Stories about work-life balance often seem to intimate that if women just had a few less hours at work every week there would be more time to spend with family and friends, more time to cook healthy meals with freshly picked ingredients, or to just kick back and have some more "me time." They tend to assume all women need more time than money, when the reality is most women work every minute of the day needed to earn a salary that doesn't seem to go far enough every month.
That's why I liked this story about an AFL-CIO survey of working women. Though admittedly unscientific, it hits on some pretty important truths. Half of the women surveyed said they don't have much free time, with 44 percent saying it adds up to less than an hour a day. Add kids to the mix, and 72 percent of women with children in the home said they had less than an hour they'd truly call free.
What if they could get some more hours to themselves? Half said they would use them to take on another job because they need more money. One-quarter said they'd like to have more free time to spend with friends, exercise, sleep, volunteer, or take a class.
When asked what would make their lives a little easier, few answered more time: 53 percent said a 10-percent raise, and 20 percent cited high-quality, affordable health care.
If you had more time in the day, how would you spend it?