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The Guilt of the Working Parent; mother or father, appears to affect all...

04 December 2012

So topical have the challenges of balancing business and motherhood become, the media is abuzz with catchphrases for those striving to achieve it. Terms such as “mumpreneur”, “WAHM (work at home mum)” and “mummy millionaires” are now common euphemisms for women who seem to be getting the balance right – or are at least trying to.

But when it comes to men building businesses and raising a family, this issue is rarely given a second thought. In fact, unlike their female counterparts, the very existence of children in the lives of male entrepreneurs and executives is seldom discussed.

But contrary to common belief, trying to perfect the balancing act – and the associated stresses – isn’t exclusive to mothers. Many fathers experience intense guilt over time spent away from their children.

Managing that guilt and finding ways to incorporate active parenting into their lives often proves difficult for entrepreneurs, many of whom have put their hearts and souls into building their businesses, particularly those started before children came along.

Combined with Bernard Salt's latest offering, based on Census 2006 and 2011 data,  "It's no surprise, paid work outside the home dominated by Males":
Generally, Australian women are much more likely than men to work up to 34 hours per week.

Men, on the other hand, are much more likely than women to work 35 hours or more per week.

And indeed the more hours worked, the more the worker is likely to be male.
...despite popular concern that "we are all working harder than ever", the census data shows that this is simply not the case. In fact the reverse is true: at the peak of the boom in 2006 a greater proportion of the workforce was working long hours.
... we enjoy espousing the view that never before has anyone worked harder than we are working today. This is simply not true.

... while it's true that women do twice the domestic housework of men, the fact is that men put in many more hours than women outside the home.

So, even though we say we want life to change, and do more of the guilt-free activities, seems we are not enabling ourselves to do so with the arrangements we currently work within...

And who's the only person that can change that?
Denise Hall  
the entrepreneurial mother® specialising in Finishing Unfinished Business! 
p: +61 3 98895317 | f: +61 3 98895314
skype: the.entrepreneurial.mother
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  • Larke Riemer

    Larke Riemer 7 years ago

    I think we beat ourselves up too much about this topic. Being a single working mother for most of my life and raising two fantastic daughters it was not always easy. I don't believe I would do anything different as I learned from the mistakes and had wonderful times along the way. It is about having a full life. Thanks for your article Denise always a great topic for discussion.