It’s Official: The Average American Family Has 2 Absurdly Stressed Out Parents
If you think balancing work and family life is stressful, you’re in good company. A recent Pew Research Survey found that nearly half of all modern families in America have 2 frazzled and exhausted parents struggling to hold it all together.
Today, 46 percent of 2-parent households have both mom and dad working full-time, up from 31 percent in 1970. It’s a significant shift from the more traditional gender roles seen in that year, when 46 percent of families had a stay-at-home mom and the phrase “Honey, I’m home. Is dinner ready?” was 100 percent irony free. That work arrangement only applies to 26 percent of families in 2015. The result is more equality but a lot of stress, as 56 percent of all working parents say finding balance between work and family is difficult. Speaking with the New York Times, Aimee Barnes, a 33-year-old wife and mother of a 15-month-old explained her challenges: “You basically just always feel like you’re doing a horrible job at everything,” she said. “You’re not spending as much time with your baby as you want, you’re not doing the job you want to be doing at work, you’re not seeing your friends hardly ever.” Or, as most people have unfortunately come to call it, “being a parent.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by a lot of people. The Pew study found that 39 percent of mothers and 50 percent of fathers say they feel like they don’t spend enough time with their kids. “This is not an individual problem, it is a social problem,” Mary Blair-Loy, a sociologist and the founding director of the Center for Research on Gender in the Professions at the University of California, San Diego, told the Times. It’s almost as if society doesn’t realize that without children there won’t be a society anymore. Can someone please explain that to everyone?