Happy Recessionary Mothers Day

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Survey finds overwhelming majority of working moms work because they have to, but their kids are smarter and better behaved as a result

(MELVILLE , NY ) May 8, 2009 – As the country prepares to celebrate Mother's Day, Adecco Group North America 's latest American Workplace Insights Survey indicates the economy is changing life at home and work, leaving moms feeling the most stress. Surprisingly, more than three quarters (80%) of working moms are working because they have to, showing there is likely an increased strain on family budgets due to the economic crisis. Additionally, almost half (48%) of working moms are more stressed due to the current economic volatility.

While the majority work because they have to, there are distinct advantages to being a working mother. According to the survey, children of mothers who work are more likely to be better behaved and do better in school. 74% of working moms think their children do well in school compared to 60% of non-working moms. 72% of working moms think their children are well behaved while 65% of non-working moms feel this way. Additionally, working mothers are 10% more likely to think their kids find them to be a role model than non-working moms (67% vs. 57% respectively).

Additional survey findings include:

  • Working more : Nearly one in five ( 16%) working moms report that their work hours have increased in this economy.   Almost half (48%) wish they could spend more time with their kids.
  • Re-entering the work force : 13% of working moms went back to working recently due to the economy.
  • Michelle Obama most admired : Michelle Obama took the top spot as the most admired famous mom over Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, Reese Witherspoon, Kelly Ripa, Jenny McCarthy, Angelina Jolie, Elisabeth Hasselback and others.

“All moms should be celebrated this Mother's Day, but in particular those who work, as many are managing larger workloads than ever before,” says working mother Bernadette Kenny, chief career officer of Adecco Group North America. "Employers should appreciate the contributions of all working parents and recognize that they are doing more at home and at work to make ends meet. Parents bring a particularly unique set of skills to the office – expertise in multi-tasking, prioritizing and negotiating are skills intrinsic to all parents. These contributions should not go unnoticed. Employers should be as flexible as possible to best meet the needs of their business as well as their employees.”

Adecco Group North America offers the following tips for ways mothers can reduce workplace stress and work more effectively:

  • Focus on how parenting makes you a better professional : Being a parent sharpens a wide range of soft skills including effective interpersonal communication, the ability to negotiate, and compassion. These same skills are crucially important to being both a successful leader and team player in the office, better enabling parents to navigate both domains.
  • Focus on productivity over face time : It's more important that workers properly prioritize, manage their time and deliver other than simply putting in “face-time” until all hours at the office. Workers do not need to be in the office all the time to make a powerful contribution. Be sure to set defined works goals and results beforehand with your supervisors.
  • Be realistic about your goals . Do not expect to be able to spend the same amount of time with your child as someone who is a stay-at-home parent. Instead, concentrate on making the most out of the time you have. And let your children know too. Children, regardless of their age, need to know what to expect each day and they look forward to when you will be home.

For the purposes of this survey we have defined working moms as U.S. women ages 18+ who have a child/children ages 17 and younger and who are employed full time and/or part time.

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