Important Trends. Women's participation in the labor force has been increasing over the last few decades. Only recently have mothers begun to seek employment as wellIn the USA, increase from 42 % of married mothers with preschool children in the work force in 1981 to 64 % in 1999. . Outdated Studies and Theories .
1. Working Mothers and their Children Do working mothers spend less time with their children? By Tamara Jacobi
2. Important Trends Women’s participation in the labor force has been increasing over the last few decades.
Only recently have mothers begun to seek employment as well
In the USA, increase from 42 % of married mothers with preschool children in the work force in 1981 to 64 % in 1999.
3. Outdated Studies and Theories A study from 1989 argues that changes in women’s participation in the workforce make it more difficult for parents to balance work and family. (Bianchi, 2000)
Some theories claim disappearing family relationships in modern lifestyles . . . little supporting evidence.
4. Today’s Reality Increased female employment outside the home has occurred with no reallocation of time away from the raising of their children!!!
Research shows that American children spent no less time with their mothers in 1999 than in 1981.
5. How has this happened? Lower fertility, smaller families (end of Demographic Transition Model in developed nations) Employed women ?? Fewer children
Fewer children means women need to devote fewer hours overall to raising children and have more time available for employment.
A time trade-off for women between raising more children and having a job outside the home.
6. The Behavior of Women Important Factors to Consider Women place a high value/priority on spending time with their children
Changes in women’s lifestyles and time management systems make balancing children and employment possible
Shift from agrarian lifestyles to urban lifestyles
Fewer hours doing housework
7. Women must make some compromises to balance employment with raising children. (ex. Fewer hours spent volunteering)
BUT research shouldn’t overestimate women’s time spent with children.
Women spend approximately 1.2 hours/day with their children, mothers rely largely on alternate caregivers
As they’ve increased their participation in the work force women have maintained a constant amount of time with their children
8. Other Important Factors Family Structure
Time devoted to children in two-parent families has actually increased, whereas time devoted to children by single mothers has not changed
The absence of a parent in the family comes at a cost to time spent with children
Changing family structure—rates of divorce increasing.
Mother’s employment influences fathers
In two parent families in which the mother is working there has been an increase in fathers’ attention to their children
9. Changing activities of children make it increasingly more difficult for mothers to spend time with their children (increased enrollment in preprimary school)
Women’s working schedules and types of employment
10. Some Areas of Uncertainty, A call for more research . . . Definitions of “quality” time between mothers and children
Direct attention—play or care vs. indirect attention (mothers cooking or doing chores in the presence of her children)
Changing definitions—cell phone era
Educated mothers may spend more time with their children
11. Conclusions Increased employment of mothers has not come at a cost to time spent with children.
Smaller families have allowed mothers to devote less time to raising children and more time in the work force.
Women place a high value on spending time with their children and will make the necessary sacrifices to maintain a certain amount of time with their children—no more, no less—regardless of whether or not they’re employed.