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Working Parents: Tis' the Season for Stress and Mom Guilt?

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NEWTON, Mass. ~ As the holiday season approaches, working parents are feeling the pressure of increased demands from all aspects of their lives. A survey of 500 employed U.S. parents of young children, commissioned by Bright Horizons and conducted by Opinium, found that 68% of working parents with increased stress levels during the holidays cite juggling work and child care as one of the top sources.

Nearly half (47%) report needing extra child care – such as back-up care or holiday camps – to help them bridge the gap due to child care disruptions this time of year. Additionally, 67% report that their guilt escalates when they fall short of their own or others' parenting expectations. Working women parents are more likely to experience guilt than men (69% vs 63%) due to the pressure to do it all.

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While only a little over a third (36%) of working parents report relying on child care support to complete holiday errands, nearly half (47%) report they could use more child care support to complete everything else on their holiday to-do list. Working dads are more likely than moms (53% vs 45%) to report needing additional support for completing everything on their holiday to-do list.

The survey also found that most working parents (49%) wish their employers would do more to help lighten the child care burden, such as offering emergency child care benefits (34%), providing on-site child care (32%), or providing an FSA for child care expenses (30%). Employers need to provide these benefits not only in the holiday season but year-round in order to lessen the load and alleviate working parent guilt.
Filed Under: Business

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