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Families with two working parents are more common today than in years past. The percentage of stay at home parents has been dwindling since WWII when women started entering the job force at a rapid rate. While there are plenty of working families, many families still have a stay at home parent, especially with very young children in the home. The differences between two career and single career families can be noticed in their economical situation, in their involvement with their children, and in their recreational activities.
The financial situations of families with two working parents and families with one working parent vary. Two career households typically bring in more revenue. They also spend less on utilities on average because there are less household members in the family during the day. Two career families often have daycare expenses, however, but these dwindle as children age and attend school.
Depending on the career of the breadwinner, single career families typically make less money on average than families with two working parents. Utilities and food costs could run a bit higher because more people are in the home more often than families where both parents work. A bonus to having a stay at home parent is that there are relatively little or no costs associated with day care expenses. Overall, a family with two working parents will have a better financial situation than a single career family.
Another difference between a two career family and a one career family is the amount of and degree of involvement with the children. Two career families often have a difficult time finding opportunities to volunteer in schools or take their children special places during the week due to their work schedules. They are restricted by their employers on the amount of time that they can take off of work as well, so they may have to rely on babysitters or family members to do things such as take the children to scheduled appointments such as the doctor or dentist.
Single career families, on the other hand, rarely have these issues. A stay at home parent has more time and opportunity to do things like volunteer in the community or join groups where they have interaction with other parents and children. If school age children are in the home, a stay at home parent can volunteer in the school, get the children from school if necessary and even do nice things like take them out to lunch once in awhile. A stay at home parent also does not need to find alternate care for doctor and dentist appointments.
Another noticeable difference between two career families and single career families is the type of recreation that they engage in. Often, when both parents work during the day, they fill their evenings catching up on their children’s activities and lives in between cooking dinner and catching up on household chores. They often restrict their children’s’ extracurricular activities because there simply is not enough time to do everything. Two career families can save up for family vacations when both parents can take time off.
Single career families seem to have more children involved in more activities. These families don’t restrict activities as much because there is someone at home during the day taking care of the chores; there is no catch up in the evening, so it is easier for everyone to do more things. Single career families often do not take vacation because they cannot afford it and their schedules are full already with all of the extracurricular activities that the children are involved in.
There are advantages to both two career and single career families. Two career families generally have more revenue and can save up for vacation time, but miss out on other valuable time with their children. Single career homes have someone at home taking care of all of the necessary chores, so the family can enjoy more activities, but on average, they have less revenue to do things like take long vacations. Either way, a family is a family, and the most important thing they can share is love.