I would like to thank all of you whom have participated in discussions after my articles. Today I give a special thanks to Captain Lifecruiser who took the time to set herself in my latest theme and inspired today’s article.
Captain Lifecruiser writes:” Now it’s not a choice any more, it’s a MUST to work and to NOT care for your kids to get more money to the household. That’s a bad thing, because those kids needs their parents and not other people, to give them their mothering and education for life. The parents is stuck with our high living standards expectations.”
What she was talking about in much of her comment is role conflict, especially for women – but also for men in modern society. Parents today are overcommitted and often find that it is difficult or impossible to satisfactorily combine work and family.
The main source of role conflict for women is the idea of “having it all.” Trying to meet the demands of being a good wife and mother, and at the same time successful in meeting the increasing demands of a workplace with fewer and fewer limits in time and space. Many modern workplaces expect their employees to be available all hours of the day and willing to do an initiative in the evenings from home as well. This applies especially to private industry.
This is not news to any of you reading now, I suppose. When we first are in this situation how can we deal with it for the future?
Spouse participation at home – Young families today are finding new ways of combining care for their children and homes. While women have ventured long out into the typical “mans sphere” men now have changing roles on the home front.
Developing strategies for reducing time pressures – Primarily setting limits on the limitless workday. Not allowing themselves to be pressed in to longer hours, turning off their cell phone, and refusing to work on the PC from home in the evenings. Another strategy is to work less then full time, for example 80%. The downside of these strategies is that it can hinder the women in moving up within a field, and it clearly effects the amount she gets in pension in most European countries which base the amount of pension on individual earnings.
Family Friendly legislation – One good way to deal with the effects of the role – time conflict between the family and workplace is to organize for better laws which protect workers rights to a private life. A good example is the extended paid maternity (and paternity) leave of absence in the Scandinavian countries.
How are you dealing with role conflict in modern society? Do you have other role conflicts? What about care for the elderly for example. It would be especially interesting to hear from some of you guys out there. What are your conflicts?? Please share your reflections and experiences with us!