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Study: Working parents have 30 mins a day for kids

May 05, 2008 10:27 PM IST India India

New Delhi: An Assocham study, based on a random survey in which over 3,000 working couples of various companies participated, says a working woman nearly spends 10-hours in office, over 2.5 hour in traveling, almost seven hours sleeping, three hours working in the household and thus has less than one hour of entertainment and can hardly spare 30 minutes for her children.

The survey also indicates that ideally, most mothers with young families would prefer to stay at home and look after their children.

It shows that just 21 per cent wanted to work full-time, 60 per cent wanted to combine bringing up their children with a part-time job, while 19 per cent wanted to be a full-time mother and a housewife.

The solution could lie with the workplace. Do companies offer working parents any options to help them balance work and home better? Or do women have to choose between a career and children? Here is a reality check.

Case Study

New Delhi: Malvika Trivedi is a regular working mother, juggling her time between a private law practice and her five-year-old daughter, Atrija. There are times when it become difficult to give her best to both.

"Those things like spending time with my child became difficult for me when I was working with a company. Therefore, I just decided to start my own practice," says she.

Just about 30 minutes a day is what your children get from you if you are a working parent, says a recent survey by the Assocham's Social Development Foundation.

The survey also says nearly 70 per cent of parents are left feeling guilty about it, especially the mother.

Now corporates are also waking up to the needs of the parents. They are providing for crèche facilities at work, offering a six-month maternity leave, or giving mothers the option of working from home.

However, even if your company doesn't provide for such facilities, experts say one can make those 30 minutes with the child precious.

HOD Psychology at Fortis hospital, Dr Sameer Malhotra says, "Parents need to adjust their working time to suit the need of their growing children. They need to spend quality time and they should try to channelise their energy in a constructive and positive manner."

It's a tough act, balancing work and home life, but children will tell you it's not just the hours you spend with them that are important but how you utilise that time which matters.

(With inputs from Ginny Narula in New Delhi)