Mummy mind
Nine months
Baby making
Working mothers
Doting dad

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Here are some of the tips our working mothers of Singapore have shared with each other on how to handle work and family, as well as the wishes they hope to see fulfilled in the future.

Managing at Home

  • Set up an office at home, so that you can bring work home instead of doing overtime at the office.
  • Share your goals, ambitions and to-do list with your spouse and family members. The more they know, they are able to provide better support and be able to co-ordinate their activities with you.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for help and support from friends, in-laws and parents. Also, do not reject any help / support if they offer.
  • Chat with friends and colleagues about problems that you face, so that tips and ideas can be exchanged.
  • Always use a "things to do" list to manage time and daily activities.
  • Stay POSITIVE! Spend 5-10 minutes a day to reflect, do natural breathing to stay sane and happy!

Managing at Work

  • When at work, just concentrate and focus on your work. Don't waste time gossiping and complaining with colleagues. You can then finish what you have to get done on time and be able to go home earlier.
  • Don't job-hop, it is important to build a good relationship based on trust and open communication.
  • Use extra time gained (from overtime work) to deal with family emergencies or just to spend with the family.
  • Be transparent with your boss in terms of why you need flexible work hours to spend time with your children. But remember to 'pay him back' too and show your appreciation.
  • Start work earlier, end work earlier.

For Employers

  • Have a child care service located near the work place.
  • Top management should make work-life balance a priority for ALL employees, not just those with families. This is to prevent segregation between colleagues and discourage negative outcomes such as jealousy.
  • Top management first needs to change organisation culture to make it more favourable for all, than employees will accept change.
  • It helps when employers know their employees well and are able to sense when they are troubled. They should lend a listening ear to employees when needed as they can probably help.
  • IT companies can provide other businesses with affordable "Remote Access" facilities to allow mothers to work from home.

For Policy-Makers

  • Hold more seminars for employers (especially from SMEs), to give them ideas and advice on how to improve work-life balance for their employees.
  • MOM should negotiate with employers about flexible working hours, or agree to a fix number of hours working mothers should work.
  • Build child care centres in proportion to how many working mothers there are. For example, 1 centre to every 100 working mothers.
  • Educate working mothers through regular forums and support groups, to give them tips about how to balance their life better.
  • Government should formally recognise companies who provide excellent work-life balance cultures.
    E.g Acknowledge them on websites, newspapers, magazines etc.
  • Implement 24/7 childcare.

Have a wish or tip of your own? Log in to www.workingmothersforum.org and start your own thread on the forum to start sharing with other working mothers! LWB

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