Dr. Taylor, says that initially, returning to the workforce can be a highly charged emotional process, leaving women feeling overwhelmed and guilty. "We are socialized from little girls to grow up and want that prince charming and the white picket fence and the reality now is more women have higher numbers in college, higher number in graduate school, law school, medical school, so we are having to make that choice, and the reality is you have to really look at yourself and what is right for you and once you make that decision just understand that you are constantly making, floating through roles in life and making decisions and it just depends on your sense of control, your self fulfillment and the support that you get from others," says Dr. Taylor.
Analysis of the researcher’s data showed that by the age of 54, women who had been partners, parents and employees were significantly less likely to report ill health than women who did not fulfill all three roles. Weight gain tended to occur at a faster rate among the homemakers and obesity was most common among long term homemakers. Now, with the addition of 13 month old Abigail, Michelle admits that although at times the juggling act is overwhelming, she’s fulfilled and happy as a working mom.
“As you get your routine more in place and you figure out what you need, and where to give and all of that it just becomes easier,” says Michelle. Dr. Taylor says having a supporting partner and family can make all the difference for working moms. Also, fellow working mom colleagues are a great resource for support. Time management is key.
Organizing and planning your days ahead of time, can really take off some of the heat. Things like preparing and freezing some meals can help. And taking some time for yourself, even if just for a half hour, take the opportunity and go for a walk, do some exercise…this can help ease the transition between work and home.