Monday, January 25, 2010

Better marriages for working women

Interesting article today in the NYT on working women and female breadwinners....

It turns out that women who work and contribute to the family income (or are the sole breadwinners) are less likely to get divorced than women who do not work.   The assumption that these women have more flexibility in choosing their mates and are more likely to select someone supportive of their education, aspirations, etc.  Plausible....

It also pointed out that women have a hard time ceding control household/parenting tasks that their partners are doing.  Totally true for me.  I used to pick out outfits for kiddo #1 and prepack them in bags when I went out of town.  Partly to make sure he matched and partly to make sure required items like onesies were not forgotten or that nice dress clothes were not worn to daycare.  I've definitely loosened up here, partly due to the realization that those teachers know how things go when mom is out of town, and partly because kiddo #1 now picks out the clothes to be worn, so combinations I often would not pick go out the door on a regular basis.  I try to follow the rule that you can ask someone to do it but not tell them how to do it, although when bleach is used on colors or something similar I do feel like I have the right to interject.  I'll admit it, I'm a bit of a control freak at times.

 The other moderating factor for me is daycare.  I realize that they operate differently then at home.  Babies/kids fall asleep differently, eat differently and generally behave differently.  But that is OK as long as everyone's needs are met and things are done in a loving/appropriate way.  When you have 9 infants and 3 adults things are going to be different than 1 on 1. On the other hand, toddler learn to nap on cots and eat independently sooner.  They learn to climb stairs and start dressing skills earlier than I would teach them.  There is some positive peer pressure that encourages development.  With kiddo #2 I take this all in stride realizing the positive effects.  Anyway, I digress, but when someone else takes care of your kids, either dad or daycare or a nanny, it is different than what you would do, but that is usually OK.

So I guess one thing we can say is that women scientists/engineers are less likely to divorce than some women, at least based on this article.  And if they do divorce, at least they have a means to support themselves, right?

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