Chapter

Balancing work and family life: mothers’ views

Sarah Cunningham-Burley, Kathryn Backett-Milburn and Debbie Kemmer

in Families in society

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9781861346438
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302292 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861346438.003.0002
Balancing work and family life: mothers’ views

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This chapter presents data drawn from interviews with lone and partnered mothers in non-professional, non-managerial occupations. This project was funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation as part of a programme of research on work and family life. Findings reported in the chapter illuminate the range of negotiations and tensions that mothers in paid work outside the home report. Family responsibilities were a top priority for these women as they sought to keep the spheres of home and work separate. This boundary could be maintained as long as a crisis situation or important activities did not suddenly emerge and become imperative. Nevertheless women were keen to be seen as reliable workers who did not need time off. However, there was a clear conclusion that work should not take precedence over mothering.

Keywords: mothering; lone mothers; Joseph Rowntree Foundation; family responsibilities; family life; working mothers

Chapter.  6045 words. 

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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