New research from an online careers site highlights the struggle facing full-time parents in today’s economy, as 33 per cent of working parents state they have been asked to work less by at least one of their children. In addition, 42 per cent of men and 35 per cent of women feel their work has negatively affected their relationship with their children.
The national survey, which was conducted online on behalf of CareerBuilder UK, included 200 working mothers and 180 working fathers between March and April 2015 who have children that are 18 years old and younger and are living at home with them.
Creating a Better Work/Life Balance
When asked how many hours they get to spend with their children, 38 per cent of respondents said it was less than two hours per day. And for some, a high salary doesn’t compare to the price of quality time with family. Almost half of working mums (47 per cent) and 39 per cent of working dads said they would be willing to take a pay cut to spend more time with their children.
Leaving the Workforce
Men and women are equally as likely to take leave from the workforce should the right circumstances present themselves. Forty-seven percent of both mums and dads said they were likely to leave their job if their spouse or significant other made enough money for the family to live on comfortably.
Can Working Mums and Dads Have It All?
When it comes to “having it all” male workers tend to show more optimism than female workers. Sixty-five per cent of male workers believe they can achieve success in both their career and parenthood, compared with 58 per cent of female workers.
“Traditionally, men have been expected to be the breadwinners for their households, but the dynamic is shifting. While 52 per cent of working dads remain their family’s sole financial provider, now 37 per cent of working mums provide the only salary for their household,” said Scott Helmes, Managing Director at CareerBuilder UK. “While the vast majority believe it’s possible to ‘have it all’ in terms of career and children, maintaining a healthy balance between the two can still be a struggle.”
Helmes offers the following tips for working parents to create a better work/life balance:
- Don’t be a slave to the traditional 9-to-5: Get more flexibility in your schedule with an alternative work arrangement. Ask your manager about options like flexible working or working from home
- Learn to say no: You can’t be everything to everyone all the time. Know what your priorities are and don’t be afraid to say no to things that will interfere with those priorities
- Make time for yourself: You’re no good to anyone if you’re not taking care of yourself. Schedule time each day dedicated to relaxing and recharging