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Can Couples Have It All?

In Getting to 50/50: How Working Couples Can Have It All by Sharing It All, Sharon Meers and Joanna Strober, two highly successful working moms, have written an action plan for couples based on the simple belief that in order to achieve a successful work-life balance, moms and dads must be equal at home. Published by Bantam Books, 50/50 is on bookshelves now. We asked the authors Three Questions.

1) What’s the single biggest mistake that working couples make?

They don’t agree on what needs to get done with the kids and the house, and they don’t agree on priorities. Then fights arise because one person isn’t doing things the other deems important. No one wants to come home to a boss. When one spouse (usually the wife) sets the standards at home, the other spouse is less likely to participate fully. This often happens even when both spouses are working and it creates a lot of resentment.

2) What’s the most important thing for working couples to keep in mind during this recession?

Two career bets are better than one. If one spouse loses their job, the other can pay the mortgage. And it enables the spouse who lost their job to take time to find the right next job, or pursue an entrepreneurial venture. Both husband and wives should be helpful and supportive of each others’ careers because the family unit really benefits when both people are employed. This really requires working as a partnership at home.

3) What are several important steps to satisfaction for any working couples?

First, Suggest a Master Plan. Agree on what really needs to get done. then split the responsibilities evenly Make a list together of all the tasks you each do – you may be surprised about how much he is actually doing or how little he knows about what you are doing. Men say that if you can make it a friendly conversation, like a project meeting at work, they are much more willing to do their part. Also, let go of the things that are not really important. A happy marriage is more important than a bed that is perfectly made.

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