Never enough hours in the day: Employed mothers' perceptions of time pressure
Embargoed until: 2019-06-01
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Finding sufficient time to meet work and family commitments poses immense challenges for employed mothers in 21st century contemporary life. Understanding how employed women with children manage their finite time resources requires deeper investigation of how time pressures accrue across work and home contexts. This study draws on data from in-depth interviews with 18 working mothers from diverse occupations (professional, sales, service, clerical, technical and trades) and across a range of employment hours (full and part-time). The findings from this study show that employed mothers endure high levels of time pressure related to time poverty (insufficient time for necessary or discretionary activities), time intensity (multitasking and merging work and home boundaries) and time density (familial emotion and organisation work). When women use strategies to increase time efficiency, it does not necessarily reduce their perceptions of time pressure. Juggling multiple tasks simultaneously distorts women's temporal experiences and diminishes the quality of time. Workplaces and policymakers need to find better ways to encourage employed fathers to share the responsibility for home- and family-related care and organisational work. Such measures may reduce the time stress and time inequity women endure, particularly in the time management control centre of the home.
Australian Journal of Social Issues
Copyright 2017 Australian Social Policy Association. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Never enough hours in the day: Employed mothers' perceptions of time pressure, Australian Journal of Social Issues, Volume 52, Issue 2, 2017, Pages 116–130 which has been published in final form at 10.1002/ajs4.2 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-820227.html#terms)
Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified