On the Today Show, Maria Shriver said that the impetus for the Woman’s Nation report came from the 2008 California Women’s Conference, attended by over 25,000 women. For years participants have been discussing how difficult it is to balance work and home life and how these problems have not been reflected in the media.
Yesterday one of our readers commented: “….women have been struggling with these issues for years and years.” But now this dilemma could have legs as it’s no longer just a woman’s issue but an American economic issue.
A major point in the Shriver report is that women feel isolated even though they’re out of the home and in the workplace. They feel stretched and constantly under pressure, still mainly responsible for the household responsibilities including child and possibly elder care. On CNN 360, Arianna Huffington, Suzie Orman and Faye Wattleton discussed what keeps working women feeling stressed: guilt about not having the time to parent well, fear of asking for a raise (women earn only 78 cents on the dollar compared to men), sleep deprivation because of too much to do, frustration about having to make hard choices between family and job goals.
So what has to give in order for the American Mom to have more balance in her life? Some say that all institutions – from the family to business, from schools to the government – have to adapt to the changing needs of the American family. Others recommend that collectively, as a society, we set more progressive, realistic and flexible goals so women can be successful at work and at home. For sure, if we value families that are making it work and highlight companies that are family friendly we’ll begin to foster changes to meet the dynamic needs of today’s family.