To fully understand the changes that have taken place over time it is important to look at where we have come from. Customarily, in the past family roles between and husband and wife were black and white. Men would traditionally work the nine to five every day, support the family financially, and take care of household maintenance. This would often cause less time for things like engagement with children and helping with their overall development. While Men had their hands full outside the home, women spent most of their time in the home taking care of housework and rearing children.
As a society we have come a long way from what used to be considered a contemporary family. Today, a contemporary family no longer consists of one employed provider but a dual earning couple. This is due to women becoming more independent, career oriented, and educated. Another factor that plays into the evolution of the dual earner family is the state of the economy, cost of living, and childcare expenses. It is almost essential for families to have duel earners in order to make ends meet. Today, women can be just as an important piece of the financial puzzle as their counterparts.
Now that we have established the new normal, it is important to look at the division of the families responsibilities. In dual earning families, men have been doing more than they ever have and have come a long way. Men are now more actively participating in things like housework, cooking, and lawn care but the statistics still may surprise most. “According to the data from The American Time use Survey, 83% of women as compared to 64% of men reported spending time in such activities. ” In addition, “married men reported spending 1.
5 hours on household activities compared to 2. 5 hours reported by married women. ” (The marriage and family experience eleventh edition) It is obvious that men are still doing less than women in the home on average. But Men have come a long way from where they were in eras such as the 50’s and 60’s where they assisted in almost no household work. It is established that men are doing a better job as society progresses. “Men’s share of housework has increased over the past three decades (from 15% to more than 30%) as has their actual time spent doing housework.
” (The marriage and family experience eleventh edition) It is now common to see men cooking, cleaning, and child rearing as a result of both individuals being an equal contributor both financially and to the family. In shift work arrangements a man’s role may be increased depending on what shift he is working. If a man is working a night shift, he would most likely be responsible for things like getting children ready for school, cooking breakfast, and driving to school as he would be returning from work when they are waking up.
Obviously it is not just the men who have progressed and taken on more responsibility in dual earning families. As mentioned before, women are still doing more than men statistically when it comes to domestic chores. Women are often now earning larger wages, working more hours, and have more responsibilities than men both in their careers and in their families. Being domesticated is nothing new as far as women leading the way in the home. As time passes it is hard to determine whether or not things will ever be equal.
With the evolution of the dual earning arrangement, families are now forced to alter their traditional responsibilities to make the household run as a unit. Over the past few decades we have seen an exceptional increase in the man’s responsibilities around the home and have seen a shift in the traditional division of responsibilities. As the cost of living continues to rise and salaries continue to fall, it is not likely to see a shift in the other direction anytime soon. It truly is amazing to see how we have broken the mold in such a short period of time