Almost half of working mums have changed career or gone freelance after having children, according to a Workingmums.co.uk poll.
The survey of over 200 women found that 49% have changed career, 27% have gone freelance and only 24% say they have not changed career after having children.
The responses to the poll showed that women were determined to do whatever they had to to ensure they can both work in a way that is compatible with bringing up children and use the skills they have or gain new ones.
One woman said: "I changed career to work at home. I sell greeting cards for the largest direct retailing greeting cards company in the world and have built a team of 70 direct sellers mostly in the UK but also all over the world – now I want to find time to look at setting up a freelance writing, marketing and PR consultancy for small businesses to supplement my family's income. It is really hard to find that time!"
Some had made fairly dramatic career changes to get the work life balance they needed.
One woman said: "Since the birth of both my children, I found it necessary to change from an office-based job to a self employed plumber that fits around the school day.
However, getting a good work life balance was not always the perfect solution. One woman said: "I'm a single mum and I work the most perfect hours around my children 8.45am to 2.45pm and only four days a week allowing me one clear day for me time…. All sounds perfect until you find out that it's the most unrewarding, brain numbing job in the world."
Nevertheless, one respondent said she had moved to a part-time job, but still managed to progress in her career. She was a national sales manager and moved into sales recruitment three days a week for a boutique recruiter. She started up their retail management division. She says: "I stuck firmly to my guns when they wanted me to manage this full time. I recruited a trainee who within a year was managing the team. After having my second daughter, I decided to run my own desk commission-only, but had the office, credit control, phone and a team to work with. Doing it I managed to still work school hours through the recession and earned £70,000 in 2011. The boutique recruiter was sold in 2009 and they have kept all my terms, so mine's a good story."