Second Child: The Straw That Breaks The Working Mom's Back?
by Paige DeLacey
Is having a second child the straw that breaks the working moms back?
First, the facts -- according to the US Census Bureau: 63% of women with college degrees and infants are in the workforce today. And the average number of children American women have is 2.
These statistics suggest that millions of women face the challenge of
figuring out how to be a working mom AGAIN and AGAIN.
Many women report having just figured out how to juggle being a
working mom about a year or two after having their first child.
You've got your childcare managed pretty well, you're back in your
groove at work, albeit a different groove than before baby, but you're
feeling relatively under control.
Then, according to US Census Bureau statistics, about 60% of first
time moms, have baby #2.
The birth rate for women ages 35-44 is at it's highest level in 30
years. That fact, coupled with the fact that women are more educated
than ever means that we're focused on our careers. Subsequently,
women face the "ticking biological clock" that forces them to compress
their childbearing into a few years that often overlap with critical
career development years.
Many women have said that having the second child is when balancing
work and parenting becomes overwhelming. So what should a working mom think about before baby #2 (or 3 or 4)?
Do A Childcare Check In. Evaluate your current childcare situation and determine if it will work for 2 kids. Besides the increased cost of childcare, many mothers find that getting 2 kids and themselves out of the house to daycare is nearly impossible, and opt for a nanny or other
arrangement. Talk to as many people as possible with 2 children and
find out how they manage (or don't manage).
Is Your Work Schedule Working? For many working moms, flexible and/or alternative work schedules are not an option or are of no interest. But for some, they may be just what it takes to temporarily or permanently keep your tired head above water. If there is ever a time to ask for a longer maternity leave, reduced schedule, flexible work arrangement, or to consider becoming a freelancer, consultant or entrepeneur, this is it. As we know, women's careers sometimes take a detour after having children. Having flexibility and being able to control your time is critical for women at this stage in their lives. Check out the articles in "Work Your Way" for a comprehenisve discussion of the various options and how to make them work.