Between Money and Love: Work-family Conflict Among Swedish Low-income Single Mothers
AbstractResearch suggests that single mothers are an increasingly vulnerable group in Scandinavia. Drawing on in-depth interviews, this study takes a closer look at challenges faced by Swedish working-class and low-income single mothers. It explores how working conditions and economic resources influence their access to valued practices, such as the possibility to reconcile paid work and family commitments. It is assumed that discrepancies between mothers’ notions of good mothering and their ability to act in accordance with these values give rise to conflicts and dilemmas. Findings show that lack of financial resources and low control over their work situation significantly limited the mothers’ possibility to combine various responsibilities and to practice the kind of mothering they preferred. Furthermore, the opening hours of preschools frequently did not match the mothers’ working schedules, and they could often not effectively benefit from some of the social rights granted by the Swedish welfare state.
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