Millions of women have returned to work just weeks after giving birth because they couldn’t afford not to, a study conducted on behalf of Philips AVENT revealed. Researchers found eight out of ten new mums headed back to the office because they were ‘in desperate need of money’, while only one in five returned to work because they loved their job.
Another ten per cent went back to their day job within ten weeks of giving birth, with more than a third doing so to become more financially secure. While only a quarter of them were missing their previous lifestyle and ‘ wanted to get their life back’.
But worryingly, 43 per cent of mums said they cannot afford to pay for childcare despite being back at work. This is why nearly half of them, 46 per cent, rely on their mum to care for their child, while friends and grandparents are also called upon regularly.
The vast majority polled (86 per cent) went back to their previous job and four in ten did so once their maternity leave ended.
Deneice Harwin from Philips AVENT, said: '”Our research shows that balancing work and family is still a great challenge for most women. Having a good network of family and friends as well as flexible working hours can certainly make the difference and help them find the right balance.
The research shows that six in ten continued working full time, while four opted for part-time and typically went into the office for three days a week. “
The research, which was undertaken between 29 March – 4 April 2011, also found that of the 35 per cent who said they plan to resume their normal nine to five, one in twenty said they will search for a job which is less stressful and demanding. More than one in ten (12 per cent) will look for a different part-time job completely, while seven per cent will look for a freelance position.
One in six mothers will not return to work, with two thirds saying they want to stay with their child and be more involved with their upbringing. Four in ten said it is not financially worth it because it ends up more expensive hiring a nanny or forking out on childcare costs averaging £4,280 a year.
One in ten said they don’t like their previous job enough to go back, while a quarter are fortunate to have a partner who earns enough for them ‘to get by’. The study found that around one in twenty women left their husband or partner at home with their child while they went back to the office. One in ten said the fact they brought home a bigger wage packet than their other half persuaded them to return.
It also emerged four in ten have thought about starting their own business, with half persuaded by the thought of being their own boss. Seven in ten like the idea of flexible working hours.
Two thirds of respondents work full time as well as their partner. A massive 87 per cent said they jointly feel under pressure to both pull in a fair wage to provide for their family.
For 56 per cent money worries constantly play on their mind and 87 per cent wish they could provide more for their family. Although it emerged that only one in five don’t budget properly and half have under £200 a month disposable income. The study also found that 70 per cent of them were aware of the Government’s proposed child benefits changes affecting families from this month.
Sue Hayward, Philips AVENT Financial advisor, added “These results demonstrate that women are seriously looking at alternative jobs to live a balanced as well as rewarding lifestyle. Planning, budgeting and looking for the best deals are still wise ways to save money and have the family budget under control especially now with the recent child tax credit changes to be introduced”.
For further information and top tips please watch the new Philips AVENT video with Sue Hayward, Balancing Work & Your Family Finances, available on You Tube at http://bit.ly/ebD6Ic