It’s all about expectations, experts sayWorking mothers who expect the need for trade-offs and understand the challenges tend to fare better than those who expect it to be relatively easy, according to researchers.
By: Pamela Knudson, Grand Forks Herald
Working mothers who expect the need for trade-offs and understand the challenges tend to fare better than those who expect it to be relatively easy, according to researchers.
“Employed women who expected that work/life balance was going to be hard are probably more likely to accept that they can’t have it all,” said Katrina Leupp, a University of Washington sociology Ph.D. student who also teaches at the university.
Leupp, who is studying survey responses from 1,600 women — first interviewed in their late 20s and then again as 40-year-old mothers — said women who expect some challenges are more likely to be comfortable making sacrifices, such as cutting back on work hours and getting husbands to help more.
Those who expected to be “super mom” are more likely to face depression, she said.
But mothers are more likely to feel guilty when work spills into home life. A 2011 study n the Journal of Health and Social Behavioral found women, particularly those with young children, were far more likely than working fathers to be distressed by a smart-phone buzzing during nonworking hours at home.
Leupp believes the conversation over work/life balance circles like a merry-go-round because it’s still an ongoing challenge and, in some cases, an ongoing struggle.
“We have to figure this out,” said Leupp. “Mothers’ employment rates have been high now for several decades. Instead of asking whether it should work, it’s time to figure out how to make it work.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article. Call Knudson at (701) 780-1107; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1107; or send e-mail to email@example.com.