There’s new research that suggests moms across the nation are drowning in stress. A new study highlights why American mothers are now more stressed than compared to past generations as many simply can’t keep up with the work and life balance.
Many American women have been in the workforce for many decades, but unfortunately, things are getting harder and more complicated for them than anything else. Sociologist Caitlyn Collins studied different working women from four wealthy countries. She posted her findings in her research, Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving.
What Collins found out is that American women have it the worst. That’s because of the lack of benefits and services that they must deal with, combined with the demands of their jobs along with overtime hours makes it hard for moms to “do it all.”
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Collins said, “Across the countries where I conducted interviews, one desire remained constant among mothers. Women wanted to feel that they were able to combine paid employment and child-rearing in a way that seemed equitable and didn’t disadvantage them at home or at work.”
In comparison, mothers from Sweden, Germany, and Italy fared far better than their American counterparts. In Sweden, there’s more of an equal approach when it comes to child-rearing and bread-winning at home. In Germany, many mothers have no complaints about working, given the country’s history of universal employment for both men and women. There are also many forms of support, policies, and affordable or free childcare programs that allow moms to join the workforce without having to worry about paying for a full-time babysitter or nanny.
One of the most challenging things American women must deal with is the personal guilt they have along with the ongoing work and family conflict. Many moms try to solve this by moving from one job to another, but often, it doesn’t work out to their advantage. They are also caught in a “cultural schema” that makes them choose between their devotion to their jobs or their devotion to their families.
However, Collins says that despite the struggles and challenges, she doesn’t think that American moms should blame themselves. She also doesn’t want to see mothers stop giving up.
She added, “I want American mothers to stop thinking that somehow their conflict is their own fault and that if they tried a little harder, got a new schedule, woke up a little earlier every morning, using the right planner or the right app, that they could somehow figure out the key to managing their stress. That’s just not the case.”