It's hardly 'news' that women can find juggling motherhood and their careers a struggle.
We hear often that working mothers – although, what does that even mean? Stay-at-home-mothers work (hello? HouseWORK) – find it difficult to balance family life when faced with grueling office hours. This much we know.
But what is, perhaps, lesser-known, is that men feel the struggle too. The difference between them? Men keep it to themselves.
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A study conducted by Dr. Kristen Shockley, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Georgia, asked 250,000 people worldwide how much they agreed with such statements as 'my work interferes with my personal life more than I would like' and vice versa. The results showed little difference between the numbers of men and women who responded affirmatively.
This is more than a little surprising. Because it's rarely documented that men find the balancing act a difficult one to, err, balance.
Why is this?
In the Journal of Applied Psychology, Dr Shockley says she believes it's down to men's 'fears of being stigmatized', 'threats to masculinity' and 'negative career repercussions.'
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Arguably women have these fears, too. For instance, the fear of being stigmatized as a bad mother/bad worker; the perceived threat to femininity if women choose to work over looking after children; the fear of negative career repercussions if women admit to Management at work that they're struggling. And yet women still speak out. But anyway...
How is it that men worry as much as woman about the work and home life divide when, as The Times points out, UK women perform over 10 hours more household chores than men a week, even if they work the same office hours?
Dr Shockley says, 'It could be that women are socialized to expect they'll have trouble managing work and family.' Ergo, they're better at coping.
Hmm. It's an interesting theory.
This post was written by Edwina Langley. For more, check out our sister site, Grazia.
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