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Working millennial moms: How to get the support you need

Dipping energy levels, sinking spirits, and high levels of stress are some common characteristics that millennial moms share. The equilibrium between work and parenting is often disturbed too. Pew Research reports that 58% of millennial moms opine that as working mothers, it becomes difficult to fly high at work.

Even so, millennial moms keep pushing the odds. They comprise 34% of the US workforce, and some are even the sole breadwinners of their family. They have also successfully sealed the gender wage gap, enjoying greater labor market equality.

Working dads make big claims without delivering them though. Boston College Center for Work and Families latest The New Dad report confirms this. The report found that even though modern fathers equate caregiving and financial responsibilities, they are not very active at home.

It’s no wonder that millennial women find it challenging to juggle work and parenting together. A Harvard Business School survey revealed that 37% of millennials who weren’t mothers yet expected a parenting pause in their career. To this end, getting all the support that you can get is the need of the hour. Read on to learn how to get the support you need:

1. Find quality childcare

Childcare is your life support system. 43% of highly qualified women leave careers for a parenting period. Even more surprising is that merely 74% of women join the workforce ranks again. And only 40% of women can return to their full-time jobs.

A study highlighted that the women who return to work after a childcare break lose earning power by 16%. The same study mentioned that 25% of the returning mothers reported a decline in their management role. Childcare helps to save you from taking the break in the first place.

Searching for a babysitter or a daycare center, via your friends and family circle, may help. But make sure to check the license. In this regard, the executive director of Child Care Aware of America, Lynette Fraga, explains, "Licensing doesn't ensure quality, but it does set minimum health, safety, and caregiver training standards, which centers must maintain.”

2. Nurture your relationship with your child

The Department of Labor announces, “Seventy percent of mothers with children under 18 participate in the labor force, with over 75 percent employed full-time.” Since the number of millennial moms is swelling, it is about time that you nurture your relationship with your children. 

Children are supporting their working moms now more than youngsters in the 1970s and 1990s. A study concluded that 22% of children in the 12th grade thought that children suffered if they had working moms. This figure is a significant improvement over the previous number of 34% in the 90s decade. The figure stood at 59% in the 1970s.

Children are also likely to benefit growing up under the influence of working moms. In a Working Mothers Media report, children expressed that a working mom sets a positive example. So, talk to your kids for their support, you’d be surprised by how understanding they can be.

3. Get support from your workplace

Research suggests that working mothers are more productive in comparison to women who don’t have children. Moreover, a report reveals that the working millennial moms’ segment is highly educated. It says, “About 36% of women ages 25-34 — or so-called millennials — have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with about 28% of men who are the same age.” This confirms that millennial moms are important assets to a company. 

Since you are valued, it is essential that you check with your employer about the company’s policies on childcare. There are annual lists that reveal the top companies for working moms. Organizations that offer family-friendly policies are still in their nascent stage, but their numbers are increasing.

In a survey of more than 1600 women, over 60% of respondents said that their employers were family-friendly. A majority of 62% of women also reported enjoying the perk of family-friendly hours. A case in point is Rachel Zoe Inc. that built a nursery for babies for its working moms. Paid family leaves are also becoming common in the US with recent steps taken by Walmart and Starbucks.

4. Support from flexible work opportunities

Part-time jobs and working from home are other support measures that you can avail. Aliah Davis-McHenry, president, and CEO of her PR firm, has followed this same track for the upbringing of her sons. She worked part-time when her kids were babies and now works full-time from her home. 

Working full-time can culminate in an energy crisis, but part-time work can help to preserve it. A company called BELAY offers virtual assistance to busy bees in the workforce. It also provides at-home career opportunities for people such as moms who leave the corporate workforce.

There has been an increase in moms staying at home for their children from 23% in 1999 to 29% in the present times. To keep from adding to this number, explore your options of switching to freelancing, telecommuting, part-time work, and flexible schedules. Such flexible work options increase the time you spend with your child. It also helps to boost finances and lower stress levels.

5. Be organized

Your kids, family, co-workers, and workplace may all be cooperating and providing support. But, you still won’t get the time to sip some herbal tea in peace if you don’t organize properly. It’s better to prepare for the morning at night so that you don’t have a hasty start to the day.

Take some lavender or chamomile tea to calm you down. Milk thistle tea can also go a long way in keeping your liver working well. All these can help prepare you for a better day tomorrow.

You can also plan out a weekly calendar so that things flow smoothly throughout the week. Fran Durekas, Founder and Chief Development Officer for Children's Creative Learning Center, advises, "Setting aside 15 minutes each Sunday to review and prepare for the upcoming week's schedule. This helps eliminate surprises during the week. Families should share the calendar with their babysitter or nanny so that everyone is up-to-date on activities."

Therefore, it is essential that you support yourself too. Organizing your work will also help to minus stress from your life.

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