Returning to work after having children for many of us means much more than bringing home a wage - it can bring with it huge benefits to our self-esteem and sense of identity, not to mention our career prospects.
Although the financial impact of childcare is a consideration, according to new research from Childcare.co.uk, the benefits of working for over 4,000 women surveyed showed that women are open to the positive benefits of opting for childcare and they're not letting the cost hold them back.
Being a mum is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world but let's face it it's one of the toughest! Having time away from mummy duties and being in a professional environment can not only work wonders for us, but can mean we have more energy for our families. Being a working mum gives an added purpose that benefits the family as a whole.
Balancing work and family brings challenges. For some part-time working is the best option for others full-time is a better fit. Either way being at work in some shape or form is an excellent way of showing our children the importance of working and being positive role models.
Some say you can't have it all, but there are many working mums that do manage to strike the balance but it's about being adaptable and having flexibility - that's the dream combination.
It's about maintaining your financial independence too. Being a working mum offers more security. It allows you support household finances and if, god forbid, one partner fell ill or lost a job, the other would be on hand to keep the family economically afloat.
The research also highlighted the many benefits that childcare brought to the children of working mums; over a third of mums of pre-school kids felt reassured that whilst they were earning their children were learning, had the influence of another role model outside the home as well as being cared for. Having the opportunity to mix with other children and develop social skills came high up the list of benefits. Many mums feel that a childcare setting helps to develop a more independent and easy going child and one that is prepared for future life experiences such as school.
By Jo Wiltshire - parenting expert for Childcare.co.uk