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QC moms try to strike work/life balance

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An age-old debate for many moms is centered around the question of whether to work or stay at home with the kids.

The 2008 recession and subsequent slow economic recovery forced many moms back into the work force.

Meet four Quad City moms all trying to have it all- Quad City Mom’s Blog operator Camye Halvorson, part-time lab tech Amy Olsen, hair salon employee Jacqueline Graham and stay-at-home mom Michelle Crawford.

“I always had these big goals and dreams and I met my husband young and we got married young and his career took off and it was hard sitting in the backseat watching his success,” said Crawford.

But, Michelle’s come to terms with the fact that her definition of having it all has changed.

“You realize that we’re the ones putting the pressure on ourselves, it’s not society.

The question of whether or not to work is nothing new for mothers.

In times of economic recession and recovery, more and more moms are forced into the working world with negative and positive effects.

According to a recent survey, nearly half (47%) of all working moms participating felt they’d be happier if they didn’t have to work at all.

But, another recent study found moms who work full-time to be healthier than their stay at home and part-time working mom counterparts and less likely to develop depression.

For new mom, Amy, the answer is simple.

“I think to myself, I could go full-time,” she said. “But, I think it’s not worth it. I’m just going to stay home.”

In either scenario, all these moms say it’s important to make it work.

“Definitely finding a balance between being a mom, dad, chef, maid, taxi driver,” said Jacqueline Graham.

“I think balance is a key word,” said Camye Halvorson. “You kind of have to figure out how much time you want to spend with your children and how much time you spend working.”

That’s where “mommy guilt” comes into play as a part of the working moms’ struggle.

“There are times that I spend too much time on the blog and not enough time with my children,” said Halvorson.

For the working moms of the group it’s a mix of keeping it together and keeping up with the Joneses.

They use Facebook to engage in what they call “Compare-itis,”

It’s just what it sounds like- comparing their lives to the statuses and pictures they see.

For single mom, Jacqueline- “Whenever I see happy families and husbands and wives going out and doing all these wonderful activities together, I get upset about that because that’s what I want.”

But, what you see isn’t always what you get.

“I’m not going to take a picture of my messy house every day. It’s like, ‘Here, this is what my house looks like when you don’t come over.”

One thing that is apparent- all these ladies say they need a good support system.

“You need those female friendships in your life to build you up and talk you off the cliff.”

According to ForbesWoman, more than a third of women resent their partners for not making enough money at their job to afford them the ability to stay home.