Being a working mom is a really tough gig. You're constantly pulled in a million different directions, you probably never feel as though you're giving your best at work or at home, and your work literally never ends (but you're only paid for one of your jobs!). But for the majority of families with two working parents, there's just no other option. Life is expensive, having kids is expensive, and so many families can't make it on just one income. In an effort to have some work-life balance, some moms work part-time by choice, and are fortunate enough to have more control over their schedule. That sounds like it would be an ideal situation for a lot of working moms - we can attest to the fact that having some flexibility with your schedule is really helpful! But as it turns out, working part-time with a flexible schedule means working moms end up doing more work for less pay.
According to a new study out of the U.K., working part-time with a flexible schedule has its drawbacks for working moms. Researchers at the University of Kent analyzed data collected from people who worked with a flexible schedule between 2010 and 2015. Across the board, this arrangement resulted in more unpaid overtime.
For part-time working moms, this particular work schedule meant that they worked an additional 20 minutes per week of unpaid overtime. So even though they were working part-time, and could control their schedule, they still ended up working more than their peers who either worked full-time or did not have as much flexibility with their work schedule.
So why do part-time working moms end up working more, despite having flexibility with their schedule? It could all go back to good old-fashioned guilt (moms are very familiar with the concept, yes). These working moms may feel guilty for working part-time or not working the same hours as their peers. So they work longer in order to compensate for it.
Additionally, another study that came out last December (written Heejung Chung, Ph.D., who also authored the part-time working moms study) suggested that part-time workers believe that their work status negatively affected their career advancement, a belief that was especially evident among part-time working moms in that study.
There are pros and cons with every working or non-working arrangement, but working more and not getting paid for it isn't a great solution for anyone.