In recent years, much cross-national research on women's work has focused on the impact of the state in creating the conditions to enable women to combine paid work and motherhood. However, when dealing with women's domestic responsibilities, this research has concentrated heavily on caring functions, whilst largely ignoring the importance of other basic household chores. Furthermore, few studies have addressed the question of how state policy concerning women, work and childcare impacts on the ways in which parenting and domestic duties are constructed and distributed between mothers, fathers and others in the everyday experiences of individuals. The present article addresses both of these questions through evidence gathered from a qualitative cross-national comparative study of the child-care strategies of two groups of women, one French and one British, working in secretarial or clerical occupations, living with a partner and with at least one child aged under twelve. Minimal differences concerning the gender division of domestic and parenting work are discovered between these two national groups. This finding is then used to question some of the theoretical perspectives regarding the relationship between women's greater participation in employment and men's greater participation in domestic and parenting work.