Women can have it all. Or at least that’s what we’re told until we become mothers and are forced to navigate the murky waters of a work-life balance. Spoiler alert: It’s nearly impossible.
Sociologist Caitlyn Collins is the topic of a recent article on Psychology Today. She spent five years observing parenthood in four wealthy western countries—Sweden, Germany, Italy and the US. Her conclusion? Guilt and worry are synonymous with working moms in the US. Collins shares her research in the book Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving, where she notes the work-life conflict many moms know all too well.
As Collins points out, motherhood looks different from nation to nation. In Sweden, known for its gender-equal policies, mothers assume they’ll receive support from partners, employers and the government. The former East Germany has a history of universal employment for men and women. Mothers here didn’t express worries about working, and felt they had enough support from policies and childcare. Even with that in place, moms there still put a limit on their work hours and career ambitions.
Part-time work is common for mothers…