“At the same time, roughly equal shares of working mothers and fathers report … feeling stressed about juggling work and family life: 56% of working moms and 50% of working dads say they find it very or somewhat difficult to balance these responsibilities.” Of course it’s difficult, so is becoming a chess grandmaster but Susan Polgar did that and has kids, runs a foundation, teaches, and coaches college players to multiple national championships.
I know Ms. Polgar and have seen the stress hit her like a Mack truck on occasion and then she doubles-down and gets her game face on as she heads off to work. That’s what parents do.
The study adds, “Feeling rushed is also a part of everyday life for today’s mothers and fathers. Among those with children under age 18, 40% of working mothers and 34% of working fathers say they always feel rushed.”
I agree that Little House on the Prairie moms didn’t feel the time crunch of modern parents, but time is not the main factor in parenting.
While the numbers may change from poll to poll, the stress over being able to find time and brain space to be good parents remains constant.
I believe good parenting comes down to every moment and can be made or broken in just that time frame. Working and at-home parents make the same minute-mistakes and have the same triumphs. Having played both sides of this fence, I can assure all those in an office from 9 to 5 that you can screw up.
You can work all day, and when your child comes to you with an issue, you can make just as bad a call on what to do in an instant as you would if you had the whole day to ponder and work the problem.
In my book, all it takes is a dad or mom who comes through the door from work with a hug and a smile rather than a scowl and dismissal to get it right.