Working Women

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Working Women
Today, the term "family" is difficult to define. All families are unique, and they can range anywhere from single parent families to extended families. Most importantly though, it is in the family where the next generation is being built. Parents must provide security and support for their children, and they need to be prepared for the challenges of balancing work and family in today's society. In traditional families, there was a mother, a father and their resulting children. The father would most often be the earner of the family, and the mother would stay at home and take care of the children. Things have changed considerably in the twenty-first century. Now there are more dual-income families, single-parent families, and there are many more women in the labor force. This poses a great change to family life, and many women are working a "double day" with a combination of the paid and unpaid work that they do. They have their regular full time jobs where they earn an income, and then they have to come home to more work such as cooking, cleaning, child-care and grocery shopping. Like all systems and interactions, conflict arises between work and family issues. This issue causes conflict for every member of the family, and we need to discover ways to resolve this conflict. Today, both men and women must go to work to support their families, but it is usually the woman who has to come home and do household work, while her husband plays with the kids or watches television in the living room. This is definitely a concern that needs to be addressed, as men often do not see this unequally division of housework or view their share as unnecessary (Rhode 55). “Women continue to face obstacles at work and in the home, but the solutions to these problems can be found in creating more equal opportunities, not in confining women to domesticity” (Jacobs and Gerson 36). Women often feel stress and encounter difficulties trying to meet their responsibilities as family members and as employees. This affects their performance at work and at home. They are caught in the middle between having to work to support the family, and wanting to create a good environment for their family to grow in. Society tells these women that they are bad parents if they don't go to the school play and bad employees if they do go and take time off from work. “Few mothers feel they can live with the burden of guilt over splitting their time between their job and their children in the light of the continuing moral imperative to be a good (i.e, intensive) mother” (Lorber 40). Children are often raised by other people other than their own parents, such as nannies, teachers, other relatives or day care workers. Many children must learn to grow up a lot quicker than they would normally have to if their parents were always around which could be good in some cases, but not so good in others. Every member of the family must have a role, and know that role. Partners must discuss who will do the dishes that night, and who will take the children to baseball practice. Children must also help out with household chores, and take some responsibility for themselves. If all members of the family can come to a specific agreement, and implement a good plan to satisfy everyone, work and family can be managed. All that is needed are the right attitudes and resources. As Lorber states, “Rather than focusing on maternal employment as a social problem, we need to attend to the ways that workplaces and communities can better accommodate this fundamental transformation in family life” (37). There was not always an issue between family life and work. Typically, the only women who might work were young, single females with no other obligations. Married women would stay home with their children, do all the housework and make sure supper was on the table for their husbands when they came home from work. The predicament between work and family arose when women began...
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