One of the major sources of tension or stress for working parents is the conflict they experience between family life and work life. This paper discusses the balance that people desire enjoying between career and family life. It will, among other things explain whether or not the US government should require companies to provide paid maternity leave. Many contemporary American families experience difficulties balancing life between family and work. In most cases, the decisions of most women to work away from their homes are influenced by three essential factors: children, contributions received from the salaries of their husbands, and marital status.
According to Lewis (2010), a woman may choose to work far from home during her pre-marital stage; but the moment she finds a husband who earns sufficient income, she prefers to stay at home and attend to children. This challenge of family and work balance continues affecting most women today despite workplace attitude towards them having changed after the Second World War. Since then, women have continuously gained recognition that their competence at work can enable them contribute financial assistance to their families, and reduce the pressure that men experience for being the sole providers.
Considering the economic dynamics of the modern age, many mothers have made decisions to join the workforce; in fact, women constitute more than half the American workforce. Despite there being differences in family situations, the concerns regarding balancing between work and family entail energy, time and relationships (Drago, 2007). This challenge is a source of stress to both women and men either in single-parent or dual-earner families. The balance that working couples or parents seek is the comfort that can make them realize minimal or no conflict between work and family. This is because of the connection that exists between work and family.
Work is essential because it generates the income that takes care of the family, and when the family is comfortable, one’s productivity at work is likely to improve (Lewis, 2010). Most people in workforce prefer attaining this balance by having job assignments that can help them achieve their family goals. They, also, prefer family activities that enable them attain success in their jobs. The mindset of corporate America is not conducive enough for the required work and family arrangement. This is because corporate jobs mostly demand a predetermined work schedule of either 9am to 5 pm or 8 am to 4:30 pm. In some cases it may demand working up to very late. This interferes with the schedule of parents who have young children in baby care facilities or at home. Besides, attending to other needs of children such as scheduling medical appointments for them may be a challenge to the working parents.
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