Momstipation: noun:

‘A frustrating and often painful stalling of career options following the birth of children’

Symptoms include: Financial hardship, loss of confidence, deskilling, questioning of self worth. Career stagnation, underutilisation of experienced and skilled work force. Loss of an estimated $25billion in GDP. (The Gratton Institute 2014)

Causes include: Difficulty in translation of experience and skills into employment opportunities available in school hours.

Society failing to recognise the benefits and opportunities of mom friendly work hours and environments.

Perpetuation of myths that full time workers are most efficient.

Who it affects: Mainly mothers wishing to participate in the workforce between the ages of 30-44.

Evidence points to the fact that part time and job share employees offer better bang for the corporate buck than their full time equivalents and yet the status quo continues to favour the full time institution. Guardian

Part time workers are more efficient in their time management, take fewer sick days and job share opportunities offer experienced internal cover for sickness, holidays and times of unusual demand.

So why is it so hard to secure a fulfilling opportunity that means you can still be there for the kids after school?

Appreciating that for many woman the luxury of choice is limited. The facts remain that a huge pool of talent exists behind the doors of homes across the community. The lack of flexible working conditions and willingness by society to recognise the worth and value of the 5 hours afforded by a school hours working day means talent languishes in stasis. Confidence is battered, self worth is questioned and skills and experience start to look like Mrs Havishams wedding dress. Only this dress is your former career.

For many women the answer lies in taking on more typical part time jobs such as waitressing and shop work. Generally lower paid, weighted towards paying the bills rather than fulfilment. For others joining the growing circles of Momtrepreneurs means balancing home-life with learning how and running of a small business. Often working late into the nights and loosing out on the more social aspects of life.

How do we turn the tide? How do those of us that desire the opportunity to participate beyond family management do so in a mutually desirable and beneficial way? Is it possible to be successful without donning the shoulder pads of our 1980s role models for having it all? Can we get a piece of the pie without having to eat it all? (Unless its warm cherry pie, then you should probably just scoff it in its entirety)


2 comments Add yours
  1. How close to home this is Liz. Prior to having kids I hadn’t been to a job interview for over a decade, always fortunate to be offered work through connections within the industry I worked; Fast forward to the last couple of years and it has been a different story. Limited opportunities and people interviewing me who are of a Gen Z variety. I have never felt old until an interview earlier this year when a couple of 20 somethings said to me “you do realise that most people in this department are aged in their 20’s and early 30’s”….

    I think we need to force change onto employers. If the offers for challenging, high paying part-time jobs are not there then I think sometimes we need to create them ourselves. By this I mean it is worth networking/finding others with a similar skill-set and set about applying for full-time jobs as a ‘team’, work out the hours which suit each person, someone works 2 days the other 3. The benefits are there for both employee and employer.
    I have one job I share with an ex colleague. It was a full-time role which we now share together. It is high paying, interesting and a great team environment.

    The shared economy is ever growing…

    1. Thanks Jenny,

      I agree, its frustrating. I like your idea about submitting as a team. Part timer workers are a bonus. We just have to persuade the world of that. Sell out advantages rather than sell ourselves short.

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