Professor Melissa Milkie on ‘The pressure cooker’ of working from home and homeschooling

May 7, 2020 by Sherri Klassen

The UTM Research News recently published an interview with Professor Melissa Milkie about the difficulties of balancing work and family life. Professor Milkie is a Full Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Tri-Campus Graduate Department. Her research studies gender & family, the work-family interface, culture, and mental health.

We have posted an excerpt of the article below and the full article is available on the UTM News website here.

‘The pressure cooker’ of working from home and homeschooling: A sense of humour may get us through

Friday, April 24, 2020 - 9:04am

Laurie Wallace Lynch

We’ve all no doubt seen the video that went viral where Professor Robert Kelly was at home in South Korea, being interviewed live on BBC News when suddenly his two young children wander into the room, followed by their frantic mother who tries to quickly grab them. This scenario can happen readily during the COVID-19 crisis when many parents are working from home, providing 24/7 childcare and homeschooling. But fear not, a sense of humour and involving children can make people see and appreciate the hard work parents do every single day.

That’s according to U of T Mississauga sociology Professor Melissa Milkie, who has done extensive research on family dynamics and gender. Though some “hero” parents are on the front lines working in essential jobs outside the home, others are contending with a strange collision of their work and family lives.

“What is happening now is not so much the juggling of the two roles of parent and worker, but a complete explosion of how we normally spend our time—and where we spend it—now that everything is under one (sometimes very small) roof,” says Milkie. “But some pressures may be relieved by knowing we are all in this together.”