Majority of Canadian mothers struggle to balance work and family

Survey reveals self-employment appeals to one-in-three moms, but few actually do it

TORONTO, May 3 /CNW/ - Conflicting priorities, limited time or inadequate resources may be reasons that an overwhelming 63 per cent of Canadians know a mother who finds it difficult to maintain a work/family life balance. An eBay Canada survey released today found Canadian mothers are struggling to "have it all."

According to the survey of more than 1500 Canadians, 32 per cent of women have put their career on hold after having children. Thirty-three per cent of Canadians know a mother who has or would like to start her own business in order to spend more time at home with her children, but the survey reveals only 14 per cent of Canadian mothers have started their own business or considered self-employment.

The survey also found self-employment appeals to mothers living in Western Canada more than it appeals to mothers in the east. Forty-two per cent of Canadians living in the Prairies, Alberta or British-Columbia know a mother who has or would like to start her own business compared with one-in-four Canadians living in Atlantic Canada (25 per cent) or Quebec (27 per cent) who say the same. Nearly one-in-five mothers in the Prairies, Alberta and British Columbia earns an income selling items online (15 per cent).

Tiffany Lemay, a stay-at-home mom from Victoria, British Columbia, knows first-hand the struggles mothers face when deciding whether to return to work. After her first maternity leave ended in 2004, Tiffany saw eBay as a gateway to a small business that wouldn't compromise her time spent with the family.

Deciding what to sell was easy: As a passionate collector of fairy memorabilia since her teens, Lemay sourced reputable suppliers and created a business selling unique and whimsical pieces to Canadian and international fairy aficionados. Today, she is an eBay PowerSeller (eBay ID: hopeinvictoria), selling more than 5,000 fairies and fantasy items every year. What started out as a part-time business is now her primary source of income.

"Deciding whether to put your career on hold after having children is probably one of the most difficult decisions a mother has to make," said Lemay. "eBay gave me the opportunity to start a small business while still being at home with my kids, selling what I love online and in the comfort of my home."

Lemay, who was recently inducted into the eBay Canada Hall of Fame in the Mom Entrepreneur category, offers these tips for starting an online home-based business:

        1.  Convert your passion into cash. Think about and define your
            passion, then look for related products you can turn into a
            source of income.
        2.  Research, research, research. Determine who is selling the same
            or similar products, if the current market can benefit from
            additional competition, and what different aspects you can bring
            to the market or how you can improve the experience so that
            buyers will be attracted to your merchandise.
        3.  Source both local and international suppliers to buy in bulk at a
        4.  Set-up an eBay account. Selling on eBay enables you to instantly
            access the world market.

About the survey

The online survey was conducted for eBay Canada by Leger Marketing, the largest Canadian owned marketing research company. The survey was conducted between April 12 and April 15, 2010 using a national random sample of 1542 respondents from Leger Marketing's Web panel. This method simulates a probability sample which would yield a maximum margin or error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

About eBay Canada

Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. connects millions of buyers and sellers globally on a daily basis through eBay, the world's largest online marketplace, and PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to securely, easily and quickly send and receive online payments. We also reach millions through specialized marketplaces such as StubHub, the world's largest ticket marketplace, and eBay Classifieds sites, which together have a presence in more than 1,000 cities around the world. In Canada, eBay was visited by nearly 8.3 million Canadians in March 2010. (comScore Media Metrix).

SOURCE eBay Canada

For further information: For further information: For media inquiries, contact: Elisabeth Napolano, Environics Communications for eBay Canada,, (416) 969-2705; Nazia Khan, Environics Communications for eBay Canada,, (416) 969-2781

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