Work Life Balance

Have Three Kids? Kiss Your Career Goodbye

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You know those moms with a thriving career and equally satisfying family life? Yeah, me neither. And now there’s even further proof that motherhood is a career killer for many women – at least those with three kids versus just one or two.

A new Australian research paper, “Fertility and Labour Market Participation,” shows that 55 percent of mothers of three are employed compared to 68 percent of mothers of two. Age plays an even bigger role in the discrepancy: among women under 30, only 21 percent of mothers of three are working compared to 41 percent of their two-kid counterparts, according to The Australian.

Co-author Anna Zhu says the trend continues through all ages of motherhood, even once their kids reach high school. “When the children get older you’d think those mothers with three children would be looking to get back into the workforce to be helping with things like school fees or university fees that might be coming up, yet it’s still the case they are less likely to be in the workforce,” she said at the Australian Social Policy conference. She attributes this trend to a lack of confidence after being out of the workforce for so long or to a lack of technology skills that could make them less employable.

Yet another example of how we moms can’t have it all (at least not at once). Of course, there are those women who do manage to balance it all, to somehow make it work (don’t you hate, er, envy them?). But for most of us, especially those with three-kid families, parenthood often means having to make sacrifices – career and all.

(Photo: Thinkstock)