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Who Wears the Pants in the Family?

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Picture a quaint family with a wife, husband, and a few children living in the suburbs, on the outskirts of a city. While the children and father begin their carefree morning around eight, the mother begins her hectic day at the crack of dawn. Her morning consists of cooking lunch for her children and husband to take to work, ironing her husband’s clothes, making a delicious and nutritious breakfast for the family, setting the table, and washing all the dishes. Compared to the modern families of today, the one described above seems to be a fairytale; however, this accurately describes a typical family of the 1950’s. Women were stereotyped as the homemakers of the family, while men were the primary breadwinners, meaning they were the sole financial providers for the family. When analyzing our society today, one can see that drastic changes have been made in the workforce and economy that have resulted in women competing with men on an economic level. Although it has taken many years for women to be recognized in the workplace on a familial level, working women have also brought along some marital issues, including problems with financing, dividing household labor, and childcare. But with a proper marital plan, I have determined that these problems have viable solutions

Prior to the 19th century women were expected to perform an excess amount of work for the family, as well as perform all the household tasks. This issue brought about the inequality of men and women in the household. However, it is ironic that when men and women are close to the employment gap in the future, marital problems begin to arise. As mentioned before, one of these problems includes the complications of money in marriage. Now that both husband and wife are acting as the primary bread winners in the household, it has become uncertain who holds more marital power in the family because women have begun to feel more empowered and independent as they become economically stable. As a result, in some homes, the spouse who holds more marital power generates more income for the family.

Another issue that has arisen in marriage and family has been the distribution of household labor. As mentioned before traditional household women did the majority of household work in the family. Now, with women in the workforce, the amount of household work done by women has overall decreased; however, women still do more work around the household than their partners. The unequal distribution of housework is a simple problem that can have a colossal impact on a family, therefore, it is better that this problem is taken care of sooner than later.

Childcare is an important issue that has also become prevalent in many families. In families where both parents are working, it is difficult to find time to care for children. Many researchers have found that the movement of women into the workforce has been thought of negatively because some individuals believe that women in the workforce are destroying the family instead of helping it. The argument is that instead of women caring for children, they are neglecting them by working. However, many positive aspects have also come out of women working, such as children gaining independence, and childcare. This comes to show that childcare has become a fundamental issue in marriage, but like the other problems described previously, the issue of childcare is not impossible to change.

When one stops to think about issues that arise in family on a daily basis, the recurring topics center on finances, household labor, and childcare. These are such renowned problems in marriage because they require cooperation between the spouses, there is a strong likelihood of problems like them occurring, and they can be difficult to resolve. A simple and plausible method of addressing these problems would be to create a marital plan that suites both partners and will help decrease the probability that marital mishaps. The plan should include an increase of communication among spouses, so that when an issue concerning finance does arise, communication will make it easier to alleviate the problem. In addition, increasing communication with children and scheduling time to spend with them is another way to settle the problems with childcare. Lastly, making a list of household tasks to divide among household members will make it easier to settle disputes dealing with the unequal division of housework. As can be seen, problems with marriage are undesirable, and the transition of women into the workforce has changed the traditional, but creating a marital plan does well in relieving these issues.





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