Leading Article: Changes in Our Work-Life Balance Can Benefit Us All

Article excerpt

ONE of the paradoxes of the past 100 years is that a succession of labour-saving devices seems to leave us with no more time than our ancestors had.

The typical parent today will have a car, washing machine, microwave oven and other devices to get chores done faster and easier. There are plenty of other options to save work and time, including disposable nappies and internet shopping.

And yet we still do not have enough time to play with our babies and small children, when our undivided attention would benefit them enormously.

Research has found that one-third of Welsh parents say they are spending too little time playing with their offspring because they are too busy. The figures also show that fathers, more than mothers, feel they should devote more time to their little ones.

This indicates that the problem is basically one of work-life balance. While many mothers stop work or tailor their hours to their children's needs, fathers tend to continue working as before.

Arriving home each evening and catching little more than a glimpse of the children before bedtime leaves many parents feeling guilty or frustrated. …