Where moms and mothers-to-be can turn when it’s time to return to work

Smart Solutions Toolkit for Working Mothers provides practical solutions for moms who are making the transition from childbearing to suit wearing.

December 12, 2010, Hudson Valley, New York

Mothers who work can now feel like they’re covering two places at once thanks to Hudson Valley resident Danielle Novi Heller. Novi Heller, a working mother of two who personally faced the demands of home and work, used her experience to develop the Smart Solutions Toolkit for Working Mothers, a compendium of information, effective strategies and concrete materials designed to help working moms meet the challenges of these dual roles. The number of women who will benefit from this collection is staggering. Today, an estimated 72% of all women with a child over one-year-old are in the labor force—an increase of 39% from statistics compiled in 1976. 55% of women with a child under one-year-old are working as well. According to Department of Labor statistics:

40% of all working women are mothers of children below 18 years of age.
83% of mothers returned to their work within 6 months following childbirth.
55% of working women support half or more of their household income.
48% of all married but working women support half or more of their household income.
71% of single mothers are working mothers.

The products in the Smart Solutions Toolkit that moms will need to make sure they’re covering the home and job front are organized into six distinct categories: Health and Safety, Child Care, Working Mother Preparation, Organizational Tools, Alternative Work Schedule, and Breastfeeding Mothers. “What’s unique about this toolkit is that it is one comprehensive collection that delivers everything a working mother needs to plan and execute a successful departure from home and a return to work,” said Novi Heller, who reports that the eighteen-product toolkit has increasingly become a standard gift at baby showers.

According to Novi Heller, she was inspired to compile this compendium of resources during the recent recession. “I became especially concerned about the problems facing mothers returning to the workforce,” says Novi Heller. “Many mothers needed to bolster their family income, often when their husbands lost their jobs. There were more and more moms in part time positions where they typically earn just 60% of a full time employee’s wages and have none of the benefits.”

A recent CNN poll reveals that 17% of working moms have missed three or more important family events due to their work schedules in the past year alone. “I knew the stress must be enormous and I wanted to help,” she adds.

Each toolkit contains specific products like “how-to” planners, magnets that reveal what to do in case of a health or safety emergency, daily organizers along with practical advice on everything from breastfeeding to finding the most qualified child care professionals. It provides new mothers and soon-to-be mothers with products, tools, insight and practical advice that “really work to lighten the load,” she says.

Novi Heller relied on input from other working mothers as well as professional sources to develop the ready-to-use tools that help balance family and work life. “I’ve tested every part of this kit in my own home. It has helped me remain a highly productive employee. I was also able to decrease my stress level. The end result for me is what I believe every mother wants—I felt I became a better mother,” she says.

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