Housework: Male-Female Divisions of Labor

In the U.S., time allocation trends in marriages have changed markedly over the last 50 years. Specifically, the idea that married with children entails dad doing anything but the dishes has faded into TVLand viewing. For example, in 2010, among married couples where both are employed full-time outside home, women averaged 1.1 hours of childcare a day. Men were 17 minutes behind. That’s an improvement (over 35 years) of 300% for the guys. But that’s not the real story I think. Research shows that as women moved into the workplace during the same period, they kept a lot of child care duties.[1] But not housework. No. Men picked up the slack big time.

Ellen Galinsky (Families and Work Institute) has conducted research into the “new dad.” And yes, they are feeling pressured by the new expectation of good at work, good at fatherhood.[2]

On the other hand, working women, given their increasing commitment to kid-culture, are feeling more dissatisfaction than they did 30 years ago according to UCLA’s Susan Bianchi. The upshot is dads have these developing issues: when women come back to work after the baby, there is a modified expectation of performance. But no such compensation was felt by new fathers. Ergo: for men, conflicts rain down between work responsibilities and fatherly responsibilities, between his wife’s expectations and what he can deliver, and between work aspirations and the parental ideal.

What drives the perception of women and men here? An interesting point of difference between working parents: over the years, the genders report a transition in the meaning of “free time.” In 1975 its meaning to both implied reduced feelings of being rushed. But 20 years later that meaning had changed for women, who increasingly blended leisure time with child care. Men on the other hand report that they believe care giving ought to be equal but believe it happens only 30% of the time.[3] The solution to these perceived inequities: “take their feet slightly off the gas pedal of their careers when their children are young.”

That is of course all well and good. The problem is, that careers are built on pedal to metal at the beginning of things.

Now, as I observe what is going on around me in my ripening years, I see not this average stuff in the stats, but a huge variety of behavior among parents. Parents of my age tend to belong to the “dad=primary breadwinner — mom=primary homemaker” camp. This seems in fact to still be a kind of local Church ideal, set in concrete to some degree by the Proclamation on the Family. But I have no idea how this works outside the Mormon Corridor. So my question to you is, how do you see the division of labor working out around you, and especially among your Mormon acquaintances? You can volunteer your own situation if you wish. Have at it.

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[1] In fact, women engaged in full-time employment outside the home increased their time with the kids and that time morphed into time spent in cultural pursuits (you know, ballet lessons, etc.). That implies the men participated in the effort too. For most of the stats and quotes here, see Time (August 8, 2011).

[2] See her May 2010 report published by the Institute.

[3] I.e., they believe their wives aren’t cutting the mustard here.

Comments

  1. HappyValleyGuy says:

    I am in Happy Valley, so I am not sure if I can provide the outside perspective you are looking for… in my ward/neighborhood, the traditional paradigm you mentioned is very prevalent (“dad=primary breadwinner — mom=primary homemaker”) and in church circles there is definitely a negative social stigma attached to woman working outside the home. For our family though (a young family with lots of little kids), I do at least half of the child care, probably 75+% of the housework, and virtually all of the yard work… and I am the primary breadwinner (I am uniquely fortunate to have a well paying, flexible job that allows me to do all of this). For many reasons this is just the reality in our family. My wife does have a very part-time job, no more than 10 hours a week outside the home (and she really struggled with the decision to “leave” them to go and work, because of this cultural stigma and her fear of how other would perceive her)… but her job has been one of the best things for her… And I love playing such a large role in the care giving of my children. I definitely agree that the gender role stereotypes are slowly changing. Just as women are perfectly capable in the workplace, I look forward to the day when people can recognize that I (and any other father) am just as capable of being a loving, nurturing caregiver to my children as my wife and that I not be relegated to just the distant bread-winning father, incapable of having a close emotional/spiritual connection with my kids (I hear this kind of thing a lot in the church, often as a member cites the Proclamation to the Family)… slowly but surely the culture changes…

  2. If I ever get married again, unless said spouse is filthy rich I am going to work. I will try for one of us to be home for the first 2 or so years of my children’s lives but other than that I am going to work and I will be damned if anyone will make me feel guilty about it.

    I wasn’t raised LDS and so these ideas of Mom baking cookies for kiddies when they get home from school are in the long distant past. My mother stayed home until I was 4 but after that we were on our own. We were dirt poor and both my parents routinely had 2 jobs and sometimes my father had 3. Believe it or not, all 6 of us are alive, drug free, jail free, etc…

    I will come back later after I gather more of my thoughts. Gender stereotypical roles make me see red so I need to collect myself, excuse me.

  3. I’m outside the Mormon Corridor and the vast majority of mothers in my ward work outside the home. In fact, when I first moved here and I didn’t have a job, I felt a little bit looked down on by the other mothers. It was an unfamiliar vibe to pick up at church. Now that I do have a job, it’s nice to fit right in and not feel judged at all for it.

    As for household chore/childcare divisions, I don’t think it’s possible to get a clear picture of what goes on in other people’s homes. You can’t even rely on how much people say they do. For example, I wonder if HappyValleyGuy’s wife would concur with his estimation of the division of labor in their house. Maybe she would, and that’s great. Sometimes I get to wondering if I’m doing more or less than “the norm,” whatever that is, and then I decide it doesn’t matter because what we’re doing in our family is OUR norm.

  4. HappyValleyGuy says:

    Other Bridget: You don’t know me so you can only take my word for it, but I am certainly not exaggerating my role in the home (my wife and anyone who knows our family would back that up)… My point was not to draw comparisons but simply to point out that I am a man and I do an awful lot of in the home that doesn’t conform to traditional gender roles, and I do it just as well as a woman would do. Your point is well taken, and I am sure we often don’t have a completely accurate view of the division of labor (at home, at work, at church, etc.)… But I don’t in any way resent the workload that our unique family situation has placed upon me, quite the opposite… I cherish it… It is truly a blessing to have such a close relationship and connection with all of my kids and to have the opportunity to serve my children and my wife this way on a daily basis…

  5. OtherBridget (3) This: “Sometimes I get to wondering if I’m doing more or less than “the norm,” whatever that is, and then I decide it doesn’t matter because what we’re doing in our family is OUR norm.” is the answer, brava! We all need to do what is best within our own unique family situations and not let anyone make us feel ashamed or as if we are not “normal” in some way, or heaven forbid make us feel like we are not living the Gospel.

  6. Jon Miranda says:

    I have found that women take a certain pride in the cleaniness of their homes. Just see what happens when you tell her that her mother in law is coming.

  7. Kristine says:

    Uh, Jon, not so much pride as avoidance of shame. There is a heap of judgment attached to being a poor housekeeper for women, that men completely escape.

  8. Looking at it from outside some of my friends’ marriages, regardless of who’s at the office and who’s at home, I seem to see a lot more togetherness than it seems I used to. That is, couples seem to work in the yard together, go grocery shopping together, fix dinner together (at least when I’m a guest). Rather than chores, a lot of household work — at least that which is publicly observable — seems to be almost date-like now.

  9. Meldrum the Less says:

    Maybe an aside, but this is a Mormon blog.

    How does changing gender roles influence the performance of callings at church? If our first responsibility is at home, then what is going on at home has an enormous impact on what can happen at church.

    This observation was in one ward a couple of decades ago. But it was pretty obvious that stay-at-home moms were able to get over 90% of their visiting teaching done. Working women did about 50-60%, and even less if they had small children or no hubby around to help.. Father’s with jobs were under 30% in their home teaching. Retired high priests were back up in the 80-90% range. (i am remembering the stats to paint a impressionistic picture not looking at any data,)

    MIght this domino into larger decisions? Like combining wards or where there is growth letting wards get bigger before splitting them. This would allow for greater specialization and more flexible options for callings might be made available?

  10. Chris Kimball says:

    Based on my observation (i.e., anecdotal not statistical), I would guess that any “trend” in numbers is due to survey design and demographics. For a couple with children at home–a minority of households in the U.S.–this strikes me as old news. More than 20 years ago in the Chicago area, Church leaders “woke up” to the fact that there were almost no women at home during the day and programs like Visiting Teaching could not function in the then-traditional fashion. From that time (really well before that, for myself), I’ve viewed the “dad=primary breadwinner — mom=primary homemaker” model as a practical consideration for the 10% or even 1%. For the 90% or the 99%, every imaginable division of labor, inside and outside the home, seems to happen. My (adult) children seem to be negotiating and adapting in a continuous dance on running water.

  11. “Uh, Jon, not so much pride as avoidance of shame. There is a heap of judgment attached to being a poor housekeeper for women, that men completely IGNORE AND DON’T ALLOW TO AFFECT THEIR SELF-IMAGE.”

    Fixed it for you.

  12. Kristine says:

    Josh, I don’t think that’s true–men don’t have to ignore it because nobody thinks a messy house is the man’s fault. (NB: this is a case-specific assertion; it is true in plenty of other instances that women care more than men about others’ opinions, in ways that are unnecessary and detrimental)

  13. And of course the reverse is true, at least in all the LDS wards I’ve ever lived in–if the family’s struggling financially, and the father’s living at home, there is a heap of judgment attached to being a poor provider put on men, that women completely escape.

    And that’s regardless of what the wife’s earning potential is.

  14. Kristine says:

    And regardless of the “obligated to help each other as equal partners” clause in the Family Proc. We ONLY read that as requiring fathers to help with housework and childcare, never ever as encouraging women to help earn money.

  15. Peter LLC says:

    There is a heap of judgment attached to being a poor housekeeper for women, that men completely escape.

    I’m probably just the exception proving the rule, but in my household I’m the one who worries the most what company thinks, and have done so since childhood. It’s likely not healthy, especially since I’m apparently not catching any heat for the mess or credit for the polished brass!

  16. #14 – and, Kristine, the “adapt to individual circumstances” clause that’s also in there.

    One of my biggest frustrations is that I see the Proclamation as changing radically the *practical expectation* regarding issues like this (even with the inclusion of the word “preside”) while so many members don’t seem to have a clue about what it actually says. It still outlines a cultural ideal, but it immediately lays out a very different practical expectation – one that puts the ultimate decision in the hands of the individual couple.

    Now that our youngest is 10, my wife and I solve the problem by making our kids do all the housework and yardwork. Indentured servitude is great.

  17. Kristine, I also think you might be overstating some of your points. I think women are encouraged to help provide when “necessary”, although different people might have different views of when it is necessary. I also disagree that men “completely escape” judgment associated with bad housekeeping. I think there is probably less judgment of men in this area but they don’t completely escape it.

  18. Kristine says:

    “Kristine, I also think you might be overstating some of your points.”

    WHAT??!!!! That has never, EVER happened before!

  19. Actually, I think Kristine is almost dead accurate on this one. (By the way, “dead accurate” strikes me as an odd and horrible saying *wince*) In our American / Mormon culture, women take the blame and shame for a “dirty” house.

  20. Naismith says:

    We’ve lived most of our married life in the LDS hinterlands and I’ve been employed for most of our marriage. Every time our current batch of kids started kindergarten, I returned to part-time employment. But I never thought of the years at home as “not working” and we have always seen my (unpaid) work at home as contributing to the fiscal bottom line of our family organization. I cook and bake, sew costumes and wedding outfits, research investments, can and dry food, plan vacations. That all saves a ton of money, and my husband recognizes the value, in part thanks to the church teachings on provident living. Not to mention that he also got accelerated promotions and was able to excel in his career because I schlepped four kids to another continent during an extended period of his work there, and he didn’t need as much time off for sick kids, etc. So we laugh when people try to make out that I am a mere dependent and he is the only one providing.

    My husband served a mission in an area where it would be considered rude and selfish NOT to have a maid and cook if you could afford it. We have a professional cleaning service that is licensed and above-board. So neither of us does all the cleaning, and it has been particularly helpful during seasons of intense church leadership for one or the other of us, since that can throw a real wrench into the best-laid plans for sharing. But there is no doubt that like most couples we have different ideas on what is “necessary.” He doesn’t have as much commitment to composting as I do; there are certain surfaces that he can’t stand to be cluttered.

    We are adamant about all the children of either gender knowing how to do all the tasks associated with both. Our girls use power tools, mow the lawn. My daughter-in-law is appreciative that my son can sew on a button, cook.

    We shouldn’t be judging anyone else’s housekeeping, end of story. People should do whatever works for them. If someone in your house has allergies, you may need a different level of cleanliness or whatever.

    Where I live, LDS families with young kids do seem to follow the mom-at-home ideal if you just look at the surface. But look closer, and you see that the woman often has a career that is on hold but will offer a transition later. A lawyer who works at home while baby naps, a physical therapist who is at a hospital every other Saturday morning while dad is home with kids, and so on. And none of the post-childrearing women are at home full-time; one college professor who just made tenure took her first assistant professor job at age 52.

  21. I found myself both highly irritated and yet highly amused (perhaps at the cultural overtones) at a Bishopric member in my (Wasatch Front) ward who, a couple years ago, made the remark during his testimony that he was grateful that his wife “honored her temple covenants by being a stay-at-home mom.” I still find myself scratching my head about how he was able to connect those two issues; I just don’t remember my wife and I making that covenant, but apparently he does. In all fairness however, I know that this is an axe-grinding issue for them anyway; she has often expressed self-righteous indignation at being nearly the only woman in our neighborhood who “follows the Prophet’s counsel to stay at home and raise your kids.”

    Uh oh … there I go speaking evil of the Lord’s anointed again …

  22. My sister in law has two kids, both in school and nearing teenage years. She is convinced that righteous moms stay home if at all possible, but she knows she can’t say that to people out loud and it bugs her. It drives her crazy that lots of people in and out of the church can’t understand why she doesn’t get a job, and she resents it that they think she’s lazy. She has trained her husband to not help with housework or doing much with the kids, because then what would she do?

  23. I just wonder what the heck I went to school for if I am not going to work. I am not working while I go to school and it is driving me crazy to not have an income.

  24. I work full time, my husband stays home with our two young sons. He does all the cooking and vacuums. I clean the bathrooms and do the dishes. We do our own laundry. We get some judgement from his family, but my family is very supportive it (mostly because my brother is also a SAHD).

    All I can say is, LDS men are incredible!

  25. JAT (#54) says:

    Several mothers in my ward lie about not working and continue to weepily testify about the joys of raising their children as opposed to letting Godless strangers do it. Meanwhile, they work in and out of the home full time. Certain jobs are better for keeping this kind of secret, property managers/landlords/investors, secretaries in offices not frequented by ward members, airline phone operators, book keeping and accounting/auditing, etc.

  26. There is just all kinds of weird going on with this issue on the Wasatch Front, that the rest of the world doesn’t give two thoughts about.

  27. WaMo (26) exactly!

  28. “And regardless of the “obligated to help each other as equal partners” clause in the Family Proc. We ONLY read that as requiring fathers to help with housework and childcare, never ever as encouraging women to help earn money.”
    I disagree. Most of the women I know have worked during times of their marriage….even if they are currently a SAHM they worked before their husband’s graduated from school, or they work part time when their husband is home or they work in ways that they can while having children with them like managing apartments or childcare or piano lessons.
    Also, in my family since I spend almost all of the money paying bills and buying for a household of six, if our finances are off it is me who works harder to decrease our food budget by taking more time to shop for and cook cheaper meals which take a greater amount of time to make and generate a greater amount of dishes. In other words, if I spend an extra hour per day I can spend $600 less on food per month. I see that as helping my husband provide in our individual circumstances now that we are feeding four children, three of whom are old enough to now eat more than me. It may be old fashioned but it still can hold true that housework and providing go hand in hand, but I have to add shopping. I don’t buy a lot of “wants” but since their are so many choices for buying our needs, I take more time to spend less money in order to help provide financially for the family.

  29. Regardless of the fantasy world ideals proposed in the Proclamation, in the real world where I reside, both myself and my wife will need to spend a good portion of our lives working full-time. The past or current recession threw our young family in a tailspin for a while. I was looking for full-time work for almost 2 years. My wife kept the family afloat by working full-time at a pretty decent if not stressful job, though we still lost a lot of momentum money-wise and our income level has been put back to what it was 5 years ago.

    I had the opportunity to be at home with the 2 kids for that time, and was able to get occasional part-time work. Prior to that my wife had been working part-time while the kids were young, with the plan to go back to full-time once they got older. The role reversal was a tough adjustment for us, but I think we both learned a ton. I certainly got to know my kids better and deeper and got to love and appreciate them more than had I never spent so much time at home with them. My wife was the true hero, saving the day or years by kicking butt at her job and putting up with my depression and somewhat lost identity for part of that time.

    If we put a positive spin on all of this, we were able to reset how we lived financially to something much more sustainable. Unfortunately we are starting over as far as any kind of long term savings goes. I’m back working full-time again (9 months now!) My wife is back home with our now 3 and final kid tally. Our oldest is 7, middle 5 and youngest is 7 months. She’s also doing part time work with a home business that she recently started, but will either grow that into something full-time or go back to work full-time when all the kids are in school.

    We realize that we are not helping ourselves financially by both of us not working full right now, but we feel strongly about one of use being around for the first few years. And luckily we can make that choice even now, even if it initially slows any kind of financial comeback. But in the long run, we will very likely need to both work full-time for the rest of our non-retired lives, if we ever want to get to a point were we can actually retire, have money to help out with kids college, marriages or missions. That’s how it works for us in the pseudo-mormon corridor (Phoenix AZ). Or maybe Arizona is still considered part of the corridor (you tell me)?

    BTW is 3 kids the new average at least in the US or the western US? Seems like there are a ton of families with that amount in our area.

  30. Average number of (under 18) children per family in AZ: 1.97.

  31. Thanks WVS. Actually I was wondering what the average is for mormon families. Is it slightly more than the national average?

  32. Kristine says:

    Chris, average for Mormon families has been pretty consistently (since 1900) national average + 1.

  33. Growing up I had always wanted 5 children, but now I am too old to pursue that many. I would prefer 2 but my parenting needs will be fulfilled with 1 if need be.

  34. YvonneS says:

    There is an interesting article in the most recent issue of the Atlantic Monthly titled Why Women Still Can’t Have It All. To make a long story short all employers believe they should come first in their employees lives. The number of hours required each week mean that women in some jobs must either stay late to finish work or take it home. Even when husbands are totally supportive and pick up the slack a woman who wants a career and not a job finds it almost impossible to strike a workable balance.

  35. I think it’s true that people fill needless guilt when either they or the people around them interpret the Proclamation too literally and use it as a stick to beat either themselves or other people. The world is not the same place it was in, say, the fifties, when women stayed home and men could easily support a family with the jobs they kept for their entire working lives. But many workplaces are still stuck in the fifties model of the ideal worker who doesn’t have a life outside the office. So when someone, either male or female, experiences work/life conflict (which actually happens more to men than women these days) and wants to cut back their hours or their responsibilities, it’s still not either a socially or financially rewarding proposition. Like YvonneS says, if one partner tells another he/she needs to do more housework or spend more time with the kids, but their job requires mandatory overtime and travel, it may not happen. The ideal worker model often (though I wouldn’t say this is true of *all* employers) means total dedication to work regardless of other responsibilities. But I do think things are slowly improving. Eventually, if current trends in aging, technology, Gen.Y attitudes, and globalization continue, employers will be forced to change this attitude, but sometimes I wish they’d be quicker about it!

  36. I have always wanted a wife that will stay at home and rely on me to be the breadwinner. That was one of the many things I found attractive in my wife when we were dating. Now we have 2 kids and my wife is suddenly seriously considering going to dental school. It’s been an unexpected turn of events and we joke together about how this isn’t what I expected — “haha I tricked you” :-)

    On the one hand I can grasp the idea that she wants to find fulfillment, but on the other hand I freely admit that I really don’t understand what she’s feeling. If she does pursue this it will not be because of financial considerations, but rather to feel successful. Every feminist on the planet probably understands what she is going through, but as simple as this concept is it’s still difficult to pound through my thick man-skull.

  37. As a writer/stay at home mother,I agree that motherhood (while it is rigorous in its own way) can lend itself to more “extras.” Nobody’s monitoring my time and making sure I’m doing what I’m getting paid for. I can take a little break if there’s a moment of unchaos (which, with seven children, happens less often than I’d like.) My husband, who would love to be a writer, has no time for it. His hours are paid for by his employer, so he has to be fully productive during all of them… no extras on the clock. And then he comes home and does his “half” of childcare/household management.

    I think that it’s still fairly equal, though, because I’m the one who loses sleep if baby needs nursing or kid is throwing up (unless baby is nursing) etc. I’m primary caregiver, still, even when he’s home. I don’t off-clock ever.

    Divisions of labor= I don’t know why, because i like to think I’m progressive and somewhat feminist, but I balked for a long time at the idea of Jeff taking over major household tasks of cleaning/childcare. I do dishes. I cook. I do laundry. I clean, most of the time. I never take out the trash–I don’t know why, but in my head that’s his job. But lately he’s taken to putting in loads of laundry before bed, and getting the kids to sort and put their clothes away, and it’s wonderful. I didn’t realize how burdened I felt by everything until he took that task on voluntarily.

    I have to agree that men are kind of beleaguered right now as to “roles.” The roles are kind of hazy, therefore, maybe a lot of men are feeling like they don’t know what society (and wives and kids) expect from them.

  38. Medstudent #36, just read “The Feminine Mystique.” That will explain it. It’s old, and has some inaccurate ideas, but for the most part it applies just exactly.

  39. Medstudent #36, I think many women raised in the church (if your wife was raised in the church) grow up thinking they want to be a SAHM, because it’s what’s pounded into them from the time they are born. Some women, once they get there find that it’s not as fulfilling as they thought it would be, as fulfilling as the church makes it out to be, or that they don’t even really enjoy doing it (of course some women do find fulfillment in it, and that’s awesome if that’s what they want to do-it’s all about choice).

    Think about it this way: What if you were raised from the time you were born that you were to be a plumber. It was drilled into you from birth. Once you started doing it, you would have probably realized “hey, this isn’t what I want to do; I’m not enjoying this or finding it fulfilling; I’d really like to go to med school.”

    Hope this helps! Best of luck to you and your wife!

  40. Naismith says:

    I am not sure that the plumber analogy applies because, unlike a lifelong career, being a parent at home is a self-limiting profession. It is much more similar to those who serve in the military for a term of enlistment, then transition back into civilian life.

    I’ve only been a member for 30 years and didn’t come up through YW, but I have never heard counsel that LDS women NOT get an education or pursue a career. The only question is whether they might consider taking a few years out of that plan to concentrate on motherhood. Even for those with many children, one can work full-time as a mother during the formative years and yet still have time in the average lifespan to do a few things in the workplace before and after that season (e.g., become speaker of the US House of Representatives).

    Elder Ballard said in General Conference, “There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family.” In encouraging young women to pursue an education, President Hinckley told the young women about a nurse (mother of three). Elder Ballard also counseled young moms to, “…cultivate your gifts and interests. Pick one or two things that you would like to learn or do that will enrich your life, and make time for them.”

    There are so many different ways to be a mom at home. You get to shape your own schedule, figure out your own priorities. I can see someone being frustrated and unfilled doing the job as I did it, because I would hate doing it the way my neighbor did it. But each person gets to figure out their own way of doing it, which fits with their family needs and personal preferences.

    I find it frustrating that we deny full-time parents the respect of being able to say that they work. What they do is just as important to society and may be as effective for their family finances, but it is somehow seen as “not working” and less? As a project manager, keeping track of deadlines and juggling multiple priorities are necessary skills, highly valued and not commonly found. And where did I learn to do that? Some college classes, but mostly being a mother and household manager. Why is it highly paid when I do it in one venue, but dismissed if the same skills are used at home or church?

    Also, while I found the Atlantic article referenced in #34 fascinating and on-point, I think it is a bit of an overstatement to describe that as career vs. mere job. When the author left the high-pressure position at the upper echelons of the state department, her fallback job was being a college professor, which is still considered a career by many.

    I think career has more to do with life plan and professionalism than the hours worked per se. When I was employed part-time while our children were younger, most of my clients and colleagues did not know that detail. I was 100% focussed when I was at the table or on a conference call, that’s all they cared about. It didn’t prevent me from being asked to serve on committees for a national professional organization, or get an award as part of our team.

    As for wasting an education at home, I couldn’t have been a wife and mother to this family without a graduate degree. I realize every family is different, but it is not certain that there will be no use for the schooling even during those few years at home. At church, I was asked to write a history of the stake, and served in public affairs where I prepared press releases and did media relations. I had to run scientific tests (from my undergrad classes) when helping with my husband’s fieldwork, edit his manuscripts, homeschool in Algebra II and AP EuroHistory when we were living abroad, and teach a graduate seminar on preparing scientific manuscripts in English at a university overseas to thank them for their collaboration in my husband’s research. And yes, the grades counted even if I wasn’t paid. I note that the church’s senior missionary opportunities pamphlet is gender neutral when asking for folks with skills in mental health, accounting, health care and engineering: they say that the spouse of the skilled person will be doing administrative paperwork and appointments in support of the other. And I’ve known two couples where the woman was the skilled one.

    And yes, I realize that it is easy for me to look at my 11 or so years of full-time parenting as a brief season, now that I am past that stage. It certainly doesn’t seem that way when you are in the middle of living it.

  41. 1.1 hours seems very low, working or not. What happens the other 22.9 hours of the day?

  42. Charly. Come over to my house and you will find out.

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