Posts Tagged 'children'

In the news: Women with children working more, longer

Working Mother and her childThu Jun 12, 9:08 AM ET

Women with children are working more than ever before despite the so-called “opting out” revolution popularized by the media, according to a new study.

Using data from the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey, Christine Percheski, of Princeton University, found that the number of full-time working mothers born between 1966 and 1975 has risen to 38 percent, up from 5.6 percent among women born between 1926 and 1935.

“What’s happening is that professional women’s employment rates are continuing to creep up every year, and even women with young children are increasing their employment,” Percheski said in an interview.

Less than eight percent of professional women born after 1956 have left the workforce for more than a year during their prime childbearing years, according to the finding published in the American Sociological Review.

Little boy sits patiently with his mother who is working in the hot sun, on a day when the temperature in the shade was 108 degrees. The notion that women are choosing to “opt out” of their fast-paced professional careers in favor of staying home to raise children has been vastly overblown by the media, Percheski said.

What’s more, factors such as longer working hours and societal pressure to stay home to be with the children has created a false perception among the public that women are being forced out of the workplace.

“In fact, women are feeling less pressure to stay at home, and public acceptance towards employment of mothers — even women with young children — is increasing,” she added.

But combining a professional career and motherhood doesn’t come without sacrifices, Percheski found.

“What’s amazing is that women who chose to work are not spending less time with their children, but they’re decreasing the time they spend sleeping, the time they spend on leisure activities, and the time they spend in civic participation,” Percheski explained.

“So yes, they’re successfully combining motherhood and employment but it comes at a cost,” she said.

The shift in the working dynamic has meant a renegotiation in gender roles in the family, such as men picking up more of the housework, said Percheski.Mother & Daughter - Burmese Refugee Camp

Working mothers are also spending more time at their jobs, the study found. More than 15 percent of those born after 1956 work 50 hours or more a week, compared to less than 10 percent among women born in earlier years.

The rise of women in the workforce is poised to continue as educational levels continue to rise and women seek out high-level careers, Percheski said.

“It’s getting to the point where it might not make sense to talk about the choice between work and no work, it’s about how much work,” she said.

(Reporting by Lara Hertel; editing by Patricia Reaney)

 

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Book: Pride and Joy: The Lives and Passions of Women Without Children (1998)

Pride and Joy coverby Terri Casey

This is a collection of interviews with 25 women who have chosen not to have children. In lively stories and vivid voices, these diverse narrators talk proudly of their contributions to their communities, causes, and families, and they speak joyfully of intimate relationships with husbands and partners, of family and friends, work, volunteer and leisure activities, solitude, and connections with children. Their stories dispel the social myth that women must have a child to be happy, and they debunk the stereotypes of childless women.

For the 20 percent of U.S. women who are currently childless by choice or by chance, Pride and Joy offers validation and community. For the millions of women deciding whether to have children, it provides inspiration. For parents, siblings, and friends of women who have chosen or may choose not to have children, it offers insight.

“The diverse, real-life stories in Pride and Joy offer a valuable sense of community for women who feel they stand alone in their families and in society because they have made the choice to remain childless.”
–Gloria Feldt, President of Planned Parenthood® Federation of America

“This is an important, fascinating and brave book. Women have been told how they must have children to be happy. Now here comes a book that shows how happy women can be without children. All of the women profiled are innovators, thinkers, risk takers who have listened hard to hear their own voice through the cultural din and not followed convention for convention’s sake. Each tells us that there are many ways to make the journey of life worthwhile.”
–Pepper Schwartz, author of Love Between Equals: How Peer Marriage Really Works

From Amazon: This is an enlightening collection of first-person interviews with twenty-five women who have decided not to have children. This book shatters the stereotypes that surround voluntarily childless women–that they are self-centered, immature, workaholic, unfeminine, materialistic, child-hating, cold, or neurotic.

From Buy.com: “They’re my pride and joy” is a decades-old expression used by mothers to describe their children. Shattering the stereotype of the childless woman, here are 25 stories from a diverse group of women who choose not to bear children, and whose “pride and joy” comes from their own contributions and accomplishments.

Terri Casey is an award-winning writer and editor with fifteen years of experience in newspaper journalism and corporate publications. She worked as a marketing writer for Microsoft Corporation for seven years and won awards for her articles on how people in business, education, and government use technology in new and interesting ways.
As a free-lance journalist, Casey has written travel articles that have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Globe, and the Seattle Times, and she writes for Microsoft’s Internet web site. Casey has served as president of the board of directors of the Women’s Funding Alliance, a nonprofit that raises money for organizations that serve women and girls. She has also been involved with the Big Sister program. Casey is married and lives in Seattle.

ISBN: 9781885223821