On the home front, married working mothers, even those whose husbands espouse an egalitarian philosophy, still find themselves saddled with most of the housework and child care responsibilities.
In effect, they often have the equivalent of two jobs, a phenomenon expressed in the title of Arlie Hochschild's highly regarded study The Second Shift .
The percentage of child care provided by day care centers had increased from 6 percent in 1965 to 28 percent in 1990, partly because the influx of women into the workforce had narrowed the pool of female relatives and friends available to take care of other people's children.
Between 19, employment by day care centers increased over 250 percent, representing a gain of almost 400,000 new jobs.
Their attitudes toward their jobs and their decisions about child care are shaped by a range of social and economic factors: Working mothers in many fields experience conflicts between motherhood and professional advancement.
Many report that once they have children their professional aspirations are not taken as seriously by colleagues or superiors.
In addition, they often worked at tasks traditionally done by the opposite sex: boys cooked, cleaned, and babysat; girls helped with home repairs and yard work.
A supplementary benefit of this development is that the daughters of single mothers have a greater than average likelihood of entering traditionally male professions offering higher pay and better opportunities for advancement. Department of Commerce's Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) reported in 1997 that one married father in four provided care for at least one child under the age of 15 while the child's mother was working.
The major options for child care include staggered work hours that allow parents to meet all child care needs themselves; care by relatives or close friends; hiring a babysitter or housekeeper; and child care in a private home or at public facilities, including day care centers, nursery schools or preschools, and company-sponsored programs.
In 1990, provisions for children under the age of five were split almost equally between in-home care by parents or other relatives and out-of-home care by nonrelatives.