Natalia BARGAN, National Institute for Economic Research, Republic of Moldova
The article presents the results of the sociological study “Parents between the need to work and family responsibilities” (in baze on 1047 questionnaires with mothers with preschool children and 20 in-depth sociological interviews), conducted by the Center for Demographic Research of NIER. The purpose of the study consisted in analyzing the particularities of reconciling the family life and the professional life of mothers with preschool children, in highlighting the difficulties they face in reintegrating into the labour market after child care leave and in determining the factors that contributes to facilitating the process of balancing family and professional life. The results of the study revealed that families face difficulties in establishing and maintaining a balance between many and sometimes contradictory demands of family and professional life. The interviewed mothers highlighted a high level of motivation to be employed, but the defining reason for returning to the labor market is the need to earn money. Depending on the professional and family orientations, mothers with preschool children can be divided into three categories: mothers who want to combine the work with raising children (65%), mothers who intend to make a career but do not forget about children (21.3%) and mothers who prefer to be housewifes and take care of children (13.7%). Although the support of the husband moderates the relationship between family and professional responsibilities, the results of the study have shown that there is a tendency for women to take full responsibility of the household and child care. The lack of quality care and education services for preschool children, the absence of flexible work programs but also the unequal distribution of family responsibilities contribute to making the work-family life balance a predominant problem.