Today’s American families are more likely than those of past decades to feature two full-time working parents. A new Pew Research Center report looks at how working moms and dads in two-parent households are balancing their jobs with their family responsibilities and how they view the dynamics of sharing child care and household responsibilities.
Here are some key findings from the report:
1Two-parent households with a mother who does not work outside the home have grown much less common in the U.S. since 1970.Today, both parents work full time in 46% of these households. Only about a quarter of two-parent households now consist of a full-time working father and a mother who is not employed. By comparison, in 1970, both parents worked full time in just 31% of two-parent homes, while a full-time working dad and a stay-at-home mom made up a 46% plurality of them.
2In homes with two full-time working parents, most parents say chores, discipline and quality time with kids are shared equally, but scheduling and sick days fall more on mom. About six-in-ten American parents in these dual-earning households say they share responsibility evenly for playing or doing activities with children, disciplining children, and taking care of chores. However, when it comes to certain activities, about half of parents still say mom takes the lead.
Some 54% of parents in households with two full-time working parents say the mother does more to manage the children’s schedule and activities, while 39% say this task is shared equally and 6% say the father does more. And 47% say the mother takes on more when their children fall ill, equal to the share saying they split this duty equally; just 6% say the father does more of this.
But moms and dads don’t have the same perception of the division of labor. Fathers are more likely than mothers to say the responsibilities are shared equally, but mothers are more likely to say they take on the larger role in many of these tasks.
3When both parents in a household work full time, most say neither’s career takes priority, but half say dad makes more money. Some 62% say the mother and father are equally focused on their careers, while 22% say the father is more career-oriented and 15% say it’s the mother.
Despite this widespread equity in parents’ focus on their careers, half in families with two full-time working parents say the father earns more than the mother. In the other half of these households, the parents report that either the salaries are roughly equal (26%) or the mother earns more (22%).
In a previous report, we found a rise in women serving as breadwinners for their families since the 1960s. Most of this growth has been due to the rise in single mothers, but about 40% of the growth in breadwinner mothers is due to married mothers who earn more than their husbands. Our analysis of Census Bureau data found that in 2011, 15% of households with young children were comprised of a wife who out-earned her husband.
4Working mothers are more likely than fathers to say parenting has interfered with their career advancement. Overall, the survey suggests that being a parent doesn’t necessarily interfere with career advancement – a majority of working parents (59%) say being a parent has made it neither harder nor easier to advance in their job or career, while three-in-ten say it has made their trajectory harder and one-in-ten say it has made it easier.
However, a larger share of mothers (four-in-ten full- and part-time moms) than fathers (just two-in-ten) say being a working parent has made it harder to advance in their careers.
5For many working parents, there’s just not enough time. About four-in-ten full-time working mothers say they spend too little time with their kids. By comparison, 18% of part-time working mothers and 11% of non-working mothers say the same. For their part, working fathers are significantly more likely than working mothers to say they spend too little time with their children – fully half of full-time working fathers say this is the case.
Time with children isn’t the only area where full-time working parents are feeling the squeeze – 55% say they don’t spend enough time away from their children to get together with friends or pursue hobbies, and among those who are married or cohabiting, 42% say they spend too little time with their partners. Roughly equal shares of full-time working moms and dads say they have too little time in these areas.
Category: 5 Facts
Topics: Work and Employment, Family Roles, Parenthood, Household and Family Structure
Eileen Patten is a former research analyst focusing on Hispanic, social and demographic trends at Pew Research Center.
Living at home versus living in a dorm/apartment
Living in an apartment or a dorm is better than living at home. It is better value for money to live somewhere close to school or to where you work. You save money, at will especially save the amount of travelling you would need to do. We all know that there is no place like home, but to become a confident adult you need to be willing to explore, meet new people, and go to new places, as long as this does not put you in harm's way, or into personal troubles. The act of living alone also proves to yourself and everyone that you know you can take care of yourself and that you are independent. It also proves that you are able to make your own choices, shape your own future and understand what is good for you and what is not good for you.
Moving out is the best way to force yourself out there, and to make new friends and get involved with new experiences. In being away from home you make new acquaintances, who give you access to better prospects and relationships in life. Your social development, and also your intellectual and emotional development, is facilitated by living in this way. Meeting a diverse range of people from lots of different backgrounds is one of the best ways to broaden your mind and open up to new experiences, helping you to understand yourself better and ultimately have a better quality of life.
Moving out isn't the end of the world either. If you find that you are not ready, or that it does not suit you, it is no shame to go back home, to an environment that you feel comfortable in.
One-career versus two-career family
These days, it is most practical to have a family in which each partner has a career (or a two-career family), because the economy is poor, and having two careers helps to bring in more money, and to give an overall better chance of income and prosperity for the future. Two separate jobs helps to hedge against one partner facing redundancy in difficult times, and if this does happen then at least there is one full time job to help pay for things while the other partner hunts for a new job. Two careers make things more dynamic and help to enhance personal relationships, Someone who has a career is likely to be intelligent and interesting, and so it is very rewarding to live with someone like this. There are still lots of commitments that need to be faced, and often the marriage or partnership is the last one to be addressed, behind work, housekeeping and of the needs of the children. With two full time jobs, there is much less available time to spend with the children, whereas there is much more for one of the partners in a one-career family. With two careers going, each partner must fight the problems and dilemmas in each other's career progression, while dealing with the more mundane aspects of family life like school runs and chores. Partners need to be flexible, and this is highly important when there are two full time jobs. Many external factors mean that control over life in general is much harder to do in a two-career family. People in a two-career marriage need to be able to balance the career component and the family component, even when the family is young. Thompson states that you need to be able to separate marriage from work (Thompson, Cheryl A.). Many unforeseen problems arise due to complicated work issues for two-career families, though if considerations are made, and practical schedules are developed, with a creative mindset and healthy communication between family members, a two-marriage family can be very exciting and very rewarding for everyone in it, and families which can last like this usually go on to be very strong and successful
Living together versus marriage
Marriage is one idea that many believe can help improve the well being, health and success of humans around the world, and there is much proof to back this idea up. Scholars maintain that people in marriage and more likely to be happier mentally, have a healthier life, enjoy an overall better quality of life, and live longer. They rank high in fulfillment, and are much less likely to develop mental problems. Living together before marriage, or having a family and not being married is less beneficial than marriage for the couple. Partnership without marriage brings more conflicts and increases the chance of aggressive behavior, and a better chance of the partnership breaking down over time. Married people have been shown to live longer than people who are not married, even if they are in a partnership. Married people have better psychological health, and are less likely to need health care services (Stanton, 1997).
Living with someone else without marriage is soulless, and removes the chance for God to enter the relationship. Not getting married means not making a true commitment, or willingness to make a commitment, to hard work which must be present in everything we do in life if it is to have meaning. The foundations of a successful relationship are accountability and commitment, and without them, the easy life mentality present in modern society will reflect in the relationship. Couples living with one another will often think that they are free to leave when they want, and that the financial goals between each partner becomes a competition, which is something most married couples don't have. The vows that a married couple make on their wedding day have a stronger bond based on their vows, and there is usually less volatility in a married relationship. This means that when times do get difficult, it is easier to work through and get to the resolution. Married relationships grow stronger with each day, helping to sustain your love for each other. All in all marriage is proof that your relationship is not trivial, and the fact that the law binds you together, and gives you sense of permanency makes break ups far more unlikely thanks to there being no easy way out. It makes partners more committed, especially through the inevitably difficult times.
Stanton, Glenn T. Living Together (1997)
Thompson, Cheryl A. Tips for Managing Two-Career Marriage.
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