New research has provided facts and numbers to a couple of truths parents today already know about and are wholly familiar with: More mothers are working full time jobs, more dads are helping out around the house -- and many are still struggling with finding a work-life balance.
Pew Research conducted a survey in the U.S. involving 1,807 parents who have kids under 18 years old. They found that 46% of two-parent households now have both its parents working full time jobs, higher than the 30% in 1970.
With both parents working, families are better off economically than those with only working parent. With prices for housing, food and utilities on the rise, it’s not difficult to see why many mothers are opting to join the workforce.
Researchers also found that when there are two working parents in the family, the family and household responsibilities get distributed equally between mom and dad compared to households where the mom only works part-time.
59% of respondents with both parents working full time say they share house chores equally. In addition, more than 60% of them say they’re both equally responsible for child-rearing and family activities.
When asked if being a parent has made it harder for them to advance in their careers, a majority say no, it hasn’t. 1 out of 10 even said that being a parent has helped with their career.
It’s interesting to note that mothers are more likely to claim that they do more household work than the dads. Dads, on the other hand, are more likely to say that both parents share the household work equally.
Majority also say that both working mom and working dad are equally focused on their career. Sadly, the survey also found that working mothers are paid less than working fathers.
Quite obviously, the difficult part about being a working parent is having to juggle between family and work. 56% of working moms and dads say that finding a work-life balance is difficult, with 15% saying it’s very difficult and 42% saying it’s somewhat difficult. Mothers are only slightly more likely than fathers to say that striking the balance is hard.
Here’s another interesting tidbit from the research: 4 out of 10 working mothers from the survey said that they always feel like they’re rushing.
The main advantage of being a working mother is the ability to provide more for one’s family. However, there are advantages for being a stay-at-home mom too. “Being a stay-at-home mom gives an opportunity for the mother to really look after the daily needs of her children,” says Maria Jennifer B. Tordecilla, assistant professor at the Department of Family Life and Child Development at the College of Home Economics, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.
She shares this tip for stay-at-home moms who want to avoid a burnout: make sure to allot some quality me-time for yourself.
Source: Nov. 4, 2015. "Raising Kids and Running a Household: How Working Parents Share the Load". pewsocialtrends.org