Mothers' employment is widely perceived as having far-reaching effects on family relationships. The main work-life balance policies promoted by government focus on the amount of time mothers spend at work. This report challenges this approach. It suggests that what happens inside the workplace and how this interacts with family life is just as important.The report explores how mothers and their partners understand the impact of the mother's employment on their couple and parenting relationships, using a hospital and an accountancy firm as case studies. It highlights the way different aspects of paid work affect family relationships, and how they do so.