Why the Modern Family Is Stressed, Tired, and Always Rushed

Genevieve Fish

A recent survey by the Pew Research Center revealed that more households have two working full-time parents than ever before (up 40% since 1965), and because of that, the difficulty of balancing it all is only intensifying.

The study showed that there is “something of a stress gap by race and education.” For instance, white, college-educated parents were much more likely to report that work/family balance is difficult than were parents of other races and education levels.

The data suggest that the reason for the additional stress is the discrepancy between evolving family structure and static public policy and workplace structure. “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, tells The New York Times: “This is creating a stress for working parents that is affecting life at home, and for children, we need a societal-wide response.”

The number one suggested solution for modern family stress is paid family leave—particularly paternity leave.

Forty-one percent of working mothers in the survey said that being a parent made it harder to advance their careers, compared with 20% of fathers. While the amount of time men spend on the household and caring for children has increased over the years, women still do the majority of both.

To read more about the dynamic of the modern family, visit The New York Times.

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