The objective of the paper is to answer the question what family model with respect to the share of professional and household duties is dominant in Poland. It was done through the analysis of the preferences and actual life choices of Poles in this respect, paying a special attention to the social norms and, particularly, policy regulations that determine these choices. The data used come from the Labour Force Survey and the Population Policy Acceptance Survey (PPA2) conducted in 2001 on the LFS sub-sample. Synthetic variables were constructed to describe the following family models: male breadwinner, sequential male breadwinner, modernised male breadwinner, dual earner-female double burden, dual earner-dual carer. The analysis revealed high disparities between preferences and actual life choices. Although the most preferred model is the dual earner-dual carer, the most often practised are the dual earner-female double burden and the male breadwinner model. The fact of being a parent increases both, the preference for and the incidence of the male breadwinner, which means that in reality the sequential male breadwinner is widely practised. This model is also strongly supported by the state policy. Decisions about family model selection are influenced by cultural and institutional factors. Both groups of determinants have been referred to when discussing about discrepancies between preferred and practised family models in Poland.