Recently an article published the 23 best countries for work-life balance, which you can find on The Atlantic here. It’s not a very indepth article, but still interesting to see which are the 23, and that they focus on employment rates for women who have children.
Work-life balance has long been a topic of interest for me, because of several reasons. First, I’m a mother (duh?), but I’m a working mother (although I’m fortunate and in a unique situation that my boss is also my husband). I have it easy now, but I did have a full time job before the second one arrived. I’ve also tasted the good life, seen how the Finns live, and I have a few close Finnish friends who are also mothers. I’ve also been in a company who, when my father was on his death bed fighting cancer and was starting to awaken from a week-long coma and I wanted to rush to the hospital at 3pm, asked me to take half day compassionate leave for that afternoon. Boy, the irony of the word “compassionate”.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m very convinced that a more well-balanced life is really the key to increase the fertility rate as well as overall quality of life for everyone in the workforce, as well as the quality of our children. Many mothers like me, feel that the most ideal situation would be part work, part time at home, especially when they get to Nursery age and beyond, when they start going to school.
And, as fathers get more and more willing and keen on being involved in their children’s lives, they also need the opportunity (from their work requirements) to do so. Perhaps since MYCS pushes Dads for Life, they should go all the way and push for better work-life balance for everyone. Now THAT would really help dads get more involved in their kids’ lives.
All in all though, I’m thankful that some of us don’t have to work in cultures which expect us to be in the office till late at night, even if we’re not doing anything. Still, we need to keep pushing for reforms, and supporting organisations like Mums@Work and eventually, we’ll get there. Slowly, but surely.
Hopefully in my lifetime.
P.s. You can also see another previous post on work-life balance here.