Here’s how working mothers define success

Posted at 3:11 PM, May 12, 2015

Good kids. Good job. Good luck balancing both to your satisfaction.

Supporting your family, enjoying your work, and having a good relationship with your kids are some of the ways that working moms define success, according to CareerBuilder, which surveyed over 800 working parents with kids under 18.

But doing it all is a tall order.

A little over half of working moms said they feel equally successful in their parenting and their careers, which is roughly the same as the 49% of men who said the same.

Of course, that means half of working parents are not feeling like they’re acing both parts of their lives.

About a third of both genders said they felt more successful as a parent. But men (19%) were more likely than women (15%) to report feeling they were a bigger success in their careers.

Working moms were more likely than working dads to say that their job has hurt their relationship with their kids and that being a parent has hurt their job performance.

What “successful” means depends, of course, in large part how success is defined. Both genders identified the ability to provide for their families as the most important factor in defining success. But more men (39%) pointed to a six-figure salary as a key marker of success than women (17%).

Working moms (77%), meanwhile, were more likely to include in their definition of success how much they enjoy their job than working dads (60%). And dads (42%) more than moms (35%) were likely to include their family being proud of what they do.

The survey also found that there are more working parents who are sole breadwinners for their families. And the gap between men and women is closing in this regard, with 39% of women and 43% of men saying that they’re it when it comes to family income.

On the bright side, 69% of employers said being a parent hones a lot of skills that can be very valuable at work, according to CareerBuilder, which included hiring managers and HR professionals among its respondents. At the top of their list: patience, multitasking, time management, conflict management and problem solving. Empathy, mentoring, negotiation and budgeting also got the nod.

Of course, in order to retain employees who are working parents, it helps when companies can provide them with workplace flexibility policies that may let them telecommute some days or offer paid parental leave when they have new children.

A recent survey by EY found that employees — especially those who are parents — listed flexibility as a top feature they want in a job and cited a lack of it as among the top reasons they would quit.

By Jeanne Sahadi for CNN