I caught an interesting story out of London recently – 25% of the spots in nurseries are open as more and more mothers decide to stay home with their kids. In fact, over the course of just five years, the number of these British vacancies has doubled. And this from the home of the famous British nannies?
Amidst all of the press about mothers facing increased pressure regarding the decision to stay home full-time or return to work after having kids, it seems experts in London are considering this to be the beginning of the end for the so-called “have-it-all” generation of women.
Which just may be. With increased publicity about the struggle moms have after returning to work after even a short leave of absence, it seems that more and more moms are forced to choose one or the other, rather than trying to balance both. And suddenly, faced with that choice, it seems more and more moms have been choosing to stay home..at least for a while or until they can find work with the flexibility they seek.
Whether this trend from across the pond will catch on here to the same extent, we have yet to see, but there have been a rash of media stories lately about the increased amount of time both mothers and fathers are spending with their kids instead of in the office, as well as publicity surrounding the number of women with degrees from Ivy-league and other prestigious colleges choosing to leave their careers to stay home. Articles from the US, England, Canada, and Australia abound, just to name a few. Plus, as the debate rages regarding the effects of daycare on our kids’ development, this is a trend that will likely continue at the forefront in the future.
What is clear, though, is that even if moms can’t always have it all, more and more moms opt for sequencing. You can have it all across the course of your life, just not at the same time. Look at Sandra Day O'Connor for the prime example of this. She took a decade away from her legal career to focus on raising her kids, then rose to become a Supreme Court justice, only then to sequence back home to care for her seriously ailing husband.
And with more moms choosing to stay home, we might see things starting to change – both in the office, where businesses strive to be more accommodating to the family – and in the home, where families are starting to set their own rules. While is good news. Except maybe for the nurseries.