One of the most difficult challenges for any family is finding a way to juggle work and family time, with the goal of striking a reasonable balance between the two. Not everyone succeeds, and not all families enjoy the same flexibility in their jobs needed to accomplish this. Here are some facts and statistics related to work and family life:

Statistic #1:
Parents working more hours

For a typical child, parents’ work hours have increased by 12% in a two-parent family and 23% in a single parent family since 1979. (Jayson, 4-15-2010)

Statistic #2:
Most preschoolers have working mothers

Most 4-year-olds have mothers who work outside the home: 39.4% were working full time (35 or more hours a week), 19.7% were working part time (under 35 hours), and an additional 5.8% of mothers were looking for work. Only 34.3% were not in the labor force, and 0.8% of the children in the study did not have a mother in the household. (U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Early Childhood Longitudinal Study 2005-06)

Statistic #3:
Dual-income families

Sixty-four percent of married people with children have both parents working. In 30% of these households only the husband works, in 4% only the wife works, and in 2% neither parent is working. Among single parents, 62% live with mothers who are working, 21% live in households headed by fathers who are working, while 15% live with non-working mothers and 2% with non-working fathers. (Gibbs, 2007)

Statistic #4:
Working nights

As of 2002, 86% of couples had at least one spouse regularly working at least one night during the week. (Jayson, 4-15-2010)

Statistic #5:
Effects of marital problems on work

The days of work that are lost as a result of marital distress translate into nearly $7 billion of lost productivity in the U.S. each year. (Forthofer et al., 1996)

Statistic #6:
Overall workload among men and women

The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that overall work time is similar for men and women. Men do an average of 8 hours 11 minutes of combined work/housework daily, whereas women record 8 hours 3 minutes on average. Full-time working mothers did just 20 minutes more of combined paid and unpaid work than men did, the smallest difference ever reported. (Davis-Konigsberg, 2011)

Statistic #7:
Division of housework among men and women

According to a study by Ohio State University sociologist Liana Sayer, women’s housework decreased by 70 minutes a day from the 1970s to the beginning of the 21st century in the U.S., while men’s increased by about half an hour since 1965. (Mundy, 2012)