Although women are still assigned responsibility for the family relationships, the satisfaction of many women does not correlate highly with care giving.
Studies have shown that women need to understand and develop well-being, pleasure (finding life enjoyable) and mastery (feeling important and worthwhile) in order to feel good about themselves. Another study, conducted by Baruch, Barnett and Rivers, found the following significant points regarding women’s lives:
- Women who work hard at a challenging job are positively impacting their mental health.
- Marriage and children do not guarantee well-being for a woman.
- Being without a man or children does not cause misery or depression.
- Doing and achieving are at least as important to the lives of women as are relationships and feelings.
- Neglecting the importance of pursuing achievement endangers a woman’s self-esteem.
Married men are happier than married women.
Several studies have shown that married men are happier than married women. Jessie Bernard in the book “The Future of Marriage” writes, “Not surprisingly, marriage benefits husbands more than wives.”
Developing self-interests and close relationships help to balance woman’s life. A woman needs her own time, space and her own life. To be totally dependent on a male and/or her family for fulfillment is risky.
Timing is an issue for women pursuing careers and raising families.
Today’s woman is encouraged by some to be independent and career-oriented.
While it is true that more women are developing careers, it is also true that many have a long way to go to catch up with men. Most women say they would like a career along with successful relationships and happy families. However, for many females, timing is a problem.
The phase of life devoted to forming relationships and establishing families is also the period of life when career-oriented individuals devote almost exclusive attention to developing their careers. Since many women in the workforce also carry the primary responsibility for children, this responsibility is often a time-and-energy restriction to career development.
A lack of work skills may lead to financial dependence.
In many circles, women are expected to be home makers so they find it difficult to take the time necessary to acquire job skills. Some women feel this is selfish. However, without adequate work skills, a woman must be cared for financially.
This fosters a child-like dependency on the “caregiver.” Women without their own assets are in danger of losing their financial support from separation, divorce, death, or their partners’ loss of employment. They are also in danger of losing the financial support of their children.
Therefore, job skills, far from being selfish, are extra insurance, both for her children and herself.
The key is to find balance.
In today’s times, many people consider it selfish to have children without the job skills necessary to support them.
Whether in or out of the job market, women often suffer feelings of guilt. If a woman stays at home, she thinks, “I should be contributing financially.” If she works, she worries, “I should be at home with my children”.
Women in this situation need to focus on finding balance. If a mother wishes to stay home with her kids, she needs to work out with her partner how to make that happen. However, if she wants to work, plans need to be made for that situation as well.
There is absolutely no reason why a family cannot accommodate a working mother. As studies have shown, working can be widely beneficial for a woman’s mental health – and a happy mom means a happy home.