Are you happy with your own work-life balance? For most people, the daily challenge of meeting the needs of your family and household always seems to be at odds with the demands of your job. Life is an ongoing balancing act. In the end, is it worth it? Especially if you are wealthy enough that you don’t really need to work.
According to wealthy women, those with more than $1 million of net worth (not including their primary residence), 28% chose to work simply because they love to work. Another 59% indicated that they felt working was an economic necessity but they also wanted to work. Only 14% of working women felt they had to work and didn’t really want to.
It’s difficult to read this data and not reflect upon one’s own choices. I chose to work even though we probably could have gotten by on just my husband’s income. For me it was a difficult choice between wanting to make sure my children enjoyed a lifestyle that had been difficult for my own family when I was growing up. Sending my children to college with little or no student debt, paying for private school, letting my children participate in expensive sports like hockey, paying for summer camp and family vacations at nice places. Were all of those things necessary? Of course not. I grew up without any of them but I wanted those opportunities to be available for my children. For me, that was why I was working.
Additionally there was a need to be able to have intellectual discussions on a regular basis with my peers. I didn’t want to sacrifice all of the years of education (and student debt) I had achieved throughout the years. I felt I could balance everything, and I think I did.
Almost 80 percent of women are satisfied with the balance they have achieved between family time and work. Approximately 20% of women wish they had been able to spend more time with their family while virtually no one wished they could devote more time to their work. Millennial and Gen X women are the most likely to be stressed about their work-life balance, with only 73% expressing satisfaction. Younger women are more likely to be in the biggest crunch period because they are more likely to have younger children.
All of our experiences are different. The level of stress that any one of us chooses to take on is also personal and no one can judge another because of it. As I grow older, I am much more understanding and open to choices others have made. Sometimes when I was in the thick of the stressful times, I was much more judgmental….both about myself and about others. Overall, women who have chosen to work are happy with their choices….it could be because they love their careers or because they feel they must contribute to the family finances. And for those who chose to stay at home….they made the choice that is right for them. Our hearts should go out, however, to the 14% who are forced to work even though they don’t want to.