Being a working parent can be tough
I have three small children and they can be a handful, on any given morning I could easily negotiate with Mr Three on the fundamental process of wearing trousers, Mr 18 months spilling his breakfast, (cue a change of clothes) and Mr 6 mysteriously“losing” his school shoes (I consistently them under the bed), all this as well as getting myself ready for work, before 7.15 am.
Related Post: How Workplace Discrimination in 2017 is being brushed under the carpet
Working Mothers through the decades
Attitudes and behaviours have changed over the decades and now it’s common place to have a diverse workforce, with a balance of men and women. But it wasn’t always that way.
In the 1950’s 1.5million women in Britain worked as either secretaries or typists, these jobs were generally reserved for unmarried or single women, the other role, was either a house wife or stay at home mother.
Around the Globe
Globally more working mothers have been entering the workforce, our friends over in the United States report the proportion of working mothers has increased 800% since1860, according to data by Ancestry.com. The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern is currently pregnant and only the second sitting leader to ever give birth while holding office, the other was Benazir Bhutto Prime Minister of Pakistan in1989.
"I am not the first woman to multitask. I'm not the first woman to work and have a baby.” - Jacinta Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand
In the early 1980's Harriet Harmon was elected when she was seven months pregnant for Peckham (now Camberwell and Peckham).
“I think a balanced team of men and women makes better decisions.” - Harriet Harmon, Solicitor and Labour Party politician
My three boys, Batman, Spider and Woody from Toy Story.
The Office for National Statistics figures show there are 4.9m mothers in England with dependent children who are in work in 2017, which is up from 3.7m in 1996. Flexible and Agile working make it easier for everyone, we all have commitments in life and ensuring the work life balance is in harmony makes things easier not just for the workforce, but for employers as well.
“The continuing rise in the number of working mothers has been a major feature of the labour market in England in the last two decades. Reasons for this might include more flexible working practices, shared parental leave and changes to government policy on the availability of childcare.” - Emily Glastonbury, Office for National Statistics,statistician
As the tide is changing and businesses are becoming more flexible and agile so are our attitudes towards working parents. It’s still considered a traditional role for the mother to stay at home, but there is now a rise of stay-at-home fathers, Men making up nearly 10% of those who care for children while their partner goes out to work.
Along with the 1,000’s of women working across the UK, you’ll also find high profile women balancing their careers and parenthood:
“I think every working mom probably feels the same thing: You go through big chunks of time where you’re just thinking, ‘This is impossible — oh, this is impossible.’ And then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible.” - Tina Fey
“We should always have three friends in our lives—one who walks ahead who we look up to and follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journey; and then, one who we reach back for and bring along after we’ve cleared the way.” - Michelle Obama
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” - Marie Curie