Life Balance for Today’s Mothers

Suzanne M. Bianchi conducted a study that revealed mother’s of today spend more hours focused on their children than mothers of 40 years ago.  The mother’s of today that were interviewed didn’t perceive things that way.  In fact these mothers felt that they didn’t have enough time with their children. I’d offer that these feelings occur because people have bought into the myth that you can have it all and do it all.  You need to remind yourself that you can’t do it all and build a lifestyle for yourself that is balanced between work, family, community and yourself.

A recently released University of Maryland study conducted by Suzanne M. Bianchi, Chairwoman of the Department of Sociology, today’s mothers spend more hours focused on their children than mothers of40 years ago did.

What is especially interesting about this is that mothers of today don’t perceive things that way: Approximately one-half of those interviewed in the study felt that they did not have enough time to spend with their children.Given 24 hours in each day, what has been sacrificed to achieve this increase in hours spent with children (10.2 hours per week in 1965 vs. 14.1 hours today)? Not surprisingly, women have cut back drastically on housework and their free time.

Click to enlarge.

Why do these feelings occur (that women don’t have enough time to spend with their children)? At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’d offer that, in part, people have bought into the myth that they can have it all and do it all. They can have the best job and be on the fastest path to the top, have endless time with their partner and children, live in the biggest house the banks will lend on, vacation like jet setters, be involved in their community, and pursue several personal interests all at the same time.

People believe what they’re being sold by “popular” culture: you can have whatever you want if you work long enough and hard enough and if you’re simply organized enough.

People are becoming overbooked and overwhelmed trying to do and have everything. They’re losing sight of what they’re trying to be.

What do we do about this? Simple:

  • We disavow ourselves of the notion that we can achieve everything.
  • We create a lifestyle for ourselves that is balanced between our work, family, community, and ourselves.
  • We choose the life that WE want, as opposed to the prescription for happiness that is being handed to us by someone else.

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