This is how long working mothers say it takes to achieve work-life balance

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Is it possible for women to successfully balance their career and family? Senior Living surveyed 625 women with jobs and families to find out, and the results were a resounding yes – 82% agreed. (52% agreed, and 30% “somewhat” agreed).

That number was fairly close to even whether coming from women in two-income households (54%) or women in single-income households (49%).

One real woman’s advice? “Work for a company that sees the importance of family life and is willing to be flexible with it,” said a 35-year-old respondent.

Striking the right balance

Not that an equal balance exists in reality, but nearly 40% of women would ideally like to find “equal balance” between career and family.

Where the real focus lies. According to this graph, a third of mothers considered themselves “much more focused” on their family than their career. Almost 15% thought of themselves as “somewhat more focused” on their family. Just over a quarter said they were focused equally on career and family.

Work-life balance – if you work at it

Work-life balance doesn’t come easily – or all at once. On average, it took working mothers almost six years to achieve an ideal work-life balance.

Most women surveyed (61%) were most satisfied with work-life balance when it tilted towards mostly career-focused. Nearly half of those who were equally career- and family-focused were also happy, as were those who were mostly family-focused (49%).

However, the family-focused women were most likely to believe their compensation suffered due to their dedication to family time. That said, 41% of career-focused women thought the same thing.

Perks that career/family women found most helpful

  • Flexible hours: 45%
  • Paid time off: 43%
  • Flexibility in responsibility: 33%
  • Work from home: 32%
  • More vacation: 28%

Ultimately, according to the survey, about 42% of women surveyed said they believed motherhood benefited their career, while far fewer, 28%, believed their career aided motherhood.

Looking back, 34% of women said that they would have spent more time with their family. Only 13% said they wished they had spent more time on their career – and nearly 40% said that, ideally, they would have balanced both equally.