By Samantha Rife
How often is your husband asked, “How do you manage your work/life balance?”
Chances are, not very often.
Women now make up half of all workers in the United States, and nearly four in 10 homes include a mom who works outside the home. Because of societal expectations of the disproportionate time moms spend child rearing in comparison to dads, moms working outside the home are asked that dreaded work/life question all too often.
Consequently, working moms experience major emotions of guilt and stress.
“Am I neglecting my family?”
“Should I sacrifice my career?”
“And if I do, how will my family earn enough to survive?”
There’s no question that working moms face a balancing act. And while there are a lot of cultural elements at play, one often overlooked game-changer is public policy.
Samantha Rife is directing a documentary that explores the unnecessary pressures moms face today. Why is this important? Because when moms and dads are stressed, they are not as well as equipped to provide a caring a nurturing home for their kids.
“Mom is a Dirty Word” examines the culture behind the “Mommy Wars” argument: are stay-at-home moms right, or are career-moms right?
Ms. Rife’s documentary cuts into the heart of the truth: if we can start a movement to change American culture and public policy, perhaps moms and their families can flourish.
The filmmaker’s goal is to expose the hypocrisies in American media and public policy, and hopefully initiate governmental support for moms and families—including paid maternity leave and equitable business practices.
Fortunately, moms don’t have to wait for “Mom is a Dirty Word” to be released before they can start making positive changes in their families lives. Here are some tips to resolve anxiety with that ol’ “work/life” question:
Unload the guilt.
Instead of ruminating how you are not with your children, consider instead how important your role at work is to improving your family’s life. Accept the choices you’ve made to work and provide opportunities for your children.
Communication with your employer.
Perhaps you can arrange a flexible work schedule with your employer. Consider trying a trial phase to ensure productivity does not diminish.
Manage your time at work and avoid time wasting activities. At home, consider spending more time as a family rather than watching TV.
Just because you’re at work, doesn’t mean you can’t create meaningful and personal moments during your kid’s day. Stay connected through notes, phone calls, record a song or read a story over video that your child may watch while you are at work.
While small, these changes can make a big impact.
If you’d like to make an impact on the lives of other moms and their families, consider visiting the “Mom is a Dirty Word” Kickstarter page. Your support and word-of-mouth is crucial to improving the lives of mothers, fathers, and children in America.
Samantha Rife is Principal and Founder of SJR Research. For over 25 years, she has worked as a research, writer, and provided administrative support for large and small projects in a wide variety of fields including History, Genealogy, Information Technology, Education, Writing/Editing, Film and Media, Communications, Marketing, Public Health/Social Services, managed Healthcare, Visual Arts, Retail, and the Tourism and Hospitality Industries. Samantha is a mother of 2 children—Joshua and Cassandra. She lives in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, with her husband Jamie.
Editor: Alicia Wozniak