Modern Lifestyle Causing Burnout; Women Juggling Work, Family and Social Lives

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), August 4, 2003 | Go to article overview

Modern Lifestyle Causing Burnout; Women Juggling Work, Family and Social Lives


Byline: Catrin Pascoe

AMBITIOUS women are struggling to juggle their work, family and social lives, with four out of five saying they are constantly tired and stressed.

Today's new survey reinforces mounting and alarming evidence that lifestyle burnout is engulfing hundreds of women in Wales, and across the UK.

It found most women aged 30-45 are trying to juggle at least four tasks in a day.

And even weekends were taken up with more mundane jobs, with around two-thirds saying they would spend Saturday and Sunday cleaning, according to the research.

The scientists found that many women felt drained, tired even after a good night's sleep and were exhausted because of stress - all symptoms of daily fatigue, a medically recognised condition.

It follows the fact that:

Two out of three families are two-parent working families;

Wales works some of the longest hours in Europe, and

Welsh home-owners are so house-proud they are prepared to spend at least six hours a week cleaning, despite the domestic invasion of labour-saving devices.

Lynne Audsley, from Llan- twit Major, is a mother-of-two and qualified nurse, who is studying to further her career.

Shift patterns, including weekends, means life is a hectic schedule of organising childcare for James, 11, and Steven, five, working, studying and running a household.

'I find it difficult to juggle the lot really - like today I should be studying but I just need to get out,' said Lynne. 'Sometimes it's very demoralising.'

Constantly working out logistics can be tiring.

'I'm divorced and if I'm on a late shift followed by an early shift I have to pack a bag for the boys overnight and remember things like dinner money, school trip money, sports clothes,' she said. 'You have to think well ahead and child care has to be planned quite meticulously as well.

'If one of the children is ill that always throws a spanner in the works. They will always come first but the best laid plans go out of the window and it's sort of panic.

'Having said that, I would not want to be a stay-at-home mum again - I would be bored. …

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