Balancing family and work tends to be a complicated process for many parents. According to a recent study, respondents reported that balancing work and family affects their careers and other aspects of life. Using a national wide survey, the researchers discovered that about 27% of the interviewed parents found it difficult to advance in their careers or job because of having children (Cech & Blair-Loy, 2019). It was identified that women were more likely than men to express this opinion. About 38% reported that being a working parent makes it difficult for them to maintain good relationships with family members (Cech & Blair-Loy, 2019). In this report, surveys and interviews with two working parents were used. The idea is to determine how having children or parental status influences work, life, and family.
Using a set of questionnaires, the researcher embarked on conducting face-to-face interviews with the parents. Each of the two parents had children under the age of 12 and was working. The first parent was a woman aged 34 with two children, while the second was a 41-year-old married man with three children. The study noted that they were both working parents living in the suburbs of the city. While the man is a white American, the woman is a Latino whose parents migrated from Barbados in the 1980s.
She reported that she is solely responsible for the care of her children since she is a single mother. The first child is a girl currently in Grade 3 in a local public school. The second child is in Grade 1 in a different private school a few meters from their home. In the interview, the mother reports that she does all the work. For example, she cleans the house, and the children’s clothes takes the kids to school every morning and helps them with their homework every evening. She states that these tasks have affected her work life as she is an accountant at a local financial institution. According to the mother, she has always desired to achieve a Master’s degree in finance, but she is unable to enroll in the program because taking care of her family consumes much of her time. The mother further reports that she does not have a problem with her employer. However, she cannot achieve promotion because she does not have the required qualification due to the inability to enroll in the program.
In his part, the second parent reported that having children has affected his work life in a number of ways. The man is convinced that his three children are putting financial pressure on him, especially because his wife does not work. He states that he cannot invest because more than three-quarters of his salary is consumed at home. In addition, he reported that he is unable to work for more than eight hours a day because he has to rush to collect two of his children from school each evening. Furthermore, the parent states that his children need his presence every weekend, which makes it difficult for him to visit his parents, who live more than 3000 kilometers from his town. Even though he has a master’s degree, he cannot continue further studies. The man has two children born after he had achieved the qualification – the need to take care of them means he can no longer attend school.
From this simple study, it is clear that having children affects people’s work and family life. This impact is more pronounced in families where only one parent is available to take care of the children (Feeney & Stritch, 2019). As the example shows, single parents face challenges in balancing their work and family lives. It is difficult to expand their careers and education because much of their time is spent taking care of the children. In families where both parents are available, the same impacts are observed, albeit to a relatively low extent, since duties are shared.
Cech, E. A., & Blair-Loy, M. (2019). The changing career trajectories of new parents in STEM. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(10), 4182-4187. Web.
Feeney, M. K., & Stritch, J. M. (2019). Family-friendly policies, gender, and work–life balance in the public sector. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 39(3), 422-448. Web.