Balancing Work and Family: Be a Working Mother or a Housewife?

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Balancing Work and Family: be a working mother or a housewife Nowadays, as it becomes more popular and acceptable for women to cease being a full time housewife and to become a full time employee instead, many raise the question “should women be housewives or working mothers?” In general, most of women would want to be a good mother and employee, and hoping they can have enough time to make their full commitment as both a wife and a mother. However, due to limited time, resource and energy, that is nearly impossible and women face the decision to choose between one and another. Taking all factors, such as trade-offs of a housewife versus working mother, into consideration, in my opinion, I believe the benefits of working mother outweigh those of housewives and women should return to the workforce not only because of their need to support families but also because of the increasing demand of women in many work fields, their personal reasons such as having financial freedom and desire to gain more power in their family. First and foremost, many women face a difficult decision of whether or not they should be a working mother instead of a housewife. This decision is not made easily since there are various factors that can influence their decisions. According to the article “Working and non-working mothers: comparative study”, “there is 200 questionnaire survey send out, and got the returned shown 50.5% of 101. The rates of 78% were working mothers and 22% were non-working mothers. The working mother had better mental health than the non-working mothers, but had more stress of women was not having enough time to take care of their family. For the non-working mothers, their social life was too lack.” (Rout et al, 264-275). As illustrated above, clearly women are in the tug-of-war of choosing what they want to become. Such pressure to decide intensifies when women are fully aware of the time they need to devote to their family and work as well as the responsibilities that come along. In this situation, it is a challenge for them to not only make a decision but also to make a transition from one life to another. At that moment, women may ask themselves many questions that have the influence to define what they will become. Some questions trigger them to think about whether or not it is beneficial to go back to work while some others make them second-guess themselves about their abilities to take care of the family while working. In addition to debating with themselves regarding the issue, other outside forces play a significant role that influence women’s decision as well. There is abundance of newspaper and magazine articles that talk about mothers’ difficulties in managing home and career and that raises the question “how does women balance work and family?” According to a study by the Employment Foundations, “of men who worked part time, only 12 percent did so because of childcare and family-related issues. The same figure for women part-time workers was 45 percent” (Employment Foundation, 19). This indicates the weight women put on family over career. However, it is because such weight women put on family that makes the decision even harder. Even though it is already shown by the statistics that women place family over career, such decision comes at a price: the trade-off between family and other factors such as money, social life, power, etc. Since many factors are involved in the trade-off, it is difficult for women to decide what they want to become. Ultimately, most women choose to return to workforce as suggested by the statistics “In ages of working population of women in Korea: 67.5% are 25-29 years old, 53/1% are 30-35 years old, 59.6% are 36-39 years old and 65.6% are 40-45 years old” (Nation Statistical Office [NSO], 2007). We can see that as age increases, the percentage of women who return to the workforce also increase. This demonstrates that as tough as the decision of choosing between housewives and working...
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