What Moms want. A professional shares her work-life quest

What moms want - a professional shared her quest.
Women, particularly moms, often make family led career choices. But do they get the kind of opportunities and breaks they need or deserve? Read this honest and heartfelt story on what moms want!

Stay at home, Mompreneur, Relauncher, Part-timer or Working Professional – a lot of personal (and sometimes difficult) choices drive a woman’s career journey. Plenty of women are torn – dividing their time and energy between family and careers. And making it all work, especially if you stick with both. But the bigger question is – what does the future hold, professionally speaking?

A mom professional shares her story and thoughts. Do you agree? What has been your experience?

~Maroon Oak Editors

I’m a mom raising two boys. I loved my career in financial services but the hours weren’t always predictable. Even with a supportive spouse, the onus of juggling kids, home, chores…everything was – and is – largely mine. I’ve quit the demanding job to be there for the family. I’ve taken a break, worked with startups, taken on temporary assignments.

In other words, the quest for the ‘perfect job’ continues…

I love my #momlife, but I also really enjoy my work and the way it fulfills me.

I’m not complaining. The work adjustments are a choice we made as a family. But I find that like me, there are many friends and co-workers who sometimes feel wistful about the compromises we’ve made.

Some women walk the fine line between work and life needs, some quit because of reasons beyond their control- family, marriage, kids, relocation etc. Even when they choose to stay at home, there is a nagging thought – how do I stay connected with what I’ve done if I can’t get back to work? Working at home or outside, the mind keeps churning, wondering how best to utilise time so we don’t lose out all that we have achieved.

And if one is ready to go back to work, where to find work that allows you to start when the kids are away to school and stop work when they are are back?

These are simple ‘mom asks’ and yet not enough minds working on the answer.

The reality is, an ideal work life balance does not really exist – not when we are fitting into the job requirements rather than the other way round. There are still very few companies that are ready to employ women for 3-4 hours or let them work flexi hours per their convenience.

I’ve worked alongside so many women in the last 15 years, as a colleague and as a manager. I’ve witnessed and occasionally counseled numerous women – friends, neighbors, relatives, all at different points in life, all struggling with work-life dilemmas.

And I strongly feel that women, especially mothers should get opportunities  that respect their choices. Equal opportunity means respect – not looking down upon them because they quit work or because they want to work shorter hours. They will be better workers than most of the people who work for longer hours. A big reason is that most mothers acquire management skills by default. Try managing work, home, kids all the time, without being recognised for it, a full-time job that every mother keeps doing and which doesn’t get enough credit, and no monetary compensation.

The Managers and HR folks at all the companies I’ve worked with had one thing in common – they were  always looking for talented, honest and efficient people.

I say – you want efficiency and motivation? Hire a mom!

A mother who gets an opportunity to work after taking a break in her career while still taking care of family will come back with a greater passion to excel and will work more efficiently as she is getting an opportunity to do something she always wanted to do and that is – WORK!

But this is not just a rant.

Once I started looking for answers and ideas, I was lucky enough to find like-minded mothers who are eagerly seeking them too. I also read several good blogs that deal with some of my pain points.

What is required from both ends, is a simple shift in perspective.

While we look for jobs and work that meets our unique needs, the reality is that this will take time. And even then, total success might not be possible when there are people available and willing to do full day jobs. Even work late and weekends.

Plus, there are the resume gaps to deal with.

Mothers need to realize, own, enhance and showcase the different skills they acquire while raising families, whether on a resume or in their communications. They also need to carve out time for personal development and acquiring new skills especially while at home. I initially overlooked this part somewhat, but thanks to some great mentors, I was able to shift focus which helped me find challenging but fulfilling work in a startup. The best part – shorter and flex hours!

Also read: Moms, does your resume say enough?

Also read: How can you showcase communication, initiative and other skills in interviews.

At the same time, employers need to not only craft family friendly flexible policies, but also actively recognize, honor and encourage the skills possessed by mothers and help them build upon them.

So, in the end, here’s my two cents.

What we moms want are ways to build flexible careers, not just flexible jobs!

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An MBA and an Economics graduate, Priyanka has over 15 years of operational experience in the financial services sector. She has also been instrumental in setting up and leading sustainable and efficient processes at ICICI & HDFC Ltd. She has leveraged her experiences and skill sets, to be the driving force behind institutionalizing start-ups like ‘Favista Real Estate’, ‘EatWithIndia’ & ‘TalentGen’.
A mother of two boys she enjoys playing all sports with them. When she is not spending time with her family, she enjoys gyming and listening to music.

Maroon Oak on LinkedIn

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  1. catherinelorene 4 years ago

    I’m not a mom yet… 12 weeks from my due date but I think moms are superheroes. Working moms and stay at home moms! I’m planning on using my blog to work from home so I can contribute a bit by still staying home with the little one which is great since it’s flexible but I know some people don’t have the option for this. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Marya 4 years ago

    I’m not a mom yet, but I’ve met a lot of mom professionals throughout my career that I just genuinely adore them for how they could manage to balance things up between home and work. I always want to be a mom, and I’m actually looking into opportunities to work from home, which I thankfully do right now. 🙂

  3. Adriana 4 years ago

    I can relate and agree that flexible work hours are important for moms as well as them to have the chance to pursue a career however sometimes it is difficult to find the perfect balance

  4. Eric Gamble 4 years ago

    So I wonder if there is a thing as “ideal work life balance” for mothers. There is no doubt that my mom was one of the hardest workers I knew. She would work from the 3pm to 7am the next morning 5 days in a row as an Emergency & ICU Nurse just to make sure our family was provided for. However, there was a major sacrifice…we never saw her. I Love her but I hope they figure out a way to allow Parents (especially mothers) find that ideal work life balance so they can grow as individuals, help their family, but still be parents that are present for their children.

  5. Vidya Tiru 4 years ago

    that statement about flexible careers vs flexible jobs is so true, and the ‘ease’ of finding (and keeping) one.., i can agree with personal experience at this point in my life..

  6. Tara Fuller 4 years ago

    I think this is true for so many women!

  7. Emily 4 years ago

    So true! Moms are so great at getting it all done, while multitasking!

  8. Leigh Ann 4 years ago

    Ah, I am struggling with so many of these questions right now. I’ve been home with my daughter this year but am realizing I need to be back in the workforce for myself and for financial reasons. It’s so tough to know how to balance everything.

  9. Natalia 4 years ago

    I’m not a mom yet, but I can imagine that balancing your mom life and career life must be very difficult. I think women should always do whatever makes them happy and they should be given the chance to follow their careers while being good moms. 🙂

  10. It must be hard balancing family and career, there should be way more support for working moms, you should never have to choose: flexible careers sounds like a great idea

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