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The Many Issues Working Parents Face Essay

Working parents may consider work to be either a blessing or a curse. Most people agree that without work there is no way to support oneself or a family. Both parents are forced to work because they want their children to experience “the good life.” However, on their road to success, working parents have to sacrifice several other things. In addition to a lack of family or leisure time, a person’s job also creates a lot of stress.

Work can be the highway to success. However, hectic schedules caused by long hours of work can lead to negative changes in one’s personal life. Marilyn Gardner talks about a cop whose work hours are messed up. She states that Mr. Fulgham “works twelve-hour shifts which rotate between days and nights” and eats breakfast when his family is normally eating lunch. He gets almost no time with his family. When he gets a chance to spend time with his family, it causes the schedule of his family to get messed up too (Gardner 235-38). De Graaf, a journalist for the New York Times, states that “(u)ntil the current recession, Americans were working some of the longest hours in the industrial world.” Long hours at work lead to lesser time with family. For example, in “My Mother, Her Career, My Questions,” Palmer has a friend whose mother hardly spent any time with her. Being a doctor and working long hours, the mother was so tired when she came back home that she had to “force herself to play” with her kids (Palmer 244).

This shows how work can have a negative impact of the person’s relationships with his/her family. Even parents feel guilty about not being able to spend enough time with family. They admit that the longer they work, the lesser time they spend with their kids (Seligson). It is said that people who work longer hours are more likely to get a divorce due to the lack of togetherness. The main point of being a “family” is that the members of the family have to be together and enjoy each other’s company. However, parents that work weird schedules or extremely long hours fail to spend enough time with their family. This loosens relationships and can even tear apart families.

Thus, there has to be a balance between work time and family time. Parents are always aiming to work those extra hours to get more work done, but they do not realize that they are missing out on their children’s lives. Additionally, working parents need to know that too much work can also cause Another negative effect of working long hours is the stress it causes. When there isn’t enough time to complete a certain project at work, a person works overtime to finish it. These long hours can mess up a person’s daily schedule. Anger, exhaustion and stress are some of the many negative effects long hours have on an individual (Gillian). Audrey Gillian, a journalist for The Guardian, feels that Ronald Regan was wrong when he said “hard work never killed anyone.”

The health issues caused by working long hours can eventually lead to death. In addition to that, in “The Case for Staying at Home,” Claudia Wallis talks about how women have to work both at their workplace and at home which creates more stress and exhaustion. In “Serving in Florida” Barbara juggled two different jobs. With the minimum wage she got, she could hardly afford to pay her rent (Ehrenreich 179-186). She started working longer hours to get more money. Although she tried fighting till the end, she had to finally give up both her jobs because she was working all day and couldn’t seem to make ends meet (Ehrenreich 186). It seems like people have to choose between life and work. After coming back from a day of hard work, one would usually opt to take a break and just rest.

However, women are expected to come home and attend to the family’s needs. She has to cook, clean and basically keep her family happy (Wallis 240). This causes the person to be stressed out and fatigued. People need to realize that it is fine to take a break from work once in a while. A person’s body has a certain limit for everything. When a person goes beyond that limit, the human body reacts and this causes stress and other health related issues. Stress leads to fights which lead to broken relationships. Are you ready to forget about family and only focus on your career?

Most would say that there needs to be balance so that one can be successful at work and at the same time, maintain good relationships with his/her family. All in all, work may have a positive effect on our lives, but in excess it can ruin a person’s life and even break up families. Work can also make a person weary and tired. If you are in surgery, would you prefer a well rested doctor to operate on you or one who has been working the whole day with no break? I would surely opt for the rested one to make sure nothing would go wrong. People need to maintain a work-life balance so that the effects of work don’t cause their life any harm.

Works Cited

de Graaf, John. “Less Work, More Life.” The Progressive Sept. 2010: 22+. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.
Ehrenreich, Barbara. “Serving in Florida.” 2001. The Language of Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric. Boston: Bedford, 2008. 179-86. Print. Gardner, Marilyn. “More Working Parents Play “Beat the Clock.” The Language of Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008. 235-38. Print. Gillan, Audrey. “Work until You Drop: How the Long-hours Culture Is Killing Us.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 20 Aug. 2005. Web. 06 Dec. 2012. Palmer, Kimberly. “My Mother, Myself, Her Career, My Questions.” The Language of Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008. 243-45. Print. Seligson, Hannah. “When the Work-Life Scales Are Unequal.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 02 Sept. 2012. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. Wallis, Claudia. “The Case for Staying at Home.” 2006. The Language of Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric. Bedford, Freeman & Worth Pub., 2008. 240-41. Print.

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