While the Expanded Maternity Leave Law (EML) now allow moms longer time with their newborns, the guilt that comes with going back to work after being on leave is still all too real. According to a new survey, moms find it “emotionally difficult” to leave their children at home while they head out to work.
The survey, conducted by Monster.com, an online career and recruitment resource, asked over 2,000 professionals in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines to understand the challenges men and women face at work especially when returning to their jobs after parental leave.
New parents — over half of moms (56%) and dads (53%) surveyed — feel the pressure to provide for their family. And given a choice, the moms prefer it if they stayed home — 64% of those surveyed said they are only returning to work after maternity leave because of financial reasons. (About 74% of dads also agree that new mothers quit their jobs to spend more time with family.)
And when they are at work many moms experience workplace discrimination with 67% confirming this reality. The choice to have a family also affect their career options.
At home, the bulk of the parenting load still falls upon women. Sixty-three percent of male respondents admit their female partners do most of the housework, and 61% say it is the mom who spends significant time taking care of the children.
The good news is men do realize what’s happening. A quarter of Filipino men say their partners don’t have time to relax and unwind, and they worry about getting the right childcare support for their kids, too. And so, despite a rise of flexible arrangements in the workplace, an increasing number of working moms (and dads) still quit their jobs, or they are likely planning to look for a new position within the next 12 months either because of inadequate compensation or poor work-life balance.
“It’s interesting to note that both men and women in the Philippines feel the same levels of concern around raising a family and managing work,” said Abhijeet Mukherjee, CEO of Monster.com. “Gone are the days when the pressure of childcare used to fall on mothers alone — men are now beginning to step up and take equal ownership of family needs, which is a necessary step towards building an equality-based workforce.”
Moms, the next time you feel the brunt of your invisible load and overwhelmed with your responsibilities, don’t be ashamed to ask your partners for help. It’s likely that he knows you need support, but you also need to make him understand the ways he can give it to you.