The best life is a peaceful life and if it is peaceful dual-career family life, it is a heaven on the earth. Likewise, financial stability is the basic right of everyone in this materialistic world. Families run better if they are well established in terms of both mutual bonding and finances. Dual-career families are often quite well-off, meeting all the essentials of a healthy and well-facilitated lifestyle. Here, we are going to discuss what a dual-career family is and what advantages and disadvantages it poses… What problems and challenges it has to face, and what are the secrets to keeping balance as a dual-career couple.
What is a Dual-career Family?
Owing to the overall economic recession across the globe, it is almost impossible for one person to afford all the expenses of the whole family. Hence, it is much better that both the heads of the family, husband, and wife, contribute to the financial support of their household besides maintaining a family life together. Such a family set-up is dual-career family life. It has various aspects that need your in-depth pondering and discussion over them. In the upcoming paragraphs, we are going to discuss all these aspects in detail for you to consider and lead a healthy dual-career family life.
What Advantages Dual-career Couples Enjoy
In this era of education and great progress, people like to choose a life partner based on high education together with a handsome job. So, finding dual-career couples around is quite normal nowadays. Having a job for both genders is one of the top-most priorities of a modern social system like ours. But, like a coin always has two sides, dual-career family life also has its advantages as well as disadvantages.
Major Advantages Dual-Career Couples
The following are the major advantages dual-career couples enjoy in their family set-up:
- An appreciable increase in equal and mutual respect comes into play because both the partners understand the problem each of them is facing to achieve work-life balance.
- Increased financial stability is sure to be there for the children of dual-career couples.
- Rich socialization is there in dual-career family life because both the partners know very well how to socialize with others.
- Mutual management of household chores is always there in dual-career couples, for both realize the shortage of time each one of them is in face of.
- A healthy sharing of common aims is always present in dual-career family life as both the partners are working with a greater sense of accomplishment for the common wellbeing of the whole family.
- Self-sufficient and self-reliable offspring is one of the best rewards for dual-career couples, for their children gradually realize the position of their parents as to how they are putting their best for the future of their children.
- A stronger potential to enhance opportunities is there in a dual-career mode because both the partners have advanced exposure to the opportunities available on the market.
What are the Disadvantages of Dual-career Couples?
Sometimes, it does happen that dual-career families lose a lot from what a family should look like and the whole system gets derailed. Dual-career partners must be very vigilant against the factors that deteriorate their family set-up.
Major Drawbacks a Dual-Career Family System
Some of the major drawbacks a dual-career family system has to face are:
- Extreme pressure on personal life is the most common disadvantage of dual-career family life. A very high level of commitment from both the spouses with their respective set of challenges creates extreme stress on their personal life.
- Problems while maintaining family and job together do rise and tend to spoil the mutual happiness of dual-career couples.
- High expectations from the spouse are another worst disadvantage of a dual-career family, for each of them always assumes most of the responsibilities to be carried out by the other by default.
- Socialization of roles is a major disadvantage of dual-earning couples performing their roles in their respective spheres.
- Sacrifice in the growth of personal career is often there at times on the part of one of the partners or both. Sometimes, one has to handle the domestic affairs by going out of the way so that the other may meet his or her targets in professional life. This affects the growth of a personal career very badly.
- Trailing spouse is a situation where one of the partners is less important than the other based on gender discrimination. Working in an environment like this discourages and hinders the progress of the affected spouse.
- Commuter couples may also be the ultimate product of dual-career family life. Here, both the partners have the liberty to choose their career path without getting hindered by the other, but at the cost of living apart. This long-distance relationship may overcome the problem of compromise in the growth of individual careers but gives rise to many other problems mentioned in the next paragraph.
Issues Arise with Commuter Couples:
- Lack of physical closeness reduces the productivity on the part of both the partners with every passing day.
- Lack of communication also results in due to being far from each other for a long time and struggling for the advancement in the individual career. This adversely affects the mutual bonding and adds up to the tension already existing between the partners.
- Domestic affairs get badly hit in case the couple has also got children. Fulfilling the liabilities towards household chores is never possible while living apart and struggling a lot for the growth of personal career. It becomes almost impossible for both the parents to provide a nurturing environment for their children. This ultimately ruins the whole family system.
What are the Main Challenges to Dual-career Family Life?
Though dual-career families are rapidly increasing in number, there are definitely some tough challenges for them as well to face in their family life. Some of these challenges are:
1. Family-Work Balance as a Dual-career Couple
This is really a complex issue and dilemma with dual-career families; as it involves a lot of factors like financial status, gender roles, career paths, time management, etc. Dual-income couples are always found struggling with their family values, personal career and growth, materialistic goals, professional liabilities and their fulfilment. You have neither an easy solution nor any one-size-fits-all approach to this greatest challenge confronting two-earning couples.
2. The Decision about When to Become Parents
This is another tough challenge dual-career couples have to face in their family life. Having children is often seen as an impediment to their advancement. Rather, one should say that it is one of the greatest challenges with working women; in particular, to decide when they would like to become mothers. This is because there appear a lot of problems during pregnancy, delivery and post-delivery stages that badly affect not only the professional career of the female but also the overall dual-career family system.
3. The Decision about Whose Work is more Important
Owing to the family responsibilities and children’s care; it often becomes almost impossible for a dual-career family to allow both the partners to carry on with their jobs. Here comes the dilemma as to whose job is more important; who is going to sacrifice his or her job for the sake of children and other family demands. Most often, we find that it is the wife who sacrifices her job for the consolidation of her family life. Such moms should select some professional work that they can easily do besides handling their family life successfully. If not addressed properly, this issue may lead to disaster.
4. Division of Household Duties
Both the partners being busy, it becomes a serious issue to divide household chores. Each one is reluctant to handle the domestic chores and expects his/her, partner, to do more in this regard. There often occur clashes and conflicts in dual-career family life if this challenge is not met with a sensible approach.
5. Personal Challenges
In a dual career-family system, women, in particular, feel guilty of ignoring their responsibilities towards their family life. As compared to men who think that their job and family role are independent of each other, women are in face of a great challenge to keep a balance between the two. They feel guilty if they prefer their job to their family life.
How to Find Balance in a Dual-career Couples Life
It is the biggest challenge of healthy dual-career family life to keep a fine balance in its various aspects. The following are some of the tips to meet this challenge.
- Always focus on the positive side of the picture as it helps to make your relationship healthier and stronger. Never bemoan the difficulties that come with your dual-career family life. Be tolerant and positive if you want to harvest the advantages of this golden family set-up.
- Be flexible in your gender roles to facilitate your partner for a happy and healthy dual-career family life together. Willing to switch gender roles back and forth to accommodate both the careers goes a long way to achieve this blessed target.
- Have clarity between roles and expectations to ensure a successful life both at work and at home. Always prioritize what means the most to your partner and the mutual relationship.
- Never bring your pending tasks to home as it will ruin your family life and matrimonial relations altogether.
- Go with flexible time-off so that you may also play your role as a spouse and parent. Participate in and celebrate all the functions and events of your family like birthdays, result days, Christmas, etc.
- Say “No” to everything affecting your family life badly to strengthen your bond with your spouse and children.