Based on data collected in the 'ifb-Berufsrückkehrstudie', I examine what characteristics mothers have that take on part-time work while still receiving parental leave benefits as well as their reasons for doing so. Hypotheses for explaining this behavior refer to the avoidance of negative consequences for mothers' careers and their aspirations for reconciling work and family. An early return to work is significantly more often interconnected with the reappointment to the previous workplace which, in turn, is meaningful for the avoidance of negative consequences for their careers. Moreover, self-employed women significantly more often resume part-time work after child birth during the period of the provision of parental leave benefits. On one hand, in comparison to employed women, self-employed women's employment is less secure and thus requires an early return to work. On the other hand, the former's flexible work schedule and the often reduced work hours allow them to reconcile work and family tasks. The data hint to evidence for the opportunity cost hypothesis, for the importance of professional constraints and also for the family-work reconciliation hypothesis. In sum, the reasons of part-time employment while receiving parental leave benefits are multifaceted. (author's abstract)

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