Local News

New Moms Balance Work, Motherhood At Office

Posted January 6, 2005 11:38 a.m. EST

— It is no secret that mothers who work outside the home do not have it easy.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2003, about 59 percent of women in the workforce had children under 3 years old. In 1975, it was just 34 percent.

An office in Raleigh is trying to help women balance work and motherhood.

Sharon Mosley and Michelle Old work for the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Both women bring their babies to the office. It is not because the infants are sick or because their daycare is closed. It is because their boss allows it.

Abigail has only been in the office a few days.

"It was a rocky start at first, but she's getting much better," Old said of her 12-week-old daughter, Abigail.

Four-month-old Kevin Mosley has gotten the swing of things after two months.

"While he's asleep, I try not to disturb him and I'll try to do things that won't require me to be on the phone. I'll check my messages and e-mail," Sharon Mosley said.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, right now, close to 238,000 children are in childcare facilities in North Carolina -- up over 129,000 in 1990.

The coalition figured it was time to try a new approach, especially after losing a new mom who decided not to return.

"The full staff thought it was the best thing to do in terms of working on behalf of women and children," director Monika Hostler said.

So far, it is working.

"There were no complaints when I came in this morning. I think they're taking turns making noise, so I hope that means the babies are working together," Hostler said.

The new moms said being able to keep an eye on the babies instead of just wondering what is going on has made them better workers.

"I feel I'm just as efficient, probably more than had he gone to daycare at such a young age," Mosley said.

"I'm in love with her and I love my work. It makes me a better mother and worker," Old said.

The babies are welcome at the office until they start walking.