Karen Bongiorno | Work Accommodations Needed to Support Mothers
Karen Bongiorno is a writer, researcher and mom. She recently completed a series of practical guide books for mothers. They give an overview of motherhood, offering encouragement, knowledge, inspiration, organization tools and resources to help mothers handle the full-nest years.
mom, mother, mothering, children, kids, raising kids, parenting, resources, community
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Work Accommodations Needed to Support Moms’ Careers

mom work-life balance“If You Want Women to Move Up, You Have to Accommodate Mothers”

This article appeared on the WSJ Opinion page, January 5, 2018. It was written by Rebecca Johnson, Dean of Academics at the Marine Corps War College.

Yes! This statement is obvious and echos my thoughts completely! For years, I’ve felt businesses and employers needed to acknowledge that mothers require flexibility to manage and advance their careers. Businesses need to understand this and follow through by making flexible employment opportunities available (and routine) for mothers and fathers. (Knowing these opportunities are available is even more important to me now that my daughter, her friends and my nieces and nephews are entering the work force and my son gets closer to doing the same.)

Most employees are or will be parents who have children to raise. Businesses need to accept and acknowledge this. Parents and mothers in particular need the ability to take time away or have flexible hours while still being considered serious about their careers. Being on the “Mommy” or “Parent Track” need not be considered a stigma. Businesses can structure positions and careers with this in mind by designing them to allow flexibility and time away.  (Other employees can use flexible hours too, such as those with elderly parents to care for.  This need for flexibility will increase as more Americans join the population of “graying Americans” and need care.)

Flexible hours allow employees to be at home during the hours children need a parent present. This benefits children, families and communities. Families benefit when parents spend a few more hours each week in their communities; being involved with their children, volunteering as coaches, mentors, tutors or simply having more time with their children.

Communities benefit too when parents enjoy relief from constant and overwhelming busyness. More time and less pressure to squeeze things in opens up time for civility, time to get to know one another, time to relax, to reflect, to volunteer, to be with one another and to care about one another. Relationships are formed and communities strengthened as families connect.

As mothers and parents, we want time with our children. We want to contribute and be part of caring communities where we can raise our children with the time and attention they need to grow and thrive. We want to know we can do so with the support of employers. What a difference it would be to have the confidence of knowing employers support us with jobs and careers designed to accommodate us as mothers and parents during the years we are raising our children.

Thank you, Rebecca Johnson for your discussion and your insights.

Write to me here; send me your questions and comments. Let me know your thoughts and how you are doing! 💗

Karen Bongiorno
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