WORKING MOTHERS: How to not let family hold you back from advancement

Getting offered a better position within your company is always very exciting. It means that you and your work have impressed someone to give you more responsibility, and likely more pay. But what happens when this new positions has a direct effect on your family. What is a single mother to do when it cuts into her family time? Does she pass up a position that she’s been offered? Or does she "make it work" at the expensive of time spent at home? If you are not able to improve yourself, then how can you improve your family? Here are some tips on how to "make it work" and not have to give up on your professional advancement.

Be honest with yourself and your employer:
This may go without saying but, it's important to be honest and upfront with your hiring manager. When the job is presented to you take time to seriously evaluate if it is something that you can or can’t do. Do this before any answer is given. If it's something that will not work no matter what you do, let them know up font. They may be able to work around your schedule. It's a shame that you would lose the position however it would save everybody time if you just let them know you're unable to meet the scheduling needs. Be sure to remind them that the child care may be short-lived, and if and when another position opens up to please keep you in mind.

I would safely assume this specific situation would apply to single mothers. As most with both partners living together they have additional help and some single moms do as well, but the burden will fall primarily on a single mother with no support system. If this is the situation, it may be beneficial to relocate closer to your job. If it is feasible, it would aid in overall time saving as well as decrease travel times. Do a quick Google search on Craigslist or to see what is in your area.

After School Actives:
All parents dread being away from their children too long, however sometimes this is impossible to get around. If the position offered alters your hours, take a look into after school activities. There are groups associated with the schools as well as the Park District to aid you in childcare while you were still at work. Also if your children are young enough, many daycare's cater to parent’s early and late hours. Be sure to ask if that is something that's offered if and when necessary.

Don’t focus on work:
The first thing I do when I wake up is check my emails. This is simply a force of habit. However when you're trying to manage a new position and regulate time, do not check your emails first thing in the morning. Leave all word related communication until you get to work. It's much easier and less stressful to focus on work while at work. This will help minimize additional time spent focusing on working leaving more time with your children. Again make sure to only work on work while at work. If you are on call, make sure to have strategies in place when and if it's necessary to be away from your family for any length of time.

You won’t know until you try:
Regardless if children are in the picture or not, starting a new position can be extremely scary. However no matter what your situation, you will never know until you try. Whether it’s a support system or additional activities scheduled for your children the only way to figure out if the position is best for you is if you go ahead and take a chance. In bettering yourself will you be able to better your family. A strong working mother, no matter how many hours away from the children, will always be admired. My mother worked two jobs most of my childhood and I turned out just fine. And truth be told, as an adult, I realized I never missed out on anything and couldn’t be more proud of her for making a wonderful life for me.

Sided note to all the career driven women: 
Don’t let this scare you. Regardless if a family is in your future or not, never let work or the chance of a career scare you into not having children. There's always a way to make both happen. Live your life to the fullest and never regret in the decisions you make.

By: Megan Nikole
Just a Dame in the Life


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