Returning to work after having a baby is a complex issue. Currently just 58% of women with children under the age of five are active in the workforce compared to 94% of men with the same family situation and when you consider the barriers to returning to work, you can understand why.
Financial – let’s just be factual here – women earn less and day care fees are on the rise both of which can make the cost of returning to work prohibitive (or not really worth the effort) for a lot of mums. Add in the cost of your commute, clothing, lunches, coffee etc. etc. and at the end of the day it might just not make financial sense for your family.
Logistical – organising the day to day logistics of returning to work can be a nightmare. Drop offs, pick-ups, play dates, after-school activities – throw in one late running meeting or traffic jam and chaos reigns. Do you arrange child care closer to home or closer to work? Who do you call if you need an emergency pickup? What happens if your child gets sick? It goes on and on. There’s nothing that strikes fear into a working outside the home mum more than a child that coughs in the middle of the night and a day of back to back meetings planned for the following day!
Emotional – As humans will need to bond, we crave connection, we love to feel a sense of belonging and love. So when we leave our little ones mums and bubs can lose out. Returning to work before we are definitely ready can lead to anxiety, separation anxiety and even depression.
What if you didn’t want to struggle with navigating the daily commute, child care options and being away from your bub for hours and hours a day? You’d suffer financially right? You’d be starved of a challenge, adult conversation and intellectual stimulation right?
There is another way, a better way.
All across the country, mums are forging their own past, increasing their earning potential, and spending precious time with their children. It is possible. Mums are setting up online businesses and becoming a true force to be reckoned with.
A comprehensive report, commissioned by the Office for Women and compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics was released in September 2015 and provided some interesting insights. In the last twenty years the number of female-run small businesses has grown by almost 50% – that’s almost double the number of men starting up their own enterprises.
From the 668,670 women running a small business in Australia, 47% are Mumpreneurs having dependent children at home. Starting your own business after the birth of a child is a fantastic way to get a greater work/home flexibility.
And it’s not only families who are embracing the idea:
“Getting more women and mums into small business is a fantastic way that we can boost our economy and economic bottom line,” Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson.
“I think there are potentially huge benefits for our country if we harness this and get it right.”
Michaelia Cash, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Women agreed that the report showed that Australian women were seeking greater flexibility to return to the workforce after the birth of their children and were utilising small business opportunities to achieve that, “increasingly women’s workforce participation is vital to increasing gender equality.”
“The scale of the economic opportunity before us is staggering — increasing women’s workforce participation by just six per cent would add $25 billion, or approximately one per cent to Australia’s GDP.”
So if you’re looking for a better way than returning to work after having your baby there are options. Start your own online business – get the income you need, the challenge you crave and do it all while spending time with your children – start an online business and be your own boss.
By Natasha Stewart – Business Jump. Join the conversation in our business mastermind group by clicking here. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram. Read more blogs on the website.