Working parents ‘struggling with guilt’

Working parents 'struggling with guilt'

An increasing number of working parents are struggling with feelings of guilt as they try to balance the demands of their job with the responsibilities of raising a family, a new poll has discovered.

AXA PPP healthcare quizzed 2,000 employees in March and found 43 per cent feel guilty about leaving the office bang on time, thanks to the disdainful looks they receive from their co-workers.

This compares to just 29 per cent of those who don't have children, suggesting the presenteeisn that was rife during the recession is declining for this demographic at least.

Some 42 per cent of working parents log on to their computers to carry out parts of their jobs at the weekends in order to compensate for the guilt they feel, while 39 per cent admitted to going over their contracted hours to deal with their workload and convince their bosses they are working hard.

Twelve per cent said they feared losing their job unless they did this, but the pressure they're putting themselves under could be taking its toll.

A fifth of the respondents with children at home revealed they have been diagnosed with a mental health condition such as anxiety or stress and 19 per cent said they had had to miss one of their offsprings' school plays or parents' evenings because they couldn't get the time off.

Dr Mark Winwood, director of psychological services for AXA, said: "Resentment in the workplace can be an issue. It can create tension, divide the workforce and make some employees miserable – none of which are good for productivity."

However, many parents may not have a choice about trying to keep office hours to a minimum and working at evenings and weekends instead, particularly now the school holidays are here.

According to data from the Family and Childcare Trust requested by the Huffington Post, only a quarter of local authorities have enough holiday childcare for working parents, with the cost of the average holiday club now £115 per week.

With these pressures upon you, could it be time to rethink your career options and seek an employer that is more sympathetic towards working parents? This might be difficult, but you could always try talking through your options with one of our psychic life coaches first.

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