The Guilt of the Working Parent; mother or father, appears to effect all…

As Nicole Madigan points out in her recent BRW article “The Guilt of the Working Father”:

So topical have the challenges of balancing business and motherhood become, the media is abuzz with catchphrases for those striving to achieve it. Terms such as “mumpreneur”, “WAHM (work at home mum)” and “mummy millionaires” are now common euphemisms for women who seem to be getting the balance right – or are at least trying to.

But when it comes to men building businesses and raising a family, this issue is rarely given a second thought. In fact, unlike their female counterparts, the very existence of children in the lives of male entrepreneurs and executives is seldom discussed.

But contrary to common belief, trying to perfect the balancing act – and the associated stresses – isn’t exclusive to mothers. Many fathers experience intense guilt over time spent away from their children.

Managing that guilt and finding ways to incorporate active parenting into their lives often proves difficult for entrepreneurs, many of whom have put their hearts and souls into building their businesses, particularly those started before children came along.

Combined with Bernard Salt’s latest offering, based on Census 2006 and 2011 data,  “It’s no surprise, paid work outside the home dominated by Males”:

Generally, Australian women are much more likely than men too work up to 34 hours per week.

Men, on the other hand, are much more likely than women to work 35 hours or more per week.

And indeed the more hours worked, the more the worker is likely to be male.

…despite popular concern that “we are all working harder than ever”, the census data shows that this is simply not the case. In fact the reverse is true: at the peak of the boom in 2006 a greater proportion of the workforce was working long hours.

we enjoy espousing the view that never before has anyone worked harder than we are working today. This is simply not true.

while it’s true that women do twice the domestic housework of men, the fact is that men put in many more hours than women outside the home.

So, even though we say we want life to change, and do more of the guilt-free activities, seems we are not enabling ourselves to do so with the arrangements we currently work within…

and who’s the only person that can change that?


Part-time work worst for mums…

Part-time work worst for mums…


Stephen Lunn reports: WOMEN who return to work part-time after having children have more difficulty juggling career and family than mothers in full-time jobs.

“It is a double whammy for part-time working women – their jobs aren’t the best career option and more is expected of them on the home front,” said Barbara Pocock, head of the Centre for Work + Life at the University of South Australia.

Professor Pocock conducted in March the first national survey of work-life outcomes, called Work, Life and Time, polling 1435 male and female Australians.

The results, to be released yesterday, “confirm that long work hours have a negative effect both on the individual in terms of health and in the broader context of friendships and community involvement”.

No surprise in any of this really. Entrepreneurial Mothers have known for a long time that “part-time” does not address the issues that it is sort out to do. Which is why many of us set up the way we want to work, and usually that means doing our own thing. Whilst it may add more pressure initially, that pressure can still be controlled as it is you that is driving it… unless of course you have an “overnight success” and control is lost, but that doesn’t really happen; does it?

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