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Five Good Reasons for Moms to Work

August 30, 2010

By Pam Houghton

Originally published on The WM Parenting Connection blog

Now that I’ve been home for two years after a corporate downsizing eliminated my cubicle-dwelling position, I can certainly see why women sometimes chuck the whole job thing when their children are young.

Sometimes they stay home to do just that – whilst cleaning, cooking and changing poopy diapers. Or they make valiant attempts to carve out a work-from-home situation for income or to keep from going insane.

Either way, the resulting perk is nice: the flexibility required to raise children.

That said, there are still good reasons for moms to go to work. I worked away from home until my kids were in their teens – and in retrospect, I’m glad I did.

Here are five good reasons why I think work is good for moms.

  1. More options in work schedules. When I started having children, there were no official flexible work options such as job-share, part-time or telecommuting. Oh, there was a mom here or there that lucked out and worked part-time. But it was mostly a hush-hush deal they worked out with their boss. Now, flex work options are often an official part of an employer’s benefits offerings, making it easier for moms, and dads, to work.
  2. Work flexibility for men. Think men don’t want work flexibility? Think again! The last few years I worked for my corporate employer, I saw it with my own eyes – men working from home until the washing machine repair guy arrived, or skipping out early to take the kids to the orthodontist. Seems that men who take advantage of flex work options help legitimize the whole work/life balance thing.
  3. Time management. I think the more things you have on your plate, the better you manage your time (even if all the obligations drive you nuts). At least it was true for me. Now that I’m home, I probably engage in far more procrastination. Because I have more time. (On the other hand, you don’t see me rushing back to work.)
  4. Political skill. Work helps develop political skill. Which helps you get along with others, and focus on working towards a common goal in spite of differences in work style, beliefs and attitudes. Being challenged this way made me aware of how important it is to develop good working relationships.
  5. Good parenting. You can still be a good parent and work, in spite of messages that lead to a boatload of working-mom guilt. Are you really neglecting your kids by providing financial stability? Modeling time-management? Considering the needs of childrenparent/teacher conferences, soccer schedules, need for downtime – even though you work? If you are doing all that (and more!) you are being a good parent!

What are some other reasons?   What are good reasons for staying home?

About Pam Houghton:  A technical editor, product release manager and faithful cubicle dweller for over 20 years, Pam is currently a freelance writer of website content, marketing and employee communications, personal essays and travel articles.

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