Nearly three-quarters of working mothers suffer guilt, with many citing the stress of managing a family and a career, according to an online survey.

The survey of working mothers showed 75 per cent of the 201 who took part worked for financial reasons.

The online survey by Clarity Coaching showed that 71 per cent of the women experienced some level of guilt. Of those surveyed, 91 per cent cited stress from balancing a family and a career, with 20 per cent of these women citing extreme levels of stress.

Clarity Coaching life coach Gabriele Wehler said that for many women, managing stress came down to time management and accepting that they could not do everything.

Wehler said many women she coached felt they did half-hearted jobs at work and mothering their children.

She said managing this stress and guilt was important to overall wellbeing.

The average age of participants in the survey was 39. Half the participants had two children, 28 per cent had three and the remainder had four or more.

The survey showed that because of stress, 15 per cent of the women had troubled relationships with colleagues, and due to a lack of time almost 75 per cent claimed to feel anger towards themselves and irritation towards their colleagues.

"More than 50 per cent of working mothers felt occasional or regular anger, irritability and impatience towards others at work, with 17 per cent saying they are affected moderately to strongly and 25 per cent not being affected," the survey said.

"Every second mother felt that stress hinders her ability to enjoy work very strongly and every third mother's enjoyment of work is negatively influenced by guilt.

"However, despite these feelings, the majority, 82 per cent, definitely choose to stay in their jobs. It can be assumed that this is mainly for financial reasons as more than three-quarters of working mothers stated that this is the main reason for working."

Mothers listed exercise and relaxation time as tools to cope with stress.

For most, exercise consisted of walking, running, gym workouts and yoga. Relaxation was reading a book, meditation, sleeping and hobbies.

The women said the ideal work/life balance would mean working closer to home and four-day weeks.