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Changing Family Structures increase need for home-based work options

Updated on October 1, 2012

How have families changed?

According to the Population Reference Bureau, the amount of families living in the United States has tripled since 1940. Prior to World War II, married couples with children made up 43% of all family households,. That number dropped to 20% in 2010. (U.S. Census Bureau, decennial censuses from 1940 to 2010) The days of " Leave it to Beaver" are over. Traditional two parent households no longer represent the norm in America. As a matter of fact, almost a quarter of all the children in America are being raised by single mothers.

Why are single moms struggling?

Seven out of ten of single mother households live in poverty. This is not because they are unemployed. Actually, three-fourths of all single moms are in the labor force. Many of them just do not have jobs that earn enough money for them to become financially stable. Financial aid and scholarships are available to assist moms who want to advance their career potential. These are great opportunities that many moms can take advantage of. However, underemployment and low paying jobs are not the only reason single moms struggle. Even single moms who have good paying positions struggle.One of the greatest factors has to do with the ability to find employment that allows for the flexibility to both work and be the primary homemaker. It doesn't matter how much money you make. When a parent is away from home for 10 hours a day, her absence notably affects her child's development.

The need for more flexible employment options

Research clearly indicates children raised by single parents who work outside the home are more likely to develop behavioral, emotional, and psychological problems. It appears the more stability a mother is able to provide for her family the better. Single mothers recognize the need for a stable environment, but it can be difficult to sustain. For instance, take into consideration the amount of responsibility a single mother faces daily. She is solely responsible for all household finances, paying bills, ensuring proper nutrition and exercise, overseeing homework, modeling and teaching life skills, handling housing and auto maintenance needs, etc... Obviously single moms have too much on their plate already. Now imagine having to work a typical 9-5 job on top of all that and then coming home to spend quality time with your kids.

Maintaining a stable environment doesn't seem so easy after taking into consideration all of the efforts involved. Even children of single parents who are not low income suffer from the other impacts of not having two parents to assist with the daily duties of life. This is why single parents need flexibility in the workplace and also the reason many professional single parents are quitting the corporate world and returning home to find work. Just being home with your children allows for a more stable environment and allows families to spend more time together.
Unfortunately, most organizations are still functioning under traditional role. America needs to learn to use technology in a more efficient way that will allow single mothers to work in a variety of different fields through telecommuting, flexible schedules, virtual offices,etc..

Changing the organizational structure of the work place will become more vital as the trends of family structure continue to increase in the same ways they have over the last twenty years.
We need to create an environment for success if we want to see single moms be successful!

What do you think?

Do you feel more flexible employment options (ie: telecommuting, virtual work, etc) would help single moms provide a more stable environment for their children?

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    • Kimbergram profile image

      Kimberlee Ingram 5 years ago from Lakewood, WA

      I agree. Even families with both parents working need more flexible options! I don't understand why we we have all this technology and can't seem to use it in a way that would really support our communities!

    • profile image

      meegs supergirl 5 years ago

      Voted up, here in Australia at least i think we should have more flexible working options, even if not a single mother. I also think it is very important that we support all our single parents in the community.