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How Dual Income Couples are Bucking Traditional Roles

man_womanThe Council on Contemporary Families published a summary of previous studies, looking at data over 30 to 40 years. Here are some highlights:

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1. Men’s share of household duties doubled as a percent of the total over last 40 years, from 15 percent to 30 percent of the total. The number of hours women spend on these same duties has declined over that period.

2. The younger the couple, the higher the share of household duties performed by the man.

3. Time spent caring for children tripled for men and doubled for women over the same period. Couples are placing much more emphasis on spending time with their kids than they did 30 years ago.

4. The longer a woman works outside the home, the greater the percentage of household responsibilities assumed by the man of the house.

5. Men are working less and spending more time on family duties. Women are trending in the opposite direction.

6. When the woman of the house works more hours, earns more money, or has more education than the man, the man’s share of family duties increases.

7. About one of out three couples now has a woman who earns more than the man.

They pointed out that there had been an expectation of immediate change when women started working. That didn’t happen to the disappointment of many! However, over the span of a few decades, things have changed quite a bit and they predict this trend is here to stay!

The bigg payoff

Couples are redefining what it means to be the man or the woman, the father or the mother, in a relationship. This summary shows that the divorce rate is lower when couples divide up the duties more equally. In fact, it’s even lower than with the traditional relationship where one person is the breadwinner and the other person runs the house.

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georgeMary-Lynn and I both grew up in a traditional family that stayed together. But we’re pretty non-traditional.

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marylynnYeah, I remember that my mom was always in the kitchen. I determined long ago that wasn’t for me! She kept telling me “you’re going to have to learn how to cook, what are you going to do when you are out on your own?” I told her I would just meet a guy who knew how to cook and marry him. And that guy is George! And let me just add…he’s an AWESOME cook!!!
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Roles are getting redefined so don’t listen to what other people say. If it works for you, your spouse, and your family … it works!

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This week, our newsletter subscribers received a great article about how to get more flexibility at work so you can have more time at home. You can get it, too, click this link to subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

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Couples Today are Rethinking Traditional Roles

By Bigg Success Staff
07-15-08

Work – Life Balance

family

If you’re half of a dual-income couple with kids, working out your work – life balance involves negotiating at home and at work. First, you and your spouse need to discuss how household duties as well as child care responsibilities will be divvied up. Who does what when?

The best solution is what works best for you, not what society has traditionally expected. If it works for the two of you and your family, it works!

Redefining roles

According to the Council on Contemporary Families, working couples have seen some significant change in responsibilities over the last 30 years. Men are assuming more duties at home and with the children.

This evolution has been a logical response. If a woman has greater career potential than a man, it may make sense for the man to shoulder more family duties. This is now the case about one-third of the time.

So if a couple decides that’s the best trek for them, the next step involves negotiating at work. For men, this can be difficult because society still often regards household chores and child-rearing as the woman’s role.

Pay vs. flexibility

One of the most effective ways to get the flexibility you need is during a review. Especially if your employer is not able to offer you the pay raise you feel you deserve. Perhaps you can negotiate greater flexibility in lieu of the full pay raise you might like.

Balance your costs with your gains. You may not make as much money as you like, but you may also lower your costs. You can spend more time with your kids rather than paying someone else to do it. That difference may almost offset the lower pay raise.

Pay vs. telecommuting

A question to ask yourself (and your boss) is – can you do more work from home? Save both the time and money of commuting. With today’s high gas prices, you’ll save a lot of money. It doesn’t even have to be every day. Any day you don’t have to drive is a plus.

Once again, it may be best to bring this item up as part of a discussion of pay raises. Perhaps a concession to accepting less of a pay raise is to let you telecommute at least some of the time. You can quickly figure out if your savings equals what you had hoped to earn in additional income. And don’t forget – more income gets taxed, saving money on fuel doesn’t. So compare the after-tax income to the savings from not driving as much.

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