January 23, 2018

Balancing Work and Family May Become Easier in the Future

Balancing Work and FamilyMany of our American families are faced with the fact that both parents have to work in order to cover household expenses.  In 2010, the Catalyst survey shows that 64.3% of families in the U.S. (14,345,000 families) had both parents in the work force.  While both parents are at work, their children must be cared for by an alternative source.  It’s always wonderful to have willing and able family members to help out, but too often the only alternative is center-based care, which consists of part and full-day preschools, child care centers, school and community based pre-kindergartens, and Head Start and Early Head Start centers.

For those of us who have had to use daycares, either full or part time, leaving our children to go to work is difficult.  Often we are torn between providing for them financially and being with them enough.

Even though many parents have no option except to work whatever hours are given to them by their employer, some people are fortunate enough to be able to create a flexible work schedule, or even not go to work at all if their spouse can handle all of the bills.  Sometimes this flexibility comes about by demanding change in our lives, which is never easy.  We’ll never know if we don’t at least ask our employer, or even look for another job, to be be able to be with our kids for a more reasonable amount of time and avoid high daycare expenses.

Ideally, if this were all worked out ahead of time, we wouldn’t be faced with these kind of worries, but the reality is we usually have children, and then grapple with how to balance work and home.

But there is good news for the future.  According to the University of Phoenix Telecommuting Trends and Stats, opportunities to work from home are on the rise.  Gartner Dataquest reported in 2007 that 25% of workers telecommuted in 2007 and for 2009 the had predicted that estimate to hit 27.5%.  It is now 2012 and this is good news for parents! The old rigid work schedules and long commutes may become a thing of the past.

The CEO of CareerBuilder.com reports that 31% of employers plan to provide more flexible work arrangements including telecommuting options (48%).  28% of employers will be hiring freelancers or contractors.  The advent of new technology has made this possible, and it looks very likely that this will only increase in the future.

So, all of us parents who have to travel to work each day to join the grind of the commuting workforce, it looks like we have more choices coming our way.  Let’s take advantage of our options, and move forward to a better future, so we can keep more of our hard-earned money by avoiding outsourced childcare, and spend more time with our families.


Forum on Child and Family Statistics: ChildStats.gov

Demographic background, America’s Children at a Glance

Bureau of Labor Statistics: United States Dept. of Labor Publications: Child Daycare Services

University of Phoenix: Telecommuting Trends and Stats

Victoria E./Jean Scheid

About the author: By

Kris is wife to Robert and mom to Gabriel, a wonderful little boy. She enjoys animals, especially horses, and likes to write about children, pets, and other things close to her heart!

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  1. I really agree in everything you said about leaving the children for us to be able work. It is really sad that we only spend little time with them everyday. But now I’m very happy when a friend of mine introduce to me the home base work. I am now working at home and at the same time personally taking care of my family. It is very difficult but proper time management is needed to accomplish everything.

  2. a great read for working parents… its hard to provide children with quality time specially in present times of recession… but parents need to manage this somehow… cause grooming of children is as important as earning for them ! =)

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