This book takes a life course perspective, analysing and comparing the biographies of mothers and fathers in seven European countries in context. Based on an innovative, cross-national EU study, it examines the ways in which working parents negotiate the transition to parenthood and attempt to find a 'work-life balance'. Using in-depth qualitative biographical data, the book offers a deep understanding of working parents' real lives by locating them within diverse national, workplace and family contexts. It provides rich insights into how policies and practices at the institutional level play out in individual and family lives, how they shape the decisions during both transition phases and in parents' daily experiences of juggling work and family life. It highlights some difficult and complex issues about the sustainability of contemporary working practices for bringing up children that are highly relevant in times of economic retrenchment. 'Transitions to parenthood in Europe' will be of interest to an academic readership at all levels of the social sciences, as well as employers, managers, trade unions and policy makers.
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