Sunbelt Working Mothers: Reconciling Family and Factory

Sunbelt Working Mothers: Reconciling Family and Factory

Sunbelt Working Mothers: Reconciling Family and Factory

Sunbelt Working Mothers: Reconciling Family and Factory

Excerpt

When I get a job, I hang onto it. I'd rather hold a job than go look for a job. Even if it does frustrate me and get on my nerves. It isn't a bad job, so I don't seriously consider quitting. I never have.

--Mary Pike, age 22, stitcher, apparel plant

The hardest part of a working mother's life is trying to extend yourself over everything. You want to give 100 percent at work, you want to give 100 percent at home, you want to give 100 percent to your kids, and you can't do that always.

--Donna Garcia, age 28, skills trainer, electronics firm

Since 1960 an enormous number of mothers have entered the labor force in the United States, most of them in blue-collar, clerical, and service jobs. America's families are no longer typically composed of a working father, a housewife mother, and children. They are more flexible in form, ranging from traditional nuclear families to two-job families to families headed by single mothers, gay and lesbian couples, and single individuals (both young adults and senior citizens, primarily women). In 1991, in 58 percent of couples with children the women held paying jobs, and their wages made them substantial contributors to family incorne. In addition, in 17 percent of all households single mothers provided the primary support for their children (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 1991). The increase in the numbers of working mothers has challenged our cultural notions . . .

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