Being a working mother in America is no easy feat. Not only are there extremely limited or no paid leave options for a vast majority of working parents, but the high cost of childcare and long American workday force many women to leave their careers behind to care for their children. One company is trying to change that for working mothers. How? By giving moms the opportunity to work part-time.
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Inkwell is helping bridge the gap for new mothers looking to get back into the working world post-baby. Founded by working mother Manon DeFelice, Inkwell “connects these talented parents and other flexible workers with businesses and nonprofits who need specialized help on a part-time or project basis,” according to the company’s website.
Times Have Changed
Some companies now provide excellent paid leave and other benefits to make the transition into parenthood less stressful (i.e. less of a battle between family and career), but those employers are few and far between.
On Inkwell’s site, DeFelice admits that women are much luckier now than they were half a century ago, stating that women nowadays are, at least, “offered choices.” She goes on to say, “Some women stay home and raise their children with single-minded effort, while others work and maintain a strong focus on their careers.”
However, DeFelice also reminds us that, “[T]he choice to do both is often limited.” In fact, most mothers return back to work just two weeks after giving birth, one in four to be exact. That’s hardly enough time for any mother to bond with her child, let alone be emotionally and physically prepared to return to work.
New Options for New Moms
Inkwell aims to help solve the dilemma working parents face after having a child. For many women, unfortunately, that decision to start a family usually means that they will have to sacrifice their career on some level to raise their children. This means that far too many well-educated and brilliant women are being taken out of the working world, often by obligation and not by choice.
DeFelice tells Working Mother, “[Twenty] hours a week from an unbelievably qualified candidate with years of experience — a candidate who also wants to have two days at home with her kids — is much more valuable than a less-experienced candidate, male or female, who’s available five days a week.”
Maybe working mothers can have their cake and eat it too, after all.
The Change We Need to See (and Be)
Hopefully more companies will follow Inkwell’s lead and understand the value of a fully capable mother who’s eager to put her skills to good use after having a baby. Being a mother doesn’t mean a woman should have to let her career ambitions go to waste. Let’s recognize that working mothers may actually be the solution that many companies are seeking when it comes to achieving efficiency, productivity, happiness, and balance.
Tell Us What You Think
Are you a working mother who sacrificed all or part of your career because of motherhood? Tell us if you will consider a service like Inkwell to get back into the working world. Share your answer on Twitter, or spark a conversation down in the comments section below.