers crave? More time with their kids, a flexible schedule, and an employer who understands their needs top the list, according to a new study by CareerBuilder.com. In 'Working Moms 2006,' the online recruitment site found that working mothers in America are dissatisfied with their work/life balance and eagerly seek jobs that consider their lives outside the office.  

However, another recent study reports that working mothers are highly fulfilled. Executive Moms, a networking organization for professional, working mothers, found although juggling work and family is challenging, it is also a source of pride and joy for those surveyed.    

In the Careerbuilder.com survey, 25 percent of women surveyed said that they are actively seeking jobs that will provide them with more flexibility and time to spend with their children. Fifty-two percent said that they would take a reduction in pay to secure such a job, which is a significant increase from 38 percent last year. One-in-ten is willing to take a pay cut of 10 percent or more.  

The survey reveals that working moms are taking work home or missing out on important events in their kids' lives more often than they would like. Twenty-six percent say that their jobs are having a negative impact on their relationships with their children. Of those surveyed, 10 percent report bringing work home three to five days a week. Because of work, 38 percent say that they have missed at least two significant events in their kids' lives in the last year; 10 percent have missed more than five events. Additionally, 30 percent said that they don't get a chance to call their families while at work.  

However, that doesn't necessarily mean that working mothers are unhappy with their lives as a whole. Executive Moms found that 67 percent of those polled feel satisfied with life as it is, yet are driven to always strive for better. Just 8 percent are dissatisfied with life as it is now. Perhaps most interesting, 3 out of 4 reported that their sense of fulfillment is more of a result of their busy, complex life, rather than in spite of it.  

With 37 percent of women taking a short break from their career path to follow personal pursuits (according to a Center for Work-Life Policy survey), 'Working Moms 2006' as well as the Executive Moms poll urge employers to focus on work/life balance when determining their benefits strategies.

To learn more, visit CareerBuilder.com and ExecutiveMoms.com.

Written by: Bright Horizons Blog Editor

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