Many Women Say They Enjoy Dual-Duty Life : Workplace: A fresh survey finds most wives and mothers with jobs are more content than previously believed.

From Associated Press

Liza Dawson says she has a good life.

She gets up at 6:45 a.m., and her 6-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl get up shortly after. When she leaves her home in the suburbs to catch the 8:07 train to her job in New York City, a live-in nanny takes over.

Dawson, a senior editor at William Morrow & Co., returns home about 10 1/2 hours later. After the long day at work, her long night at home begins.

"I'm stressed out to the max, but I can't imagine life any other way," she said.

Dawson's optimism may sound unique, but a new Gallup Poll says it isn't.

The survey, commissioned by Working Mother magazine for its May issue, found working women to be increasingly satisfied with the balance in their lives between job and family.

Gallup polled 1,000 working mothers nationwide--500 chosen at random and 500 selected as being committed to careers. The findings seem to contradict those of other studies reported recently in the media by experts in the work-family field.

Those found many women--and men--to be uncomfortable with the long hours they spend on the job, often riddled with guilt about being away from their families and doing so only because they have to.

"The media tend to pick up the negative side of women's lives," said Judsen Culbreth, editor-in-chief of Working Mother. "This study confirms what our own reader surveys have shown. Women are telling us, 'I like my life and I enjoy my job.' Working mothers are happy about their choices."

Some of the Gallup survey's findings:

* Seven of 10 women said they work because it makes them feel good about themselves, regardless of the job they do or how much money they earn.

* Eight of 10 working mothers said they were "extremely" or "very" satisfied with how their children were doing and how they were doing as mothers; 90% described their children as happy.

* From a woman who desnouts hogs in Missouri to a physics professor in Florida, 75% of the women said they "like" or "love" their jobs. Just 4% said they hate their work.

"My congratulations to Working Mother for this survey," feminist author Betty Friedan said.

Working Mothers

Major findings of Working Mother magazine's Gallup Poll, contained in the May issue:

* Seven of 10 women said they work because it makes them feel good about themselves, regardless of the job or how much they earn.

* Eight of 10 working mothers were "extremely" or "very" satisfied with how well their children were doing and with how they were doing as mothers; 90% described their children as happy.

* Three-quarters of the women said they "like" or "love" their jobs; 4% said they hate their work.

* Mothers predicted sweeping social change in the next 20 years. Three-quarters of those polled said most schools will offer to care for children before and after school hours; 56% said most employers will provide child care at the workplace.

* Nearly nine of 10 women were concerned with getting paid what they were worth; just 4% said they were "not especially concerned about pay."

* Eight of 10 picked "providing for the family" as a major reason for taking a job.

* Most mothers said they see day care as a positive experience for their children. About 77% said their kids had gained social skills, 72% said their children improved their language skills, 68% said they learned more, and 56% said their children did better in school for having attended day care.

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