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Dutch mom bikes in tulips with daughter

Part-Time Work Really Works. Just Ask Moms In the Netherlands.

Three Dutch mothers who work part-time share their experiences with balancing family needs and career ambitions. They laud the Netherlands’ progressive policies on maternity leave and the acceptance of part-time work which makes it easier for them to maintain their career while fulfilling their duties as a parent. However, they notice some negative career impacts from part-time work, particularly in more competitive fields. Still, they agree that the benefits of spending valuable time with their children are worth the compromises.

part-time working mom with baby

Four Myths About Working Part Time in the US

I’ve come to learn that a part-time job for someone like me is hard to find. I’m overqualified for most part-time listings, but I’m disqualified from most of the jobs that interest me because I’m not seeking full-time work.

In the US, we defend our lack of quality part-time jobs with several flawed assumptions. Abandoning these mistaken paradigms will help us build a society that is better for everyone.

Why Can’t a Lawyer Have It All? One Law School Mom Questions Work-Family Norms

In law school, whenever parenthood is brought up (a rare occurrence on its own), parenting is often modeled as something to outsource or minimize. I’ve heard advice like “Get an au pair. Communicate with your boss—just let them know that you’ll be offline for an hour so you can feed your child dinner but you’ll be right back on soon.” Those answers don’t work for me and how I want to parent. I want to be involved and present in my kids’ lives. If that stifles my career growth, that’s a sacrifice I guess I’ll have to make. But at the same time, this is the hill I want to die on: parents deserve more.

She’s Highly Educated. Entrepreneurial. And Staying Home Felt Right.

Elizabeth Jacox had a prestigious academic career, completing a PhD in genetics at Yale. While she had a meaningful maternity leave, a part-time schedule, and affordable child care, Elizabeth still found herself distracted and missing time with her baby. When she became pregnant the second time, Elizabeth evaluated her priorities and realized that she “didn’t love science” enough to stay. Elizabeth remains frustrated at the lack of social support for care work and winnowing options for scientists like her who would like to re-enter the working world after time caring for young children. Still, Elizabeth is making her own sunshine by connecting with adults through mom groups and church, and by building her own small business making clay jewelry.

This Marketing Mom Found her Unicorn position: Part Time, With Benefits

Ruth was expecting to lose benefits when she went part time, she was able to retain health insurance, retirement benefits, and paid time off, thanks to a manager who advocated for her. Ruth says, “Recruiters have come to me just this week with offers, and I haven’t considered a single one. There’s no beating what my company has given me.” Ruth’s story proves an important point: when companies take employees’ family responsibilities seriously, everybody wins.

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