Work Intrusions on Home Life Leave Women Feeling Guilty: Study
Work-life balance: the Utopic philosophy that one can indeed have it all. And most of us - especially women - would like to believe that this is indeed the case.
Unfortunately, a recent study WordsInLink. has put this fantasy in question, revealing that the invasion of work into one's home life has a more adverse effect on women than it does on men.
Specifically, a recent study by the University of Toronto revealed that men were significantly less stressed by the intrusion of frequent work-related contact, e.g. phone calls, text messages or emails, than women were. Not surprisingly, one of the study's co-authors speculates that this difference in feelings between men and women may be the result of lingering gender roles.
As many women will attest, the goal of balancing family life while accomplishing the dictates of one's career is an ongoing struggle. Given the realities that recent technology has afforded us, e.g. 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week access to email, work servers and customers/clients, it's no wonder that women are feeling stressed...and guilty. Many women try their hardest to do it all and have it all. The sad reality is, unfortunately, that something's gotta give. Often, it's the amount of time that one can spend with one's family - uninterrupted. We women want to do it all, be all things to all people. As this is clearly a difficult task, guilt sets in.
As the working parent of four children, three of whom are under eight with two being twin toddler boys, I can certainly relate to the pressure of trying to maintain a semblance of calm in an otherwise chaotic home life. The sheer magnitude of responsibilities inherent in parenting are magnified when workplace commitments are thrown into the mix. In other words, things often don't get done as well as they should at home, hence, the guilt.
Solutions: are there any? Perhaps a return to bygone days pre-Internet, pre-cell phones, pre-voice mail and the like would ease the burden on many of us who try to do and have it all. As this is unlikely to occur anytime soon, the status quo will remain.
Image courtesy of CBC.ca