Part-time mums who have a partner are the least stressed at work, according to research by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research.
According to the sixth volume of the Institute’s Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, which analyses more than 12,000 thousand respondents in Australia’s biggest longitudinal survey of 7000 households, lone parents working full time had the highest levels of work-family stress. It also found that work-family stress is less now than in 2001, possibly due to the availability of more flexible work.
The research found that the most common childcare problem encountered by parents was finding care for a sick child, with most parents rating this extremely difficult. Around 20 per cent of parents found it extremely hard to fund the cost of childcare. Single parents are having more difficulty than in the past with finding affordable, quality and available childcare.
Mothers reported being stressed at work due to family responsibilities while fathers were stressed because of work responsibilities eating into family time. For mothers, average levels of life satisfaction and job satisfaction decreased slightly with the number of hours their child(ren) spent in childcare and fathers whose children were in childcare for 30 hours per week or longer also had slightly lower levels of both life satisfaction and job satisfaction.
The research also found that the type of childcare used appeared to have some impact on satisfaction levels, with parents whose children were in formal childcare having slightly lower levels of both life satisfaction and job satisfaction.