Juggling Work and Family: An Introduction

Most parents have two full-time jobs: the one they do for their employer, and raising their children. Maintaining a balance between your work and home lives can be difficult. In fact, it can be one of the most difficult parts of parenting, and each parent needs to find the balance that works for his or her unique situation. By using research-based strategies and learning from the experience of others, you can learn to find the balance that works for your life.

Did You Know?

  • For every additional hour worked over 40, the odds that a parent will express concern about the effect of long hours on his or her family and personal lives increases by 7 percent.1
  • In families where parents faced barriers to helping their children with homework (such as long work hours and inflexible schedules), 66 percent had children who were experiencing academic or behavioral difficulties at school.2
  • In the USA, 25 percent of men and 10 percent of women work over 48 hours every week.3

Even if you work more than 40 hours every week, it's still possible to create a balance between work and your family. It'll take some thought, and a lot of prioritization, and it may be frustrating sometimes. But it's been done before, and if you're patient, you'll find a way to satisfy your employer, be an effective employee, and juggle your work and family responsibilities to keep everyone--including yourself--happy.

1. Amy Wharton and Mary Blair-Loy, “Long Work Hours and Family Life: A Cross-National Study of Employees’ Concerns,” Journal of Family Issues 27 (2006): 415-436.

2. Jody Heymann, Forgotten Families: Ending the Growing Crisis Confronting Children and Working Parents in the Global Economy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006).

3 J. Kodz, S. Davis, C. Lain, E. Sheppard, J. Rick, M. Strebler, P. Bates, J. Cummings, N. Meager, C. Anxo, S. Gineste, and R. Trinczek, “Working Long Hours in the UK: A Review of the Research Literature, Analysis of Survey Data and Cross-National Organizational Case Studies: Executive Summary,” Employment Relations Research Series 16 (London: Department of Trade & Industry, 2003).