Work and Family Life Adjustment

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Updated on Dec 24, 2019

The society continues to evolve in terms of technological diffusion, innovation, industrial and labor dynamics and the trend is shifting towards modernism and post-modernism. With these changes, access to education and entry of women into industrial labor have also improved for both men and women. Exposure to mass media and increased participation of women in higher education have all opened new horizons for empowerment of women. However, increased women participation in labor force has created new challenges for this category of workers who have to incorporate their new labor roles into the already tight schedule of caring for the family and raising children. Broadly speaking, adjustment refers to the ways in which people make certain changes in order to cope with the challenging tasks they have and accomplish certain goals in life. For this paper, adjustment is used in reference to a situation where women are required to cope with the new roles at the work place in addition to the pre-existing family roles. This paper focuses on the adjustment strategies for working women that enable them to manage work and family life. Dynamics of Work and Family Life Working women, especially those who are married, have multiple roles to play and which they must play effectively for their success at the workplace and family life. In the family the woman has to play her roles as a mother, wife, and housewife. At the workplace, the woman has to effectively play her role as a diligent employee capable of delivering on all the assigned tasks by the employer and meet the objectives of her job in the same way their male counterparts do. The changing role of women at the workplace and within the family thus easily results into either role strain or role confusion. The confusion may arise when a career woman is unable to strike effectively adjust and balance between the old family roles and the new career demands. The strain may occur as the woman strives to meet all the requirements at the workplace and at home. The occupational status of women has very close link with the roles at home and the institution of the family. The challenge that women must address themselves in the foregoing circumstances is the fact that they have to strike a balance between the socially approved status of a woman as a homemaker and their employment status on the other hand. Achieving this vital balance requires adjustment. While at work, the employer will rarely consider the fact that the women worker is a mother who thus needs to go back home early and attend to her children, or a wife who needs to attend to her husband or a homemaker who may need time for household chores. At the work level, all that counts is her ability to meet strict deadlines set by the boss and to deliver on the goals that are set by the organization, gender notwithstanding. At home, the crisis again is delivering on all her gender roles. In order to be effective on these two life phases, there has to be a careful adjustment that enhances achievement of the state of functional equilibrium. Strategies for Work-Family Life Adjustment Given the numerous challenges that come with work and family life, adjustment strategies become very critical for working women. One of the key strategies that women use in order to effectively adjust to family and work life is being attentive and alert to all the tasks that demand their attention and limited time. This way, working women are able to make the right decisions in terms of the duration they give to each task and maintain optimum concentration and attention span needed for the realization of the demands both at the level of the family and at the workplace. Most women adjust to the work-family life challenges by deciding to work smarter and not harder. This implies that women set their priorities right, organize the tasks that demand their attention, and sometimes operate by delegating some responsibilities, especially at home or even at the workplace. This partly explains why most career women have house-helps to whom they can delegate some of the household chores that may not directly need their attention. This adjustment will, however, come at a cost. This includes leaving the children with a stranger and sometimes finding surprises when delegated chores are not done as was expected. But in the wake of all this, career women have to be prepared psychologically to expect this as part of the adjustment to work and family life dynamics. Adjustment to work-family life requires women to sometimes learn to be very assertive and block avenues where they exposed to abuse and harassment at the workplace. For example, one of the areas that require assertiveness and ability to say no is where male counterparts at the workplace try to sexually harass or abuse them. In this case, the adjustment requires that woman worker be able to define boundaries of the new interactions and relationships at the workplace that can easily transcend to abusive relationships. Adjustment in this case thus implies that the working woman has to safeguard her family relationship with colleagues at the workplace while maintaining cordial relationships relevant for industrial productivity. The setting of the interactive and relationship boundaries at the workplace must also include definition of how the woman worker relates with the employer, the immediate boss or supervisor. Adjustment to work-family life among the working women requires flexibility. One of the adjustment strategies is the ability to overcome self-guilt. The working woman has to forgive herself, especially when things are done the way they anticipated. Once a woman gets employed, there has to be negotiation and re-organization of goals both at the family level and at the workplace. Some of the original goals will have to be re-constituted to reflect the new changes and demands at the workplace so that one remains only with attainable goals. In terms of child care, career women have to consider looking for reliable child care and support system that ensures that the children are well-taken care of when the career mother is away. This ensures that the career mother is able to focus her full attention at the tasks and responsibilities at the workplace without being worried about what is happening to children. This adjustment in roles is thus critical to the success of career women since is enhances realization of family-work life balance. This adjustment includes preparing the family effectively and communicating the changes that come with work life. This is important since it enables the children, the husband and other family members to understand when the mother of the house has suddenly very limited time to sit and share with the family. This adjustment must also be very strategic in the sense that the working woman has to work on ensuring quality time with the family and not focus on the quantity due to the limited time one will suddenly have with the family. Thus the little time that one finds with the family should be spent well with all members of the family. This is critical since the stability of the family influences the performance of a career woman at the workplace. Part of the adjustment that enhances family-work life balance involves being selective of friends. With limited time left when women get employed, some friends have to be sacrificed. The sacrifice in this case involves letting go of some friends so as to only keep friends that enable one to cope with the new responsibilities. This form of adjustment goes hand in hand with the need for a working woman to build a social support system with other career women that enables them to share their challenges and experiences and share ideas of coping with the challenges that come with the changes. Thus family-work life adjustment must include adjustment of the social support system and re-consideration of friends that one keeps. Family-work life adjustment entails adjustment in time management and use. With additional tasks that require a woman’s attention, she has to make adequate adjustment in the way in which she spends her time. This is because when tasks are not done at the right time, it spills to spoil the schedules for the entire day. However, sometimes, these incidences of work spill over may not be avoidable and as such there are instances when work life spills to family life. The adjustment that occurs at this level may sometimes imply that a career woman has to work late into the night in order to clear the back-log of tasks for the day. In order to make effective adjustment and achieve family-work balance, a career woman has to sacrifice some of the routine activities in order to incorporate the new ones at the work level. Family-work adjustment is critical to career women who have to strike a balance between the new demanding roles at the workplace in addition to the already involving tasks at the family level. Adjustment among working women include prioritization of tasks, time management, delegation, setting of boundaries and being flexible to adapt to the new tasks that require one’s full attention. The article was written by Chloe Bailey, a professional writer at

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| Dec 25, 2019

Hi Chloe! Interesting read, you can submit this as a blog on parentune here-

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