The F Word

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Flexibility. It can seem like a dirty word to working moms sometimes, can’t it? I’ve been thinking a lot about flexibility lately, especially since my son started a more formal “school” this year, with a lot more day’s off than this mama is used to.

Since I’ve been mulling over the idea of work/life balance in general, I’ve started wondering if people would (or do) sacrifice pay for flexibility, meaning, if you were offered a job or promotion that would ensure your family more money, but you would lose some flexibility, would you take it? Or vice versa, if you work at a pretty demanding job, would you like the option to sacrifice some pay to ensure some flexibility?

Ultimately, I imagine it would probably come down to an individual’s goals, right? Making more money makes it a lot easier to pay for sitters or child care coverage when you needed to stay late or travel, but what if you didn’t want to stay late or travel?

In a perfect world, everyone would be paid fairly and have the flexibility they deserve to balance work and life. Unfortunately, in reality, that doesn’t always seem to be the case.

Because even if you choose to work because you love to work, or you work because otherwise your family couldn’t afford dinner, I have a feeling most moms want to be able to go to our child’s soccer game or school play. Or simply be there to help them with their homework in the evenings. I know I do.

In fact, I’ve talked to more than a few moms who say they stay at their current jobs because of the flexibility. But I wonder if moms are getting “comfort” confused with “flexibility”? Meaning, their job works for them now, they’re comfortable, they know what to expect, and what they can do in terms of their work/life balance, so why rock the boat? But who knows if your next gig wouldn’t be as or even more flexible than your current gig, unless you try? Or is the risk simply too high?

So what say you? Do you wish you had more flexibility at your job? Would you take a pay cut to get more? Or do you stop short of going out and getting another gig because the job you have fits your flexibility/family’s needs right now?

Tela

A cofounder of Working Moms Against Guilt, Tela is a working mom with a son, O, who was born in July, 2006.

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