Volume 27, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0169-2216
  • E-ISSN: 2468-9424


Family and work on your own. The combination strategies of single mothers and fathers

Family and work on your own. The combination strategies of single mothers and fathers

Due to demographic changes, the situation of single parents has received a lot of attention in public debate and new policies. Nevertheless, little scientific information is available on the daily life and social conditions of single parents. In a dual parents household, previous research found two types of strategies to find a work-life balance. First, one can choose to intervene in the work role: the parent can reduce, adjust or end his/her working schedule. Second, one can adjust their family role by outsourcing a part of his/her family role. However, the question remains which strategies single parents use to find a work-family balance. Using 28 biographical interviews, this qualitative research focused on the daily life of single parents in Flanders and their search for a work-life balance. The results suggest four types of single parents, based on criteria such as job satisfaction, feelings of guilt, educational problems, and socio-economical characteristics. This article will discuss for each of these four groups the strategies they use to (re-)find balance in their work-life conflict.


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