Saturday, August 17, 2019

Balancing Family and Work Life

Balancing Family and Work Life Paul Cody SOC 402: Contemporary Social Problems & the Workplace Prof. Paula Zobisch August 2, 2012 ? Balancing work life and family life is important. Such a simple statement that is, as the cliche goes, easier said than done. In the 50’s and 60’s most families were of the traditional nature, in that there was a husband, wife and kids. The women may or may not have worked, and if they did it was until the first child was born (Hertz, 2001, p. 23).The mothers would leave their jobs for an extended period of time to care for the child or children and in quite a few cases the mother wouldn’t return to the workforce. I think one of the main reasons this was possible is women didn’t make nearly as much a men so the impact on the finances was not that hard to overcome. I feel another reason was that women weren’t as career driven as women of today. Women of that time were, generally speaking, more concerned with raising chil dren and taking care of the home.Now, in the twenty-first century, the family structure is different. There are still the traditional households of male breadwinner/female homemaker, but now we see more and more of duel-earner families, and single parent families. The process of integrating the demands of our families and our jobs remains a source of stress and continual accommodation for many of us (Fredriksen-Goldsen & Scharlach, 2000, p. 248). The economic downturn added additional stress on families, as many went through and are still going through the loss of employment.In duel-earner families the loss of employment by the father and/or mother has put additional stress on the family structure. The effects of loss of income can be felt in different areas of the family. Depending on the length of the job loss families may be unable to afford daycare, gas in their vehicle(s), or even the vehicles themselves. Many families have suffered losses, from their cars to their homes. When the parents do find employment the balance of work and family is affected due to the parents needing to work longer hours or multiple jobs to recover from the previous unemployment.Men and women today are asking how they can find the time and energy to fulfill their various commitments to work, family, and other people and groups, and how to achieve satisfaction and success in all the different facets of their lives. (Work and Family – Allies or Enemies? , para. 4, p. 3). This quandary pertaining to work and family affects the pursuit of careers and the pursuit of a fulfilling family life. Balancing family and work life is a major challenge in my household. My wife and I both work full time jobs that require more than 40 hours a week.We have four children, three of whom are very active in different groups as well as church, and a 17 month old. It would be nice if my wife could work part time or not at all but at this stage in my career I’m not in a position to support the family by myself. We have the traditional family model and I feel that we are in a better situation than if we were single parents. We are able to share household duties, parenting duties, transportation duties (it is an issue with four children who all have to be in different places at different times), and financial duties.Family friendly employers are becoming more and more prominent in the workforce. Many companies have created time off policies, flexible schedules, and have even provided child care facilities right at the job site. Companies must also adhere to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which became law in 1993. This gives some protection to workers who need to take time off to care for themselves or immediate family members. Maternity and Paternity leave are also provided by employers for new mothers and fathers. I feel that a father’s role in the care of an infant is very important.Not only is this an important time for bonding with a newborn but also bonding again with the wife/mother. It’s very balancing to have a father take some of the load off of the mother and also develop an early relationship with a newborn. â€Å"I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather my sparks burn out in a blaze than be stifled in dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in a magnificent glow than asleep and permanent as a planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days rying to prolong them. I shall use my time† – Jack London (Clawson, 2009, p. 3). Being able to balance work and home life is essential to living life to the fullest. Employment at a company that is not flexible in regards to family time and family needs puts strain and stress on all family members. The parents may feel that they aren’t spending enough time as a family and the children may feel neglected. Many men face having to trade off career and personal values while they search for way s to make dual-earner families work (Friedman & Greenhaus, 2000, p. ). Teleworking is a new way to balance work and family life. Many parents are finding that teleworking offers the possibility of being close to their family and making money. Some of the benefits are increased time and work-location flexibility, more control over the pace and schedules of work, the possibility of adjusting work in response to childcare or eldercare needs, and decreased time in commuting which provides more time for the family (Cullen, 2203, p. 12).Social partners and governments have invested many resources in highlighting both the business and social benefits accruing from conscious attempts to enable individuals to balance their work and family/private lives (Cullen & Norbert, 2003, p. 11-12). There have been many changes in policies and standards with companies that have benefits for families. Some of the changes are childcare allowances, enhanced maternity leave, unpaid leave during school holid ays, and guaranteed Christmas leave for employees with families.The importance of balancing work life and family life is increasingly important today. Certain aspects of work and family life help affect integration between the two domains and make them mutually enriching (Friedman & Greenhaus, 2000, p. 5). Being able to balance work life and home life is important to someone if their family is important to them. ? References Clawson, J. 2009. Balancing Your Life: Executive Lessons for Work, Family and Self. Retrieved from Cullen, K. , Norbert, L. 2003. Work and Family in the eWork Era. Retrieved from

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