Work and Family: How Does the (Gender) Balance Change as Children Grow?
This article investigates how work-family balance and the gender division of labour differ according to whether children are in early childhood, middle childhood or the early teen years. It uses measures of both behaviour and attitudes, drawing on two nationally representative Australian data sets, the Bureau of Statistics Time Use Survey and the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia. Women have more responsibility for care than men, but with older children there is greater gender equity in the division of labour, a less pressing domestic burden and less maternal time stress. This occurs because women recalibrate their commitments to work and home, not because domestic labour is redistributed between mothers and fathers. Further, it does not hold if women replace unpaid with paid labour; mothers who work full time have high total workloads and high stress levels regardless of the age of children. Fathers are more satisfied with their work-family balance the more they participate in childcare and the more they feel supported by their workplace to access family-friendly work policies.
Gender, Work & Organization