Most working mothers view work-life balance as ‘agonizing’

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jun 30, 2014 - 19:49
  • Updated : Jun 30, 2014 - 19:49
Nine out of every 10 working mothers said they feel balancing work and family is “agonizing,” a study revealed on Monday. According to Women and Culture in Network, a local nonprofit organization, 90.9 percent of the respondents said they are distressed about having to juggle work and family responsibilities. But the study showed that more than a half, or 58 percent, of the respondents have low self-esteem about being a mother with a career. In May, 1,000 working mothers were interviewed for the survey, the organization said.

Nearly 70 percent of respondents said they want to have part-time jobs only if they can remain regular workers. But respondents said they could not work less hours because of the lower salary and fears of losing the chance for promotion. They are worried that they will not be hired again for a full-time job, it added.

The respondents said they feel “miserable” the most due to a lack of support measures to help them better balance work and family. In an index that measured the level of working moms’ suffering, from a scale of zero to five, respondents assigned 3.81 points to not having time to rest after work and 3.76 points for not able to share the burden of housework and childcare with their husbands.

Generally, the scale of women’s suffering was higher among working mothers in their 30s with children aged under 5 than those in their 40s with children aged under 5.

The level of distress was higher among working mothers with a college degree who work for small companies and those who work longer hours.

“The government has been expanding the state budget to support working mothers. But working moms don’t see a major change in their lives,” the report said.

“More detailed support measures are needed for working mothers so that they can better balance their work,” it added.

By Cho Chung-un (