Mums: why we shouldn’t give up work

We’re so over the working mums vs stay at home mums debate – if that’s what you were expecting to read, you’ll be disappointed. At Mothers Who Work, we really aren’t advocates of pitching working mums against stay-at-home mums. But we do believe in showing mums how they can stay financially viable in which ever form they want to parent – as one who is at home with the children, or one who goes out of the home to work.

So, why should mums keep working? Is not as if raising a family isn’t work enough. According to a survey of more than 6,000 mothers by Salary.com, the average non-working mother spends 94 hours a week juggling tasks that would earn a total salary of $113,568, that just over £91,000 a year.

Yes, that’s in the ideal world, and while many working mums earn a lot more than that, most don’t. Many families go into poverty when mum doesn’t work, which can have a huge impact on the life outcomes of the children. So, why do we think you should keep working if you’re a working mum? Find out below, and get tips on what to do to stay financially viable.

1. Keep your skills up to date

If you think that taking five years out of the workplace won’t have an impact on you trying to get back into your field at the same level after your little one(s) starts school you’re mistaken.

If you think about how much technology has changed in the past five years alone, and the impact it’s had on the way we live and work and imagine how you’d feel if you’d lived in a cave for five years and came back to life now that’s a good example of how far behind you’d be left if you stop working…not good.

While you’re on maternity leave, the last thing you may want to do is get into work mode – and we are not suggesting that you should. But, spend about half an hour or so a week reading up the developments in your industry to stay abreast of what’s going on.

2. Keep in touch with people in your industry

Networking is great when you’re working or in business but it doesn’t stop when you have a baby.

The odd email, LinkedIn snoop or coffee won’t hurt – it will keep you in the loop and you never know when an opportunity may come up because of a preexisting contact.

If it’s really difficult for you to get out and about to to reach out, then use social media. These days, many companies update their company profiles on LinkedIn, on their company websites and across other coal media platforms, so it really isn’t that difficult to stay abreast with what’s going on. Set up a feed on an app like Flippboard and let the news come to you.

3. Keep a level head

While no one gets married to divorce, it’s a sad reality for thousands of couples. The same can be said for losing the one and only income in a household when the man of the house (who is traditionally the breadwinner) loses his job. These days, there is no such thing as a job for life so it’s always good to have some form of a back up – or just stay financially viable yourself.

There are so many opportunities available and so many different ways to work; even if you only work part time and just about break even when you’ve paid for your transport and childcare costs it’s worth it in other ways. If the unthinkable happens and you need to go back to work full-time, you won’t have to go several rungs down the career ladder you’ve worked so hard to climb, or work a menial job you hate.

4. Keep the wage gap smaller

Every year, we hear about the ever increasing wage gap between men and women. Women practically stop getting paid in the month of October because of the salary gap between their male equivalents. So, we basically work for free for two months.

If you stop working all together, your salary will be a lot less when you return to work because of the years experience you have lost staying at home. This isn’t a feminist movement – working makes the pay gap less for you.

If you’re not keen on going back to the workplace, there are a number of ways you can make money online, working around your family’s needs. Our Spare Time Business Course is worth considering for detailed video tutorials and insight into how to start, what opportunitiess make the most money and how to make that money online!

Written by Joycellyn Akuffo

Founder and editor of www.motherswhowork.co.uk, a mother of two wonderful children, wife, entrepreneur (check out www.geekschool.co.uk) and journalist.

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