Document Type : Practical article




Background: work and family are two important institutions for the individual and society, and establishing a balance between work and family roles is very important in the successful advancement of goals. Work-family balance creates positive results, while imbalance between work and family has negative consequences that can lead to serious problems for the individual and the organization. University faculty members are faced with more difficulties to establish the balance between career and family roles, especially mothering, due to having a large amount of job duties. Various conditions are effective in the balanced performance of roles, and its identification can create the necessary grounds for solving the obstacles of establishing the balance between occupational and maternal roles and as a result, be useful for performing these roles as best as possible.

Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to identify the conditions that affect the balance between work and mothering among women university faculty members based on their lived experience.

Method: The present research was conducted using a qualitative method. The target population are women who are faculty members of the universities of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, who have the experience of mothering and employment together. The selection of the participants was done with the purposeful sampling method and taking into account the maximum diversity. The information was collected using in-depth and semi-structured interviews. Sampling and conducting interviews continued until data saturation was reached, and based on this, 20 faculty members of Tehran universities were interviewed. After converting the interviews into text, the interviews were coded using the summary content analysis technique and the conditions affecting the balance between the job role and mothering were extracted.

Findings: Based on the data analysis, the conditions affecting the establishment of balance include eight main categories: "attitude towards mothering and employment", "Quality of support and companionship by family", "Quality of support and companionship by university", "job requirements of faculty members", "personal characteristics", "children's childhood difficulties", "children's presence at home" and "access to material facilities" and each of them included several sub-categories. The category "attitude towards mothering and employment" includes a positive attitude towards mothering and a positive belief towards employment and mothering together, the category "Quality of support and companionship by family" includes the support and accompaniment by spouse, the lack of support and accompaniment by spouse, the support and accompaniment by one's own family and the spouse and Lack of support and companionship by one's family and spouse, the category "Quality of support and companionship by university" includes understanding the conditions and companionship of the member by colleagues and university officials, lack of understanding of the difficulties and requirements of the mothering role by the university officials, depriving the member of opportunities for Career success due to mothering and the lack of legal support for the role of mothering, the category of "job requirements of faculty members" includes the time urgency of some career activities, the need to focus strongly on career activities in the primary years, the impossibility of using the rules of hours of Breastfeeding and reduction of working hours, the impossibility of actually using maternity leave, the need to spend a lot of time continuously for work activities, the specific job conditions of the field of study, the need to spend a lot of time to achieve career success, the lack of a clear boundary between work and family life, the necessity of continuity of work activities at home, the requirements of career growth and promotion, and the quantity-oriented rules in evaluating the job success, the category of "individual characteristics" includes being hard-worker, perfectionism and scientific obsession, Being highly responsible in work and obsession in child rearing, the category of "children's childhood difficulties" includes breastfeeding difficulties, childhood mischief, dependence Child to mother and the difficulties of using kindergarten, the category of "children's presence at home", including the presence of children at home during summer vacations, the presence of children at home due to the closure of kindergartens and schools, and the presence of children at home due to illness, the category of "access to Material facilities" included the distance from work to home, financial ability and vehicle.

Result: Among the conditions that affect the balance between work and mothering, some factors have played a more prominent role. One of the most important conditions mentioned by all the women was the support and companionship by their husbands. Support and companionship by spouse in the form of participation in household affairs and child-rearing, in addition to providing more opportunities for women to deal with work duties and as a result, to play a balanced role of work and mothering, encourages and increases motivation and mental energy in women for Playing the job and mother role as best as possible, and in this way, it provides the basis for establishing a balance between the job and mother role. The support and companionship by the university was also one of the most important conditions that played an effective role in establishing balance. Understanding the difficult conditions of playing the role of a mother and a job together, especially for women with young children, by the officials and colleagues of the university and supporting them in different ways, including accepting flexibility in the hours of attendance at the university and adjusting the curriculum according to The conditions of taking care of children, in addition to helping women to adjust the program of work activities in accordance with the duties of mothers, also played a very important role in reducing the tensions caused by the concerns of Playing multiple roles, and by creating tranquility has been effective in balance between work and mothering.


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