Across time : the experiences of work/life balance among mothers in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Dublin District

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O'Neill, Aoife
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BA (Hons) in Social Science
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this research paper is to explore the experiences of women, within an Irish context, in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown who participated or currently participate within the labour force and had children. Seven semi-structured interviews were used in order to collect the data. Firstly discussing the experiences with Group A, three women who experienced the work-life balance during the 1980’s, and contrasting them to Group B, women who are currently experiencing the WLB. How do their experiences compare or contrast some thirty years later. The purposes of the interviews were to explore participants’ perceptions of the work life balance in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown. In conducting thematic analysis on the dataset, the researcher identified five themes; routine, responsibility, decision to work, childcare and Government supports. In summary, there are a complex web of variants that impact on a mother’s experience of WLB. Currently in Ireland, according to Group B, financial implications and childcare impact their WLB. It was suggested that the socioeconomic status (SES) of the women does not directly correlate to having more choice. Author keywords: Work/life balance, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, childcare and socioeconomic status