Research Says: Recession Equals More Mr. Moms

Study: Recession and It’s Aftermath Create More Mr. Moms (Wall Street Journal, 2011)

Finding: Working Dad’s are transitioning into Mr. Moms in the aftermath of recent recessions, and are allowing their working wives to carry the economic burden.

Note about The Woman Effect Research Index: This study was performed by researchers not affiliated with InPower Women. Our Research Index includes all relevant research to the subject of women, business and power. We do not influence how the research was conducted or reported by the researchers. In our abstracts, we focus on pulling out the most actionable advice for individual women. To suggest additional research we should index, or discuss our choice of abstract focus, please contact us

InPower Insight: Embrace the shift of women working and men taking on household responsibilities to form new work-life partnerships that ease everyone’s burden.


Here’s some uplifting data for moms who struggle with achieving work-life balance.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as more women enter the workforce more men are stepping up to the plate to take a more involved role in household responsibilities. At the time of this research approximately 32% of Dad’s with working wives took on the responsibility of child-care on a regular bases. This number was up 26% from 2002.

The data shows that with the waves of the recession came a great number of job losses in male-dominated professions such as construction and manufacturing. Over several decades, men’s wages experienced little increase, causing women to contribute more financially. As a result men have been  able to shift their focus and adapt by taking more initiative at home.

Census data showed that in homes with working mothers, 29% of preschoolers were cared for by their fathers. Data also showed that among the 21 million mothers who were employed in spring 2010, one -third said they paid for the child–care of at least one child

Demographer for the Census Bureau Lynda Laughlin said, “A recession may force families to adjust their child care arrangements. It can trigger unemployment or changes in work hours, thus increasing the availability of fathers to provide child care. It also can reduce available income to pay for child care outside of the home.”

Working Dads who have transitioned to Mr. Moms are doing their part to help their working wivesachive work-life balance as well as lessening the economic burden.

Personal Coaching Tip: If work-life balance and gender-stereotypical roles are a source of tension in your personal life, let this research open you and your partner (and/or extended family) up to the possibility that true partnership comes in all combinations – even the ones that don’t look “typical.” Families committed to making it work accomodate the economic realities and the personal proclivities and strengths of both partners. If you’ve struck a good balance and find others disapproving of your choices, know that you’re not alone and that as cultural patterns change more tolerance for different family and work models will grow by necessity – be patient! No matter what your situation and what transitions you’re making, recognize that when you consciously choose the work-life balance model that works best for you and your family, you’re gaining personal power, and this is definitely contributing to your success!

Category: Cultural Trends

Keywords:Childcare, Economic Burden, Fathers, Household, Recession, work-life balance


Photo Credit: Casey Fleser

 This abstract originally appeared on InPower Women.


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