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Mothers In The Workforce Essay

2011 words - 9 pages

In a society with the majority of mothers joining or returning to the workforce, there is a growing body of research documenting the demands placed on these women and what can be done to help their transition into this new role. According to the United States’ Department of Labor, in the year 2012, 70.5% of mothers with children under the age of 18 were a part of the workforce; of these women 73.7% were employed full-time, working over 35 hours a week, and 26.3% were employed part-time, working less than 35 hours a week (United States Department of Labor, 2012). Given this information, it is becoming more important to further research how this new role as an employee affects the role of parenting and what can be done to help this transition. The intent of this paper is to compare the experiences of a working mother to the current research on the topic of working mothers. Moreover, this paper addresses the demands placed on working mothers as well as the factors that ameliorate their transition into this new role.
To gain insight on the role of being a working mother I interviewed my mother, Jane Smith. Smith currently works forty, or more, hours a week as an office manager for a family business. Her job requires her to be at work from eight in the morning until five or six in the evening Monday through Friday. In addition to her role as an employee, she is currently married and is a mother of four daughters. These daughters are between the ages of thirteen and twenty-one; of these four daughters, three live at home with the family while the other is currently completing a study-abroad year in Germany. Smith has been a working mother for the past seven years, before which she worked as a stay-at-home parent. Her job requires her to work throughout the year, with the exception of holidays and two two-week vacations. This interview was conducted in Smith’s dining room seated around the family dining table on a Sunday morning. During this interview we discussed three aspects of her experience as a working mother: her personal experience as being a working mother, the demands she felt were placed on working mothers, and how she maintains the balance between her work and family roles. Overall, the purpose of this interview is to understand how Smith’s experience as a working mother is similar to and differs from the current research on the topic of mothers in the workforce.
When asked about what it is like to be a working mother, Jane Smith responded, “Being a working mother is like being employed at two full-time jobs” (Smith, 2014). Smith explained that she felt there is a pressure on working mothers to perform well in the workplace in addition to overseeing housework and supporting her children (Smith, 2014). As a result, she felt that it is easier for working mothers to let work and family life affect each other when compared to mothers who work as stay-at-home parents (Smith, 2014). When Smith was asked to explain what she meant, she gave the...

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