I used to think that the typical family consisted of the male working a full time career with the women raising the child and/or children at home, the ‘nuclear family’ (Edholm, 1982) & (Zimmerman & Frampton as cited in Van Krieken et al, 2000, p.72); However over time I have viewed my family structure and family life differently. In my late teenager years, I developed a good work related attitude and my behaviour in employment was of a high professional standard, thus steamed from upbringing and influence of parents. I thought career, marriage and children in that order would provide the feeling of satisfaction and I would be at the child rearing stage successful in employmentable to provide financial security and juggle work and family life. The economic downturn over the last couple of years has affected my family and work prospects. Today I face many challenges combining family and paid work responsibilities and have faced financial and relationship difficulties. This paper draws on a range of sources to reflect my views both before on happy families and a “breadwinner” and now after the economic downturn on the stress of family, work and striving for financial security. I never thought about the negative impacts family life and the impacts financially that cause ‘health problems such as stress and depression’ (Everly & Lating, 2002). Ann Oakley (1982) said ‘conventional families are nuclear families composed of legally married couples, voluntarily choosing the parenthood of one or more (but not too many children) (as cited in Van Krieken et al, 2000, p353). I was born into a ‘nuclear family’ and to this day my mother and father are still happily married. As it is suggested in Van Krieken et al, (2000) ‘by the end of the 19th century, family life among white Australians was becoming more clearly organised around the model of men as breadwinners, women as homemakers and children as non-working dependant engaged in full time students’ (p 342). With my attitude...
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