• dual earner;
  • gender;
  • personality;
  • work-family balance

Using questionnaire data on 149 Dutch dual-earner couples with young children participating in the European Famwork study, we examine how adaptive strategies and gender ideology relate to parents’ perceived success in balancing work and family. Path analysis indicates that some adaptive strategies may harm individuals’ work-family balance, particularly when they are made in the domain where the time budget is limited. In the need to succeed in multiple roles, however, endorsement of traits traditionally linked with the opposite gender, that is masculine traits for women and feminine traits for men, seems beneficial. We speculate that two underlying mechanisms — social pressure and time constraints — jointly operate in determining perceived success in balancing work and family.