Are working moms falling apart?

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Are working moms falling apart?
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Wed, 09-18-2013 - 2:31pm

Today.com talked to the author of a new book about how working moms are on the brink of falling apart.  After her third child was born, the author wasn't able to deal with all the stress of both home and work, and ended up having a breakdown.  This is why she thinks working moms are maxed out: 

We’ve been going through this huge change over the last few decades of women entering the workforce, but none of our institutions, including the workplace, have kept up with that change.

Most jobs are still made for people who have an adult at home who can take care of the kids and do the grocery shopping and fill out the school forms and attend the parent-teacher conferences in the middle of the day. That’s not how we’re living anymore.

So I think that women are basically on the brink of this dysfunction in society where we are expecting them to be able to do things that we don’t have time to do anymore. And we end up pushing ourselves, trying to make it work and end up making ourselves sick.

Read more: http://www.today.com/moms/brink-many-working-moms-falling-apart-author-says-4B11184706

If you are a working mom, do you feel that you are handling the stress well?  Do you agree with her that working and raising kids in America "sucks", or is this a result of her trying to be supermom?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Tue, 10-01-2013 - 8:26am

jamblessedthree wrote:
<p>Thardy didn't say most people don't work.  If the job force was full of incompetent employees that waste time then many work environments would suffer, Of course, I don't think this small collection speaks for a whole either.  SAH isn't the norm like it was when my mother stayed at home and while that's all fine and good there is a breaking point these days from people that think they can do it all/have it all.  That's what I take away from this article anyway.  What a stretch to compare the United States to a third world country, Really? </p><p> </p>

Given that you are a working mother and part of this population on the board, your post speaks volumes about woh and is quite the insight.

PumpkinAngel

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Mon, 09-30-2013 - 8:33am

Thardy didn't say most people don't work.  If the job force was full of incompetent employees that waste time then many work environments would suffer, Of course, I don't think this small collection speaks for a whole either.  SAH isn't the norm like it was when my mother stayed at home and while that's all fine and good there is a breaking point these days from people that think they can do it all/have it all.  That's what I take away from this article anyway.  What a stretch to compare the United States to a third world country, Really? 

 

 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Thu, 09-19-2013 - 2:16pm

<<I really don't understand where you get the impression that most people don't work.>>

That's not what I said at all.  Most adults have jobs.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 09-19-2013 - 1:35pm

I really don't understand where you get the impression that most people don't work.  Of course there are lazy and/or incompetent people in every occupation, but if that was the majority our whole country would be falling apart (and don't give me a political discussion here).  I'm looking at practical things--if you don't think things work here, go to a third world country.  We get mail delivered every day, we have multiple options of consumer goods, we have schools, excellent medical care--why do you think people in other countries want to come here?  Most people I know do work a full day in an office with no breaks and less than an hour for lunch.  If you look at actual facts, as opposed to opinions, most European countries do give parents more time off when children are born--with pay.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 09-19-2013 - 1:20pm

I do agree that it's difficult to be a working mother--esp. when you are a single mother & really don't have anyone else to do a lot of the things at home.  I was divorced w/ kids ages 7 & 1.  I'm a lawyer--I also was not working that much after my 2nd child was born--not so much by choice, but I had lost a full time job so was trying to piece things together and trying to work for myself but also had a part time job working for someone else.  So when I involuntarily got divorced and needed more money, I was looking for work--it's really hard to find a job for a lawyer that's "only" 40 hrs a week.  So I took the job that I still have 17 yrs later--at first I worked here 2 days a week and also worked for myself but it got too difficult to try to juggle it so I work here almost full time.  Well it's been great as far as having some flexibility & not having to work late or on weekends--but the pay sucks and there are no benefits.  My finances have really suffered.  So now that my kids are grown and I could work longer hours, the fact that I have been in this job is also hurting me in trying to find a better job because it's not "impressive."  

My cousin, who was a young widow w/ a 3 yr old, works as an auditor for a very large bank--she was lucky that she was able to work 4 days a week.  She also has grandparents around to help w/ vacations, days off, etc.--which I never had.  Another cousin & her DH were both in pretty high powered high paying jobs so they were able to afford a live in nanny.  But finally when the DH's company was bought out & he made a lot of money, he actually stayed home w/ the kids for a while and then took a much less stressful job--she's the one who works a lot.

I agree that it's impossible to have a job that requires long hours and be a parent w/ all the expectations that we are supposed to do everything.  My kids were limited to basically doing one activity or in high school they could join clubs after school if they could still take the "late bus" home.  When my DD joined the track team & they had practice basically every day after school that ended too late for the bus--well how do they expect kids to get home if they are too young to drive?  That was a nightmare but I ended up in a car pool.  But you just have to cut corners.  Our schools have most open house/assemblies, etc. at 6:30 pm--parent teacher confs. are also scheduled at night.  But in the elementary school they did have things like concerts during the day.  

I think you just have to cut corners--either you have to get a job that isn't as demanding or if you have the demanding job (and hopefully you have the big salary to go with it), you have to hire people to do things and have a nanny.  You shouldn't be setting yourself up for a nervous breakdown because you have to realize there is only so much that one person can do.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Thu, 09-19-2013 - 10:38am

jamblessedthree wrote:
Debunks the whole you can have it all theory, don'cha think. Yes, I agree wholeheartly with what this author has to say too.

I think it depends on what one considers "all".  But you're a mother who is working and going to school, you feel the way the author does in the op?  

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Thu, 09-19-2013 - 10:37am

thardy2001 wrote:
<p><blockquote class="quote-msg quote-nest-1 odd"><div class="quote-author"><em class="placeholder">bordwithyou</em> wrote:</div>It's true. We have longer work days and fewer vacation hours than other developed countries. The women who post on this board are not necessarily typical in terms of the degree of control over our work hours and general autonomy we have. We're a fairly privileged lot for the mist part, both the WOHMs and the SAHMs among us.</blockquote></p><p>Where you see privilege, I see much struggling.  I also don't see how atypical "we" all are.  Versus flipping burgers at McDonalds, "we" have computer access throughout the workday and I don't see that making <em>anyone</em> more productive at all.  Quite the contrary.  People are still working about 9 to 5, give or take hours each day playing on iVillage, FB, online dating sites.  I don't believe most workers today throughout the world understand how to discipline themselves.  </p>

Interesting...I don't see the struggles that you see and my workday is not M-F, 9-5 either.   I'm just not seeing any type of basis here for your comments, they seem to be based on something else.

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Thu, 09-19-2013 - 10:34am

thardy2001 wrote:
<p>I have to laugh when any worker ~ single or a mom ~ claims the U.S is working longer hours than ever before or than other countries.  What a joke.  I don't think most workers even know what it's like to work hard.  No breaks, a short lunch "hour," not leaving until the best job is done. And "burnout?"  99% of workers in the US have no idea what that means.  </p><p>This blogger's solution ~ give workers more autonomy.  More than what?  When I hear anyone maintains 850 FB friends during the work day, and I see how iVillage comes to a halt at close of business Friday nights only to resume Monday, a.m., and I hear of workers visiting the gym during their lunch "hour,"  I have to ask how much more autonomy does this blogger want?</p><p>The question is not whether working and raising kids sucks.  It's, are you doing your job, or did you stop when you had kids?</p>

Why do you feel it's either/or type of situation?  

PumpkinAngel

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Thu, 09-19-2013 - 10:28am

I think it depends on the family, not specifically that all working women are falling apart.  I think it depends on what we want out of life.

This part is key to me:  Q. What should employers do?

One of the simplest, but hardest things employers can do is give their employees more autonomy. Empower their employees, whether they have kids or not, to do their work the way that they best do their work

PumpkinAngel

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Thu, 09-19-2013 - 8:35am
Both are different perspectives, and she doesn't slam Sandberg she just taps into something different than the equal opportunities for women Sandberg wrote about.

 

 

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