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Photographed by Maria Del Rio

500+ Women On Work/Life Balance

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

Photography by Photographed by Maria Del Rio  

Work/life balance, or the work/life “juggle,” whatever you call it, it’s something that most mothers battle with daily. And with nearly 75% of mothers working outside the home and a record 40% of those mothers serving as the sole or primary source of household income, balancing financial responsibilities with family responsibilities is a headache that’s not going away anytime soon.

Of course, there are plenty of positives to adding out-of-the-house work on top of the work that one does at home. In addition to the happiness and personal satisfaction that sometimes goes alongside employment, a recent Harvard study found that daughters of working mothers end up earning more than those of stay-at-home moms and sons of working mothers end up logging in more childcare and housework with their own families. Of course, all of these facts don’t always make the juggle easier to handle. Which is why Dana Brownlee of Professionalism Matters decided to poll over 500 mothers across the country to see how on earth they’re seemingly “doing it all” (or rather accepting that no one can “do it all”).

In Brownlee’s survey, the mother-of-two found the following:
-When asked to characterize their time spent at home, 73% of working mothers said “definitely not enough” or “probably not enough,” meanwhile 43% of respondents characterized their time at work as “probably too much” or “definitely too much.”
-If given the choice to spend more time one-on-one time with someone, the majority of moms would choose their spouse, followed by their kids, and then themselves.
-When asked how they’d spend a free day, for the majority of women, running errands and using the time to organize trumped a spa day.
-Finances (21%) topped the list of stressors for these women, followed by childcare/kids’ education (13%), career trajectory/upward mobility (12.5%), marital/relationship issues (11%), and body image concerns (10.5%).
-The large majority of the respondents (83%) consider themselves “fairly happy” or “ecstatic” about their current situation, stress and all.
-Nearly 80% of the women surveyed were married and over 83% of the women worked full-time gigs. The bulk of the women surveyed had children aged infant up to 12-years-old.

In addition to these crunched numbers, the survey includes a bunch of quotes from mothers on everything from what makes them happy to what they think their partner least understands about their daily struggles (read them here). So, where do you fall when it comes to work/life harmony? Are you “fairly happy” about your situation? What about your current scenario stresses you out the most? Let us know in the comments.

In the meantime, check out our list of 10 ways to help dig yourself out of the overwhelm.

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