Working mothers and fathers have a special set of challenges and pressures that others without children don’t. I feel this is especially true with younger, preschool aged children. Employers need to be aware, encourage and recognize working mothers and fathers for their courageous efforts in providing both stability for their company and their families, while balancing within a perpetual state of overtime. This is the statement of the problem and situation for today’s busy moms and dads. Let’s cover the impacts, drivers and potential solutions.
“Working mothers and fathers have a special set of challenges
and pressures that others without children don’t.”
Getting There: The Job Before the Job
Before the workday even begins, and I personally know too well, dads and moms have already been putting in between two and three hours of work at home preparing to be work. You may be all too familiar with this scene: The dishes are a dirty avalanche in your sink. The baby bottles needed for daycare are hidden under the rubble. Breakfast is a waffle. Coffee is a godsend to get you to the next and 30th thing on your morning to do list and you haven’t even brushed your own teeth yet! Sound too familiar? We’ll I’m happy to say, my husband and I are successfully rescuing ourselves from the earthquake aftermath of this weekly, re-occurring routine.
After getting talking honestly about this messy situation, we’ve made great improvements in the quality of our morning life and for our children’s as well.
Finding Happy Balances
Partners can reduce this time and eliminate much of this pre-workday effort by balancing the load of work. When parents talk about and arrive at setting clear agreements and put them on a verbal or written schedule, they less impact will be placed on just one parent or the other. Having no schedule increases stress levels in the household, which can negatively affect children’s behavior. When parents agree on schedule it sets a predictable pattern for the day long before the stress of the regular workday begins.
Georg Simmel in his “Metropolis and Mental Life” examined stimulus overload and posits stress can be avoided when roles can be standardized and predictable. The more your children can rely on a predictable schedule in the mornings when you are getting ready to leave for work, daycare and/or school, and the evening return home, the safer and happier your children will feel and be. Oh, and so will you be too.