The Initial Years of Motherhood and Fatherhood as Perceived by Expectant Parents: The Division of Care and Paid Work

Olga Nešporová

Abstrakt

This study provides an outline of plans and norms regarding the first years of fatherhood
and motherhood and focuses on the division of care and paid work between Czech parents. It is based
on 32 interviews conducted with expectant parents from dual-earner heterosexual couples. The ideals and
plans of the expectant parents embedded in real life options were studied and analysed in order to identify
various care models to be employed over the first three years of parenthood. In all three principal care
models revealed by the study sample, the fathers continued to work full time while the plans of the mothers
were more varied. The models were classified as 1) the long-term full-time mother care model, 2) the longterm
part-time mother care model, and 3) the short-term mother care model. The intra-couple comparative
analysis revealed common discrepancies between the plans of the partners regarding the employment
of the mother and the use of non-parental childcare. Expectant fathers more often professed traditional
conservative views than their female partners.

Klíčová slova

Fatherhood; motherhood; Czech Republic; parenthood; work and childcare

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