Looking back, it was a "slow change." But he realizes now Dawn "wouldn't be very happy without a career, and I wouldn't be very happy without that wife. In a way I'm married to her career, too."
'The boys know they can always count on me'
"Parenting is hard, and it DOES take a village. Sometimes a village and a neighboring village, " wrote Amy Lawson, a divorced mom of two boys in Gainesville, Fla.
She works as an administrator in an OB/GYN office and maintains blogs about motherhood and social media marketing.
Though technically she is a single mom, Lawson often feels the need to add the disclaimer that her ex-husband is very involved with their children, of whom they share custody.
She said too many women have bought into the notion they need to "bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let their man forget he's their man," to paraphrase the song used in the 1980s commercial for Enjoli, "the 8-hour perfume."
"There are times I ruminate on why I'm not the kind of mom that can stay home and make homemade hummus with organically grown crinkle cut cucumbers, then I stop thinking about that because there is laundry to be done, hugs to give, dinner to cook, homework to check and inevitably something to pull out of the dog's mouth," she wrote.
"Homemade hummus or not, the boys know they can always count on me and their dad, and their extended family, and that is my version of 'having it all.'"
'It is hardly ever perfect'
"I used to be ashamed of the number of before- and after-care providers I employed," wrote Rebecca Giannelli, a mother of three and a registration coordinator for a large physician group in Illinois. Her husband has a job in the local public works department.
They have three children, ages 2, 4 and 9. The traditional male and female roles are "out the window" in her house, she said. Her husband picks up the kids in the afternoon, gives them a snack, cleans up, starts the laundry and gets dinner going. They share homework and bath time. She schedules medical appointments, pays the bills and organizes the birthday parties.
Though it often feels like they're getting through the day "by the skin of our teeth," she said she looks to her children for guidance.
"They are brave and resilient and go with the flow," she wrote. "You will not find a high maintenance child at my address. Food? Check. Semi-dry clothes? Check. A brother or sister to play with or annoy? They are happy."
'I choose sanity'
Web developer Janice Gervais wasn't expecting to actually want to stay home with her two daughters.
But that's not an option. The family needs her steady paycheck and the health insurance that comes with it. The kids are in day care most of the week.
At work, she said, "leaning in" to bigger opportunities -- as Facebook's Sandberg advises women -- doesn't feel realistic, either.
"I just don't have the mental ability to put in 10 hours of work a day and additional work on the weekends, which seems to be the unspoken requirement ... in order to receive promotions in a typical work environment, and then coming home and cook dinner, clean up, and give my children my 100 percent attention."
She said she gets through each day by "choosing sanity" and not comparing herself to other families.
"My house is a war zone and guests know to call before they come over. Pursuing a higher career is on hold so the spare time I do get is spent with my kids. Their clothes are stained, their hair is a mess, their outfits don't match, but my sanity is still mostly intact. I just feel fortunate that I have the things I have, because so many others have far less."