Probably no bigger divide exists among women as the one between mothers who work full-time and stay-at-home moms. There is no right answer to this personal and often difficult decision. To decrease any conflict between work and family, each woman should try to make the choice that fulfills her hopes and dreams for herself and for her family, according to the Dr. Phil website.
Great American Conflict
The conflict between work and family is greater in the United States than in any other developed country, according to the Center for American Progress. The reason is that Americans work longer hours than workers in most other countries. When the time demands of one role interfere with the other, there is conflict.
Conflict can occur in the family when work interferes with your family life. Conflict in the job can occur when the family interferes with your work life. If you have a young child at home, for example, and you have a job with inflexible hours or one that requires you to travel, you will experience conflict. Often, the conflict will cause stress in your life, according to Jeffrey H. Greenhaus, professor at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business.
Know Your Values
Although you cannot always choose between work and family, Greenhaus conducted a laboratory experiment where people could choose between the two. The results showed that when there was strong pressure on one side and weak pressure on the other, the subjects would choose the side with the stronger pressure. But when the pressure was equal, the subjects would select whichever was more important to them. For example, if a person places more value and importance on work than on family, she will allow her work to interfere with her family life.
Quality of Life
Greenhaus and his colleagues also studied how the work-family balance contributes to the quality of life. They found that people who are more engaged in their family than in their work have a greater quality of life. The reason is that people who invest more time or psychological involvement in their work, have more family conflict and stress, which reduces their quality of life.
How to Reduce Conflict
To reduce your work-family conflict as best you can, you should clarify what is important in your life, according to Greenhaus. It is critical to know yourself so that you can manage the relationship between work and family, allocating your time the best way possible. It also helps reduce work-family conflict if your family supports you in all of your roles. Husbands who help with the children can ease the work-family conflict as well.
- mom image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com