BY: TYLER FYFE
Overcrowded offices and empty houses—this is a still life of contemporary America. According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center, the sagging skin under the eyes of the workforce is not a symptom of American work ethic, it’s a symptom of a hollow home life.
Four in ten full-time working moms say that feeling rushed is an almost constant reality. This is because today’s family structure has changed significantly from previous decades. Nearly half of all two-parent households have both partners working full-time. But while the family structure has long-since evolved from the single-income household of the nuclear family, there have been almost zero reforms in the workplace.
39 per cent of mothers employed full-time say that they don’t spend enough time with their children.
59 per cent of working mothers say that they have not enough time for hobbies or other interests.
44 per cent of working mothers say they do not have enough time with their partners.
Most employed mothers work what Arlie Hochschild, a sociologist at Berkeley, calls “double day”—a full day paid work and a full night of unpaid housework. But the answer does not lie in a surrender back to the aprons and prison-like kitchens of the 1950s. The answer lies in a fundamental shift in the way our society thinks about work and reward.
According to the American Psychological Association, money (71 percent) and work (69 percent) continue to be the most commonly reported sources of stress. One in five Americans have considered skipping or have skipped seeking necessary healthcare because of finances. Forty-three percent of American adults report stress-induced insomnia in the last month and 38 percent report poor eating habits as a result of stress.
The data shows an imbalance of social priorities. Research has shown that subsidized childcare, paid maternal and paternal leave would significantly benefit the mental well-being of American families. It is also worth noting that Norway embraced the 35-hour work-week and leads the world in terms of hourly productivity in international comparisons of GDP per hours work. I think George Mallory put it best, “We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life.”