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Working parents often struggle to balance family and work

There's a common saying related to the idea that you can't have it all. This saying of often used when discussing working mothers and the many challenges and difficulties they face when attempting to excel at both motherhood and their careers. According to the Pew Research Center, working mothers are much more likely to experience difficulties when attempting to balance parenting and working outside the home with 51 percent admitting that "being a working parent has made it more difficult for them to advance in their career, as opposed to just 16 percent of working dads admitting the same.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, as of 2013, 57 percent of U.S. women age 16 and older worked outside the home. This is a significant increase since 1960 when an estimated 38 percent of U.S. women worked outside the home. While societal views about gender roles have shifted to allow increased opportunities for women with regard to education and employment equality, many working moms continue to struggle to find balance in their lives.

In cases where both parents work outside the home, parents must work together to find a workable balance. In addition to experiencing more difficulties with career advancement, the Pew Research Center also found that working mothers "are much more likely than men to experience family-related career interruptions."

When it comes to caring for a newborn or taking time off of work to tend to a sick child, working moms shoulder the majority of responsibility. In order to attend to these types of family matters, 42 percent of working moms report to being forced to reduce work hours while 27 percent report quitting a job. Additionally 13 percent say they’ve turning down a promotion due of family obligations.

For working parents, parental and family obligations can make working outside the home and advancing one's career difficult. To prevent quarrels and resentment, working parents would be wise to ensure they discuss childcare options and responsibilities and agree upon an arrangement that works for their family and specific situation.

Source: Pew Research Center, "Childlessness Falls, Family Size Grows Among Highly Educated Women," Gretchen Livingston, May 7, 2015

Pew Research Center, "10 Findings about Women in the Workplace," Dec. 11, 2013

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