This Monday, we’re posting a piece from a guest blogger, Sarah Brooks, about the challenges that working moms face. Sarah is a writer and blogger with an interest in all things tech. This blog post originally appeared in Famigo. __________________________________________________________________ 5 Challenges Facing Working Moms Social roles continue to shift, including the functions men and women fulfill within their families. Households in which only one parent works, for example, are no longer the prevailing standard for bringing home the bacon. Increasingly, moms are co-earners and in many cases primary breadwinners within families. As a result, modern women have made adjustments to keep pace with their ever-shifting roles. Despite their adaptability, working moms face challenges unique to the demands of juggling domestic responsibilities alongside work obligations. For most, it is a balancing act that strives to satisfy a mother’s need to be present during her child’s formative years, while maintaining the income stream the family counts on for survival. It requires planning and perseverance; successfully managing a career and meeting familial obligations is a realistic expectation for most working women, although they may face these challenges along the way. Childcare Shortcomings Most mothers maintain high standards for childcare, so finding adequate help can be a primary concern for working women. The practical need for child care goes against some mothers’ call to provide for their own children, so settling on the right provider can be a challenge for families. For starters, some areas are short on childcare facilities, so simply finding a convenient, reliable provider can be a challenge for some working moms. Additionally, when abundant caregivers are present, the most reputable services command the highest prices. Flexibility, affordability, and convenience may rank highly on a mother’s childcare wish-list, but these concerns are can be overshadowed by parents’ desire to provide stimulating environments for their children during important developmental years. Fortunately, resources are widespread for mothers seeking feedback about child care providers. Web-based evaluations, for example, give glimpses into child care practices, from real parents who have used the services. In many cases, parents do not find the best match for their kids with their initial pick, further complicating the child care process for working moms. Lack of Flexibility at Work Within legal guidelines established to protect mothers’ rights, employers initiate their own individual policies relating to child care practices. Some progressive organizations, for example, make provisions for employer-sponsored child care alternatives extended to workers as a benefit. Other employers allow flex-time and other accommodations built-in to an employee’s compensation package to account for pop-up family needs. While the workplace has come a long way responding to the needs of working families, some employers have less flexibility than others accommodating family obligations. Single working moms employed by these organizations face particular challenges when children become ill or other unanticipated family obligations arise. High Costs for Working Moms Many modern moms and dads are often faced with the same question: “Does it make sense for both of us to work?” The answer isn’t always black and white. On one hand, career aspirations are not all about the money. But child-rearing is expensive, so costs have a very strong influence on the paths families choose. The cost of child care alone is enough to keep many mothers out of the workforce. Often, the value of services mom’s can provide at home eclipses their earning power on the job, so it is financially prudent to handle child care and other domestic duties themselves. Limited Mobility Competitive work environments often require commitments beyond a forty-hour work week– at least for those hoping to climb the ladder quickly. Working moms face slowed career mobility when their family obligations prevent them from burning the midnight oil for employers. Even as primary breadwinners, working moms don’t always see the same opportunities to advance their careers as their male counterparts do. Missing Important Milestones Usually, working moms and dads perennially balance their instincts to stay active in every aspect of their children’s lives, even with the social responsibilities that take them away from home. Unfortunately, children develop on their own schedules, so balancing career obligations sometimes means missing out on important family milestones. While it can be challenging to reconcile work-related absences, working moms can benefit from modern communications technology, which keeps family members linked when apart. As employment roles and family obligations continue to shift, working moms face unique challenges in the workplace. While the cost and quality of child care weigh heavily on working moms, they may also experience decreased mobility and lack of flexibility from employers. ______________________________________________________________ Author Bio: This is a guest post by Sarah Brooks from http://freepeoplesearch.org/ She is a Houston based freelance writer and a full-time blogger. She loves to write about anything related to Social Media, Blogging, Career tips and Technology. Sarah likes traveling and exploring the lifestyles of people of other communities. In her spare time, she takes pleasure in square-foot gardening, swimming, watching Tom & Jerry and mostly avoiding her laptop. 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