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The Real House Husbands of Big Law: Can it Work For You?

By Jenny Tsay, Esq. | Last updated on

The number of women in Big Law with house husbands is on the rise.

With more women in traditionally male dominated fields, like BigLaw and Wall Street, it's no surprise that the number of stay-at-home "house husbands" is increasing. However, until recently, female partners didn't like revealing the fact that their spouse took care of the house, the ABA Journal reports.

This shift in gender roles should be embraced rather than hidden, so here are some thoughts on making it work in your family.

The Rise of House Husbands

Women make up 70 percent of staff attorneys at BigLaw firms. Unsurprisingly, women with families in those positions may struggle with finding a work-life balance. Enter the house husband -- dads that stay at home with the kids and keep the household running while mom is at work.

Now that your husband is voluntarily cleaning up, it's surprising that only recently were Big Law women admitting that their husbands were stay-at-home dads. In the past, women would simply tell people that their husbands were "working on the side" or "doing consulting," rather than say he's a house husband, according to the Journal.

While it may be difficult to shake deeply entrenched gender roles overnight, families shouldn't be embarrassed by the new dynamic. Many women don't feel like they can have the same work-life balance that men can. So why not embrace the fact that you have a wonderful partner at home who's holding down the fort?

Making it Work

It's important for couples to communicate their personal expectations of the working-wife/house-husband dynamic with each other. In the stay-at-home dad role, men often feel alienated, especially if their new colleagues are stay-at-home moms, the Journal said. Consider sending the kids to daycare for a couple hours a day, so that dad has some time to himself away from the playdates.

Also, even if you're exhausted after a day of dealing with complex legal issues, don't minimize the work your house husband has done. It's also exhausting running after kids all day, prepping meals, and cleaning up around the house, so try to pitch in when you get home. After all, your husband is a stay-at-home dad, not your housekeeper.

The bottom line is that finding work-life balance in Big Law jobs is borderline impossible, so appreciate your house husband and his efforts in supporting the family.

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