There are many reasons that mothers make the decision to return to employment after having a baby, whether it’s due to financial pressures, living situations, or the desire to return to an identity outside of new motherhood. Every reason is valid, but despite this, many mothers still struggle with the burden of ‘mum-guilt’.
Last year, Mother and Baby reported that while six out of ten mothers welcome the independence and freedom that is gained through employment, there is still a stigma attached to the working mum. Reports from Pew suggest that among working mums, 38% believe they are not spending enough time with their children, and according to NUK, 87% of mothers feel some degree of ‘mum-guilt’. Our Compliance Analyst, Lou, explains the struggle of balancing work and home life as a working mother:
“I strive to be the best that I can be in all aspects of my life - something which has been ingrained in me as a child by both my parents. I found the guilt difficult sometimes (especially during Covid lockdowns when I was working from home)- either guilty that I am attending to my children when I should be working, or guilty that I am ignoring requests to play with my children because I am working.”
As Lou explains, the pressure of a career can be a major source of guilt for working mothers. Though, as a culture, we have come a long way in terms of equality in the workplace, there is still a long way to go. Indeed, recent polling from Working Families found that 2 in 5 working mothers feel they are held back from promotion because of their parental duties. For many, the conflicting pulls of work and home have been an ongoing source of anxiety and guilt.
However, it seems that recent developments linked to the pandemic may have led to an interesting trend in employer procedures. With Covid-19 came offers of flexible work schedules and work-from-home rotas, which have been cited as a factor that has begun to release some of the ongoing pressures of the working mum.
Working Families found that 41% of participants in their polls concluded that the covid-19 pandemic has had a positive impact on their work culture. Importantly then, if an employer can be flexible and supportive in their role, we begin to see real change in the quality of work-life balance. An understanding employer can make all the difference for a working mum, as Lou continues:
"As time goes on it gets easier, and you learn to try to focus more on the actual role you are playing at that moment in time, working mum or home time mum. I also try to plan fun activities for the afternoons or weekends when I am not working.
It really helps to have an employer who is family friendly and flexible with requests such as working hours. I am extremely grateful to Currency Solutions for that. I also have a strong bond with my own family, especially my mum and luckily, she lives nearby to assist with childcare when needed, that is a huge bonus.”
Mother’s Day is an opportunity to let every mum know that the work that they are doing is important and vital. As a culture, Mothering Sunday holds huge importance to us and many of us celebrate in both traditional and commercialised ways. In total, the UK population spent approximately £1.34 billion on Mother’s Day last year, with the majority of gift (understandably) purchased online. But, for Currency Specialist James, the day is an opportunity to treat mum to some well-earned relaxation:
“My family’s Mother’s Day plans are a great excuse to get everybody back together for a weekend. Mother’s Day starts with a laid-back breakfast followed by a dog walk out in the country, hopefully in the sun! Then, a big Sunday roast cooked by the rest of the family while my mum gets to relax.”
As working mothers find a new routine amid a pandemic, Mothering Sunday is an opportunity thank them for their hard work and help to relieve them of some of their ‘mum-guilt’.
Currency Solutions send our best wishes to every mother. To the mothers who have lost children, to those who have lost mothers, to those with strained relationships, to those who have chosen not to have children, and to those yearning to one day be mothers. Whatever your situation, the team at Currency Solutions wish you a wonderful Mother’s Day and weekend.
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