Most mums return to work 'for the money': Poll

Poll finds that re-adjusting to work schedule is their biggest challenge

MOST Singapore mothers who return to work do so because of money, a poll revealed on Tuesday.

Fifty-nine per cent said financial reasons spurred them to return to the workplace. And a quarter said they returned as they needed a balance between taking care of their children and having a career.

The survey of 8,240 mothers, who were either working or on maternity leave, said 29 per cent felt going back to work was either "difficult" or "extremely difficult".

Re-adjusting to work schedules was the biggest struggle, according to the survey by voluntary welfare organisation I Love Children.

Forty per cent of the mothers said this was their greatest career-related challenge.

Other difficulties could include the emotional challenge of leaving the child behind, said I Love Children president Joni Ong. "One of the greatest unspoken challenges for mothers is this sense of guilt of leaving the baby behind to go to work," said Ms Ong.

"Yet, women are also afraid of losing out in their careers. I hope mothers feel it is okay to go back to work, though not necessarily at the same pace as before."

The results of the survey, sponsored by health-care company Abbott Nutrition, were announced at a press conference for the launch of the Glow & Go, Mum! workshop, which aims to help women make a smooth transition back to work after having a child.

At the conference, singer Stefanie Sun, who gave birth to her first child, a boy, in November last year, was introduced as the newly appointed brand ambassador for Abbott's Similac-Gain range of baby formula products.