Given the key role that processes occurring in the family play in creating gender inequality, the family is a central focus of policies aimed at creating greater gender equality. We examine how family status affects the gender wage gap using longitudinal matched employer employee data from Norway, 1979–96, a period with extensive expansion of family policies. The motherhood penalty dropped dramatically from 1979 to 1996. Among men the premia for marriage and fatherhood remained constant. In 1979, the gender wage gap was primarily due to the motherhood penalty, but by 1996 husband premia were more important than motherhood penalties.