Being there: Working parents scramble to attend children’s events

June 18, 2018

Have you missed your child’s on-stage appearance, classroom presentation, or soccer game? You are not alone. More than one-third (38%) of moms and dads missed a significant event in their child’s life due to work during the past year —and more than one in every five parents (21%) failed to show up at three or more events, based on findings of a survey of 1, 012 full-time workers nationwide sponsored by CareerBuilder and conducted by The Harris Poll.

There’s bad  news and good news: Managing your work and your children can be a struggle —and it’s especially hard during the summer—but according to the majority of workers with children at home (78%), it is possible to be successful, both in your career and as a parent.

“Work-life balance is certainly a struggle for all professionals, but we see workers moving past the idea that they have to give something up and that the sacrifice of either a career or parenting must be made,” said Jennifer Grasz, vice president of Corporate Communications for CareerBuilder. “Promoting a balance should be important to employers, too. When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationships with coworkers, be more productive and are able to leave work issues at work and home issues at home.”

However, while more than half of workers with a child in the household (51%) say they feel equally successful in their role at work and as a parent, more than half of working dads (56%) feel this way, compared to only 47% of working moms. But counter-intuitively, while 33% of working moms say they feel more successful as a parent, only 22% of working dads could say the same.

When it comes to bringing home the bacon, both parents are responsible—fewer than one-third (32%) of working parents say they are the sole financial provider in their households. But when they were asked if they would leave their jobs if their spouse or significant other made enough money for their family to live on comfortably, only one-quarter (25%) said “yes.”

Similarly, 65% of employees with a child in the household said they would not be willing to take a decrease in pay to spend more time with their kids – a similar feeling in working dads (65%) and moms (66%).

Indeed, the researchers found, time at the office is taking a toll on some families. While the majority of working parents (66%) spend at least three hours a day with their kids, parents’ absence is noted by their kids. Nearly one-quarter of working parents (24%) say their children have asked them to work less, and a similar proportion (23%) say work is negatively impacting their relationship with their children.

Finally, having a child changes your family life, but how does it change your work life? Half of workers who are parents (46%) have not taken advantage of flexible work arrangements, but of those who have (54%), 37% say it has not affected their career progress.

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