No one would say that being a working parent is easy. If you have a newborn at home, good luck getting more than a few hours of sleep each night. Once your children are in school and participating in extracurricular activities, you have to pick them up at one place and drop them off at another.

Top 10 after the jump…

Don’t forget the overall pressure of having another human being relying on you for food, shelter and clothing. You have enough responsibilities to make parenting a full-time job without ever having to set foot in an office.

And if no reasonable person would claim the life of a working parent is easy, you probably won’t find anyone who thinks working mothers have had an easy time balancing work and family. Working women have faced an uphill battle for generations and still do. As we’ve pointed out, don’t be an attractive woman who wants a traditionally masculine job or you’ll be sorely disappointed. Progress has a long way to go.

Bing: Stategies for achieving work-life balance

But the situation for working women in 2010 is better than in previous generations, as we have recently noted. As that study explains, 20-something single women are the ones making the greatest financial gains, and experts suspect that this is because many women wait to get married and have children in their 30s and 40s. Essentially, once a woman becomes a mother, her professional life becomes more affected than that of her male counterparts. Each couple decides how it wants to divvy up the daily responsibility, but women still seem to be the ones who leave work to pick up the children from school or who stay home if they get sick.

Realizing that mothers – and women who plan on having children – have extra factors to consider in a job hunt, Working Mother magazine has compiled a list of the best places to work. The Working Mother 100 Best Companies list is based on “work force, compensation, child care, flexibility programs, leave policies” and other factors affecting workplace productivity and culture.

For any worker, especially a working mother, access to on-site child care or the ability to telecommute is important for balancing work and life. Working Mother magazine says that the companies on the list are ahead of most national organizations. For example, only 37 percent of nationwide companies offer health insurance for part-time workers, whereas 100 percent of the companies on the list do.

Although the list is presented in no particular order, 10 companies were highlighted as being the top finishers. They are, in alphabetical order:

Bank of America
Discovery Communications
Ernst & Young
General Mills
IBM Corp.
University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics
WellStar Health System

By Anthony Balderrama