Family dynamics changing for women

Working mom balances career and kids


Renita Jablonski: The Families and Work Institute has surveyed Americans about how they juggle jobs and children for three decades. The group's releasing its most recent findings this morning. With more, here's Marketplace's Caitlan Carroll.

Caitlan Carroll: The survey finds fewer of today's parents are confined by traditional gender roles. Roughly a quarter of women in dual-income households make more than their spouses -- an increase of 10 percent over the last decade. And they don't see children as an obstacle to their careers.

Ellen Galinsky: Typically what you've seen, for as long as I've been looking at this research, is that when women have children things change. This is the first time we've seen that when women have children, things are not changing as much.

Ellen Galinsky is president of the Families and Work Institute. She says these days, men are taking on more parenting duties, and an increasing number are feeling stretched between work and family.

Take Matthew Fieldman. He's a charity fundraiser in Cleveland. He and his wife both work full-time and divvy up caring for their daughter, Eliana.

Matthew Fieldman: A lot of the evenings are rushed. Rushing to pick Eliana up. Rushing to get home, rushing to change, to eat, and to get out the door for the next meeting.

Fieldman says eventually he or his wife will have to cut back on hours at work as Eliana gets older. But it's still an open debate over which one it will be.

I'm Caitlan Carroll for Marketplace.

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My wife and I also work full time and each share the responsibilities of taking care of our two boys, 3 and 6 months. It is incredibly challenging and stressful at times. I feel that with all the rushing around I am setting a bad example for my sons. I wish there was more understanding from my employers, or employers in general, that parenting is an important American responsibility.

As of now my wife is looking for a work on weekends job, she is a nurse. That may work for us, but what about the rest of the population? Now a days it is nearly impossible to live without two incomes. And let me just say that we are very conscious of our money, in fact we are just now considering purchasing our first second car - which I am not thrilled about.

Lastly, it has been pushed in political campaigns and other arenas that family is the most important, yet there seems to be no real support of families in the business world - something has to change.

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