A2 Basic US 7225 Folder Collection
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Every few months, this debate flares up.
It's about women who work, which is to say, most women.
About how tough it can be to succeed at work and still feel like a good mom.
And we often ask "What can governments or corporations do to promote work-family balance?"
But what if we started thinking smaller?
What if one part of the solution was men doing more at home?
Between 1950 and 2000, the share of women in the U.S. workforce jumped from 34% to 60%.
But women were still expected to do most of the work when it came to raising kids and running a house.
"The second shift of women working and taking care of the home was very stressful for the family."
That stress is partially what led to the trope of the frazzled working mom.
"I don't know how she does it."
People started to blame working women for the high divorce rates in the 1970s and 80s.
And now, with fewer people getting married and having kids, it's still popular to pit working women against family.
"If you were a real feminist you would support housewives and see them as the heroes and women who work, wasting their time."
"Do you all think working moms still get treated unfairly?"
But while the stress of the second shift may have contributed to divorce at first, things are changing.
New research is showing that men and women who share responsibilities at home are happier than those in more traditional marriages.
"Where men become more involved in the family, they're more attractive as a partner, they are less likely to divorce, they're more likely to have children."
Heterosexual couples in which men do more household chores are less likely to divorce.
And the more time men spend with their children, the more satisfied both partners say they are with the relationship.
Take couples who have kids but aren't married.
In those relationships, men who were more involved with caring for the kids were more likely to make the transition to marriage compared those who were less involved.
So maybe someday that iconic "frazzled working mom" trope will go the way of the fifties housewife:
A symbol of a time when women and men, were trapped inside a narrow definition of what it meant to be a partner and a parent.
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Want a happier marriage? Share the housework equally.

7225 Folder Collection
Celeste published on May 26, 2019
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