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How Does Your Two-Career Family Divvy Up the Housework?

Monday, June 08, 2015


two career families divvy up the housworkDo you remember before you married you each promised that you’d split the running of the household and childcare 50-50 since you both had careers? Is that still working for you or have more of the household tasks migrated back onto your plate? Or rather are these tasks just going undone?

To keep the household and childcare covered, one person, usually the mother, has to keep things organized, scheduling the to-do lists, doctor appointments, school permission slips, extracurricular activities, and so forth. This greatly affects how much time and energy mom has left for working secularly. That’s not to say the dad doesn’t want to spend more time with the children, because he does. Yet he feels driven to work to take care of his family.

In a recent New York Times article, various studies were examined to determine today’s reality of housework equality. One 2008 study by Dr. Lareau and sociologist Elliot B. Weininger found, “Mothers’ paid work hours go up when children’s activities go down, whereas fathers’ paid hours are not affected by how much their children do.” This indicates that juggling home and work puts a tremendous drain of time and energy for moms.

The article goes on to explore the perception of both sexes: “Half of the men surveyed in a Families and Work Institute study from 2008 said they were either the responsible parent or shared the role equally with their spouse, while two-thirds of the women said they were the one in charge. This suggests that either men overestimate their contribution or women define the work differently.”

I’ve often commented that communication is key to successfully merging family life and work life. Yet, with frayed nerves, stress, and overworked emotions, conflict arises and good communication skills often go out the window.

Is it time to reconnect with your spouse, but you don’t know how? Many have found that it helps to enlist the expertise of a professional who can help you reorganize priorities and teach you tools of communication to cut through the conflict. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. It’s truly a sign of maturity and strength to be so committed to your marriage that you’ll do whatever is needed to make it work. If you live near Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA please contact my office and schedule an appointment and we can talk about how to help your family be happy and strong.

Read more on my website: Dual Career Couples and Conflict and Communication.

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