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Busier job for mom = happier marriage?

Categories: Balancing Act, Relationships & Marriage, Working Women Issues

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I just read about a new study which found that working moms tend to be happier in their marriage when they are dealing with a heavier workload at work.

Say what?

Yep. I did a double take too. But that’s what the study of 169 couples found. Interestingly, the effect on working dads is the opposite: The more work they have, the less happy they — and their wives — are in their marriage.

The researchers suggest that one reason for working moms’ increased happiness when they work more is that their husbands pick up the slack at home. So even though they work more they have to do less at home and their work-life juggle becomes more manageable.

I’m a big skeptic about this, I have to tell you.
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Does having kids make parents happier? Studies disagree.

Categories: Parenting & Family, Relationships & Marriage

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If you read this blog somewhat regularly, you know that I’m just a tiny bit obsessed with the idea of happiness. I’ve written about whether money can buy happiness (maybe), whether feminism has made women happier (probably not), and whether kids make parents happier (the studies seem to be conflicting). 

This weekend I was reading an article over at Babble.com, which talked about several conflicting studies about parents and happiness they derive from having kids.  According to one widely-discussed study, there was no increase in happiness for people who had kids. In fact, it showed that parents experience less emotional well-being than non-parents. But another recent study demonstrated quite the opposite, showing that parents do experience increased feelings of life satisfaction. These studies seem to contradict each other, but as I thought about them, I realized that they actually make a lot of sense.
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Gender gap narrows on the workfront, but less at home

Categories: Balancing Act, Parenting & Family, Relationships & Marriage, Working Women Issues

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If you have a few minutes, you should check out the 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce from the Families and Work Institute. It has some pretty awesome and interesting statistics about the roles men and women play at work and in their families and how their various perceptions of traditional gender roles have shifted (and in some cases, changed dramatically) in the past decade.

First the good news: There is decreasing disparity between what men and women get paid for doing the same work. Many fewer men and women than ten years ago think that the best way for a family to function is for the woman to stay home. Fathers are spending more time with their children (and so are mothers, although the difference is less dramatic) and they are taking more responsibility for the care of their children (according to them and their wives).

This all pretty much rocks.
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Friday night date night? Forget about it.

Categories: Balancing Act, Relationships & Marriage

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A few of our friends — all busy working parents — have a regular date night on Friday night. One of the couples has two young girls and they have an agreement with their nanny to stay late on Friday so they can go out to dinner after work together. Another couple tries to make it out to the movies or the theater or some other fun event every Friday. They told us they don’t always plan ahead what they will do but they know they have the night so just pick something that looks fun.

I love the idea of a regular date night, although my husband and I have never quite done that. We get out, just the two of us, a few times a month, but we don’t have a regularly-set day and I think that would be kind of nice. But a Friday night? Forget about it.
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Do you work-talk with your spouse?

Categories: Balancing Act, Relationships & Marriage

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Over the weekend a few of my husband’s colleagues came over for dinner. (I have to just take a minute and brag, in the most unashamed way possible, about the rockin’ dinner menu I pulled off. It included my wrapping a large piece of salmon in dozens of lemon slices and bay leaves, tying it with kitchen twine and grilling it in a fish basket — absolutely none of which I’d done before. You’ve got to give it a shot - here’s the slideshow on how to do it.)

OK, back to the actual topic of this post. So we’re sitting around and talking after the delicious dinner (promise, last mention of that), and one of the guys mentions this big project they’d just finished. I knew that my husband was working more than usual, but besides that, had no specifics on what was going on with this big client deal and I said this much to his colleague. He was really surprised and that’s when we got to talking about work-talk with your spouse.
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The upside of my husband being laid off

Categories: Career Talk, Relationships & Marriage, Your life

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Five months ago my husband’s company announced that they would have major layoffs and four months ago he emailed me that he was on the list. As I drove to pick him up from work (and take him out for some too-expensive but-oh-amazing Japanese food) I felt strange because I wasn’t freaked out.

But after the idea of him being laid off and my working for several not-well-paying start up companies firmly set in a few weeks later, freaked out became my default mode. He got a fairly OK package, including several months paid at his regular salary and health benefits, but here he was, laid off in the worst economic and employment crisis in our lifetimes. It was scary. And it got scarier as the months went on, the job opportunities were few and far between, and even successful interviews didn’t lead to job offers because those jobs disappeared before they were filled.
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Hillary Clinton and power couple issues

Categories: Career Talk, Relationships & Marriage, Working Women Issues

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Photo from LA TimesPhoto from LA Times

The latest political buzz is hard to escape — apparently President-elect Obama has offered Hillary Clinton the job of Secretary of State. Yes, unofficially, unconfirmed, rumored, but seemingly true if you trust the many news outlets reporting this.

What I’ve found really fascinating in all the discussions is how much her husband is playing into the picture.
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Sex after baby

Categories: Relationships & Marriage, Your life

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No, I am not actually going to write about my sex life here.

But we are talking about it with Heather from Dooce, Rebecca from Girls Gone Child, and Mindy from The Mommy Blog on the latest Momversation video (posted below).

The producers must not like me very much because my parts got cut down to a few seconds in which it sounds like my husband and I didn’t have sex for years after our daughter was born (honey, it might have seemed that long, I know.) But the topic is interesting, however, and I don’t think it gets any less interesting when we talk about finding time (and energy) to have sex while juggling work, family, and endless chores.
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Am I bad at being a wife?

Categories: Relationships & Marriage, Your life

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I love my husband very much. We’ve been married for seven years and have been together for twelve, having met back in college. We were an unlikely pair but when people meet us now they like to tell us how we fit together.

OK, now that the basics are out of the way…

In the car yesterday I heard a bit of the NPR interview with Diahann Caroll. The radio host must have asked her something about her personal life because just as I’d tuned in she said that while her career was great and she achieved a lot, she could have been much better as a wife. “I guess I needed my work a lot more than I needed a good marriage,” she said.
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Stay-at-home women who are not moms — do you respect them?

Categories: Money, Parenting & Family, Relationships & Marriage

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There is an interesting article over at Babble about a new, apparently growing group (I have nothing to back up this claim, it is from the article) of well-educated, married women who are choosing to stay at home and NOT having kids. They pursue their interests, passions, creative outlets, or just focus on managing everything about their household life. According to one researcher mentioned in the article, these women are the new status symbol for their husbands because “their lifestyle alerts the rest of the world that the husband makes enough money for the both of them.”
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