Dividing Domestic Work after the First Child: Is It Possible to Undo Gender?
The objective of this paper is to study undoing gender from a longitudinal perspective (two-waves-panel), using a qualitative methodology, for the Spanish case. We perform a qualitative analysis on semi-structured interviews gathered in 2011 (first interview), for 33 heterosexual couples with a non-traditional division of domestic work and expecting their first child, and follow them until 2013 (second interview). We identify three different ways into equal-sharing in the first wave, describe their workings and favouring factors. Then, we observe which couples continue equal-sharing in the second wave (more than one year after childbirth), whereas others traditionalize. We conclude that: first, there is no need to undertake an explicit negotiation about how to distribute domestic chores in order to share equally; second, in equal-sharing couples, resources (in a broad sense) and attitudes are combined in a non-hegemonic way; third, certain pre-child configurations that enabled equal-sharing before childbirth lead more easily to the persistence of undoing of gender after the birth of the first child.