It looks like mother of three Lynn Mazurowski has it down to a science: Feed baby Joe at 7 a.m. Then wake Andi and John. Kiss the husband. Head to work in a Chicago suburb. Only the formula is far from perfect.
“Almost every day they say, ‘Mommy, I'm going to miss you today’ or ‘I wish you didn't have to go.’ It really strikes a chord,” Mazurowski says.
That tug between work and home has mothers still struggling for a balance, according to a recent survey by the jobs Web site Careerbuilder.com.
Fifty-two percent say they’d take a pay cut to spend more time with their children.
Lisa Grier, an executive assistant in Atlanta, feels that way but can’t afford it.
"If my husband were making more money and that was an option for us and we wouldn't suffer financially, then sure,” Grier says.
Special events can make up for lost time.
Lynn Mazurowski made it to one recently at her son’s preschool but has had to skip others. In fact, 38 percent say they’ve missed at least two significant events with their children in the past year.
Deborah Epstein Henry — a work-life expert — says creative scheduling is key.
“If they negotiate flex time to schedule some work to occur outside the office, then they often feel more empowered,” says Epstein Henry, founder of Flex-Time Lawyers.
More than half the women surveyed say their employers offer flex time. The problem: Only a fraction take advantage of it.
There’s fear about promotions and envy from colleagues. Mazurowski hears it since deciding to cut back on hours.
“They give me a little nudge about my hours. Not a day goes by that someone's isn't saying ‘Oh, nice of you to show up today’ or something,” she says.
Working mothers – longing for the gift of more time, juggling two jobs, and one that never ends.