Working moms: It's getting hectic out there (but what else is new?)

Companies downsize. Employers cut staff. CEOs lower wages. But what do moms do when the economy tanks? They roll up their sleeves and work even harder, that's what.

Recently, Office Depot asked more than 500 working mothers how they were coping with the downturn. While many said they were struggling with hectic schedules and more demands on their time, the overwhelming majority continued to pile on more responsibilities -- both on the job and at home. In fact, two out three working moms said they're now having trouble keeping track of it all.

The survey, conducted in January among employed women with at least one child under 18 at home, found as many as 87% said the added pressure was forcing them to get better organized for the year ahead. Though many were cutting back on household spending, 65% believed they could save money by running a tighter ship.

Yet, for many moms, that's proving to be an uphill battle. Roughly half of the survey's respondents had forgotten to pay bills on time, or lost important information or documents around the house. Many admitted they were more organized at work than in their own home -- partly out of fear of getting laid off. One in ten were so busy they've forgotten or missed a school play, soccer game or some other event for their child.

And all that extra pressure is its taking toll on personal time. Up to 82% of the women surveyed said they were failing to put aside enough time for themselves, while 62% were worried about losing touch with friends and family.

As an upshot, more working moms than ever are considering ditching the workplace and launching their own ventures. The survey found three in ten women saw self-employment as a silver lining in the face of layoffs.

Are you a working mother? Let us know how you're coping.

Deborah Barrow is Editor-in-Chief of wowOwow.

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