Posted by: levenstein14 | April 4, 2018

Women and a Balanced Life

We have recently been reading in class about many women who struggle to obtain a healthy work-life balance. Women either tend to focus too much on work and sacrifice family time, or focus on their families and leave their jobs. This idea that women can’t “have it all” is depressing. However, is this concept still a reality for most women? According to Sarah Robbins, most women do not struggle with having to choose between their careers and their families. “Nowadays nearly 27 percent of American women work flexible schedules, up from 11 percent in 1984, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.” Also, over 60 percent of women say that their jobs hardly ever affect their home life.

This article also mentions that women may be reporting a more balanced life simply because they are so used to living an unbalanced life. Women who put more time into their careers tend to be less happy than women who focus more on their personal lives. Many of these women place their identities in their positions and/or jobs. Are we, as a society, so used to living unhappy lives that we don’t even think anything is wrong?

Personally, I have not noticed women struggling to obtain a healthy work/home balance. However, I am typically around engineers with few females. My mom works at Chick Fil A as a marketing assistant and she has plenty of time at home. Have any of you noticed that women in particular are faced with having to choose between home or work? Do you actually believe that society is getting better with putting less pressure on women to work all the time? Or do you think women are simply used to it now?

I’m interested to hear your opinions!

https://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/time-management/work-life-balance

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Responses

  1. To answer your question of whether this is actually still a reality for women, I would say it definitely is. You stated that 27% of women have flexible work schedules. That means that 73% of women do not get the luxury of working flexible hours. The vast majority of women are unable to work when they want to, which makes it difficult for them to be there for their families in times of sickness or even just day-to-day activities like driving their children to music lessons, practices and attending sports games.
    You also said that 60% of women claimed that their work does not get in the way of their personal life, but again, that means that it does affect about 40% of women. Almost half of the female population is still struggling to maintain a well-balanced life. Plus, there is always the chance that some of the women in that 60% did not want to admit how difficult it is for them to juggle their home life and family life. Women do not want to appear weak. They see other women accomplishing such feats, so they want people to think that they are too.
    I do agree that many women are adapting well to this lifestyle. This is the only reality that women have ever known, so they naturally get used to it over time. It becomes their normal, which leads them to get better at balancing every part of their life as time goes on. We are also starting to see the roles switch in some families. There are some stay-at-home dads out there taking care of the children while the mother is working. It is nice to see that things are starting to move in the right direction.

  2. Unfortunately, I do think most women do have to face the reality of not having it all. In last weeks readings, it was argued that in order for it all to be done- work life and family- a women needs complete flexibility and control of her schedule. At 27 percent, this number is still startling low. The numbers need to be a lot higher because families are very important to life. While 60 percent of women report that their jobs hardly ever affect their home life, I do not believe this number is correct. Women like to portray themselves as perfect and being able to handle it all with “effortless perfection.” While they may have a lot going on and a lot of things are affected, they deny it all to uphold society standards.

    Women are used to living an unbalanced life, so it has become the normal. They are expected to do more because everyone expects them to pick up all the random jobs. Women are given more tasks and they adjust their schedules to make new tasks normal, so it is always normal and manageable I think that non mothers put a lot of their identity in their work because it is their only commitment at the time, but the work environment of American culture makes them stuck on that track, and most women give up family ambitions. On the other hand, mother’s place all of their identities in their families, and they usually count their families as their main motivator in life.

  3. Despite what is reported in this article, I think that women really do struggle to balance their work and personal life. Having a career and having a family are two very demanding experiences. There is just simply not enough time in the day, nor do most women have the energy to devote what is necessary to perfectly balance the two. In addition to this, only 27% of women are fortunate enough to have flexible work schedules. Though this percentage is up since the late 60s, it is very low compared to what it needs to be in order to claim that women no longer struggle to find work-life balance.

    I also believe that although society still pressures women to balance everything going on in their lives, there seems to be more acceptance when it comes to how women choose to balance their two commitments. Shonda Rhimes talked about how she proudly has help from a nanny and how she refuses to homemake baked goods for her children’s school functions. Despite the demands placed on women, society seems to be making an effort to adjust the expectations associated with career-focused mothers/wives. Though the pressures are not completely non-existent, they seem to be adjusting to become more managable as time goes on.


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