Spotlighting the diverse experiences of working mothers in South Africa

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Spotlighting the diverse experiences of working mothers in South Africa

Women are inspiring. Between having children and handling work, we still manage to hold high-powered positions across different industries; we start our own businesses; we raise families.

It’s an indisputable blessing to even have a job as a woman in South Africa. In 2022, 47,0% of South African women were recorded as being economically inactive. That’s almost half of the working age women in the country!

But working at our careers and being a mom is no walk in the park.

With only 24 hours in the day, how do we do it all? We spoke to 3 real women who work in full-time, flexible or part-time employment, raise children, maintain their homes and still find room for personal time and growth.

Here are their heartfelt words of encouragement.



Employed full time in office
Mother of one

I was on my way to work at 6:55am today. Because of traffic, I didn’t get home until 6pm.

Rowan woke up at 6am. He went to sleep around 7pm.

That’s 2 hours today with my son. 2 hours. So I feel compelled to share the below:

When a working mom asks to work from home in a job where it’s possible, she isn’t lazy or less committed. She’s saving 2 hours of commute time and doubling her time with her family.

When a working mom expresses how ‘jealous’ she is of a stay at home mom, she isn’t saying the other side is easy. She knows how hard you work. She just wishes she could be there for every little moment too.

When that mom friend of yours is a little harder to make plans with than before, she doesn’t care about you any less. She’s doing all she can to prioritize her limited time with her babies.

When her house is a mess… When her hair isn’t washed… When she seems disconnected from conversations… When she doesn’t bounce back as quickly as you’d like to believe she should… When she takes too long to respond to your messages and calls….

2 hours.

Sniffing his gorgeous little head extra tonight. Sending hugs to all mamas, but in particular tonight, working mamas. I know your struggle in a new light now. I know you’re doing your very best.



Remote work full-time job 
Mom of two (with a third on the way)

By 6.45 am our household is stirring.
Bath-time is at 7.00 am.

Kindergarten for my eldest starts at 7.45 am.
Nanny arrives at 8 am. Work begins at 8 am.

I work 100% remotely so I have the best of both worlds.

I can take my eldest to school and pick him up right after - 1pm.

In between, my door is closed while I work in the ‘office’ - which is really a spare bedroom in our busy home.

I am close enough in proximity to my youngest son for him to feel my presence and me his. During snack and bathroom breaks we happily collide in the passage ways.

I have a saying that our goal is to reach 1 000 kisses a day, and some days we get really close. Lucky us.

But the reality of WFH is that there are the days when nothing goes according to script. This can look like a sick baby (or two), an absent nanny (personal emergency), pressing work deadlines (here comes another all-nighter), home emergency (burst pipe!), or just the dreaded extended load shedding schedule (stage 6 anyone?).

Flexibility gives working mothers a wonderful opportunity to integrate work and life. But firm boundaries need to be set, and professional standards need to be upheld. Bumps and mishaps must be handled, swiftly and efficiently, by me, with little or no impact on my work obligations. But thats a small compromise.

Remembering my own childhood, I consider my children very blessed. I mean ‘Mummy’s home, always’. I understand that this is a privileged position, and I am deeply grateful for it.

So I have discovered Dear Mom, that it's okay to have a purpose beyond the home. You’ve got the strength and capacity to achieve and have all that you dream of. And yes, there are days when I am so exhausted that I fall asleep like my toddlers, on the couch, before 8 pm.

RecruitMyMom has made it their mission to champion for the work-life integration that has been such a blessing for our family. Consider them if you’re looking for meaningful employment that allows you to navigate through the mom-phase of life. They are the go-to for flexible work that empowers women.



Part-time hours 
Mom of four

My oldest child turns 9 this summer. He’s halfway to college. Halfway through our house. And it’s going too fast because I’ve been going too fast.

This is why I made the transition to part-time work.

I just wanted time to slow down.

I wanted to linger after school pickup with the other families instead of rushing us back so I could return to work.

I wanted to have enough energy to read “one more story, mummy!” at bedtime.

I wanted to spend a summer by the pool letting the hours slip by, instead of stressing out over making it in time to multiple extra-curricular pickups in time for a late conference call.

I wanted to go to bed early and sleep in late (sometimes) and let my body truly recover from a decade of pregnancy and breastfeeding.

I wanted to be able to go for a walk with the dog and not feel like there was somewhere else I needed to be.

I wanted to be able to cook dinner and eat as a family, something my husband and I had not been able to manage with two full-time careers and 4 kids to date.

I wanted our family to have a more mentally present parent available to them. And I wanted it to be me.

What I wanted for a season of life was what a majority of mothers want: I wanted to work part-time.

RecruitMyMom became my trusted ally in finding meaningful, highly skilled work. Through them I was connected to employers that respect my need to balance both work and home. I am so glad that for right now, I am exactly where I need and want to be: part-time career woman, and as always, a full-time mother.

My advice to other moms in my position: Take the time to consider your professional allies carefully. I have learned the hard way that not every one [or workplace] is for us, but the ones that are, make all the difference.

Final words to working mothers in South Africa

We wanted to share these stories with you to let you know that you are not alone. Our team is made up of real women like you. We are not automated robots, without empathy, compassion or heart.

At RecruitMyMom, we love to provide meaningful, skilled jobs for women who are bravely stepping out to chase their goals and careers.

How can we help you?