This chapter expands conceptualizations of the work-family nexus by offering new insights into and from the lived realities of low-income women. From these women’s perspectives, choice - which envisages boundaries between work and family life - is a rare privilege. Their diverse experiences reveal the intricate interplay between work and family roles, disrupting assumptions of linear order and controllable boundaries in managing work-family dynamics. The chapter contributes a novel framing which we term work-family entanglement, going beyond the traditional view of individual control over work-family boundaries. It emphasizes how socially constructed and structurally embedded inequalities limit control, choice, and predictability in managing the work-family nexus. We present three examples illustrating work-family entanglement in diverse contexts: 1) breastfeeding challenges in South African garment factories, 2) maternity protection issues in Ghana’s informal economy, and 3) work schedule precarity in the United States. These examples underscore the impact of structural inequalities on women in lower-level jobs across various economies, revealing plural discourses and informal community mechanisms. The chapter concludes with implications for policy, practice, and future research.

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