Rachel Bondi

Article Summary:

A look at working mothers and parenting, and the struggle for a work/life balance between both genders.

Working Mothers and Parenting: The Motherhood Bias at Work

One of the oddest things I hear repeatedly is those people who question a women's commitment to family when she starts working. This just doesn't happen to men. Men are expected to work.

This is where work and life balance becomes and issue for both genders. It's as unfair to expect a man to work from dawn to dusk as it is to expect a woman to stay home the entire time. Neither model optimally benefits the family.

Are you a person that is trying to understand how to balance your missions in work and life? It seems many people these days are searching for purpose and meaning in their lives. The reality is that the purpose for both male and female go to work is to benefit themselves and their family. The truth is that parenting is difficult and complicated work. Figures show that 38% of working mothers work full time all year, indicating that the others are finding other flexible solutions and investments to bring in income. Mothers that are not traditionally employed are still working mothers because child care itself can be exhausting, and the value that they add to the household in opportunity costs is tremendous as they allow their spouse to pursue greater financial gains for all.

Committed fathers are also learning that success at work does not have to mean failure as a husband or parent.

Although 90% of the general female population has a child by 40, this figure is cut in half for the top executive women of the Fortune 500. It still demonstrates that work success doesn't have to be sacrificed for family success. In fact, in June 2005 USA Today said that working women are still coming home to thirteen hours or more of housework per week. Often times the top working women stated their need to compensate for their success at work by being hyper-feminine at home.

There has been some trending toward working women who have decided to quit working for others, start their own business, or stop work entirely and make money through investment and money management. When women these women exit corporate America and stay home to raise kids it may look like a return to the 1950's but in the new millennium there are two key differences.

1) It is a choice. If the woman earned enough and invested wisely to buy time or flexibility she is no longer dependent.

2) It is an enhanced retirement. The woman retains the confidence and esteem of knowing her earning potential outside of home. What a great place to be in, to have the alternatives that financial empower enables and the self confidence of having proven your abilities.

In the final analysis, no one would recommend a strategy that drives parents from their homes. But success doesn't mean jettisoning your family. Taking the time to incorporate the needs of the spirit with financial needs reaps the richest rewards of all. Working and parenting at the same time, which is what most of us do, is the best example we could ever set for our sons and daughters.

Rachel Bondi founded Earning Power after researching and consulting privately on the topic of women's equality in business since 1994. Through research and personal experience she realized that women had fallen into a common feminist misconception, believing that men were not needed to help them advance. She is a technology professional and corporate anthropologist who rose through the ranks at FORTUNE 100 companies only to find herself as the sole woman at the top surrounded by male executives. For more information, visit www.earningpower.org

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