Work and Family in Sync?
Although The Collaborative more and more is trying to bring you original content, we also do not want you to miss out on great articles from others. The article below is an interview with Rachel Anderson and Katelyn Beaty who authored the report, Time to Flourish: Protecting Families’ Time for Work and Caregiving, which came out in July. You can read the full forty page report via a hyperlink below, but this article provides great insight into the issues that allow work to encroach upon our families and dishonor their God ordained design.
How many emails do you send at night? What might you do to honor families in your workplace? Does your company/department promote the flourishing of families? As someone who is a business owner and has worked in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, it is pretty clear that there is not a one size fits all. However, it is also apparent to me that few take these matters seriously. Hopefully, this report will spark something in you to inspire your thinking on these things in such a way that would lead to action.
WORK AND FAMILY IN SYNC
There’s a time to work, and a time to raise children.
We should be concerned when those rhythms are interrupted.
Senior editor Brian Dijkema talks with Rachel Anderson and Katelyn Beaty about the Center for Public Justice’s new Families Valued initiative, and their report, Time to Flourish: Protecting Families’ Time for Work and Caregiving, which calls for the kind of work that can sustain healthy families.
Brian Dijkema: Can you describe the Families Valued initiative for our readers?
Rachel Anderson: Families Valued is a new initiative of the Center for Public Justice, whose focus is on policies and workplace practices that help honour both work and family. So the particular focus of this project is on the intersection of the workplace and family life. We’re interested in what happens in private workplaces with respect to family policies, and the choices that employers and leaders in the workplace can make, as well as the public policy that affects those choices.
BD: Can you tell us why, at this particular time, you’re interested in this particular issue?
RA: Partially because the conversation about work and family life is really active presently in the United States. And that’s partially because many parents experience a tension between their work and their families—especially moms. And there are a great number of us who are giving care to relatives, not necessarily to children, but to older relatives, to members of our families who are disabled or ill. It seems that those caregiving needs are growing. Recently I heard that 20 percent of millennials are providing some level of care to a member of their family. At the same time, there are a great number of employees and workers who really don’t have a lot of buffers that would enable to attend to those family responsibilities and their jobs.
Katelyn Beaty: Many families are experiencing a lot of stress regarding their ability to care for family members, especially after the birth of a child or older family members who need a lot of medical care and attention. Our research is not directed at mothers in particular, but we do show how women experience the stresses between work and family. One study from Barna shows that 80 percent of mothers surveyed say that they are overwhelmed and stressed by the responsibilities of trying to manage both work and family; some to the point of illness. As Christians we want to honour both work responsibilities and family responsibilities, and we think that faith-based communities can lead the way in creating workplace cultures and workplace policies that honour those responsibilities.
BD: I appreciated the way you told the stories of how stress affects people’s lives in your report for the Families Valued initiative. Could you describe that stress and how it manifests itself, and perhaps say a bit about what research says about its effects on mothers on kids, and on communities?
WHAT WE ARE THINKING ABOUT
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER FROM THE ABOVE ARTICLE
Does my work promote the flourishing of my family?
What habits could I adopt personally that would honor family?
Is providing monetarily for my family enough?