Do you think your mom works less than your dad? No, in fact, she may be more hardworking, as researchers have found that dads are often seen having fun while moms work around the house. The study published online in the Journal Sex Roles found that three months after the birth of their first child, on days when couples were not working, men were most often relaxing while women did housework or childcare.
“Household tasks and child care are still not being shared equally, even among couples who we expected would have more egalitarian views of how to share parenting duties,” said lead author Claire Kamp Dush, associate professor at The Ohio State University.
The researchers conducted a study that included 52 couples who participated in the New Parents Project. They were asked to complete their own time diaries for a working and a non-working day during the third trimester of the woman’s pregnancy and about three months after the baby’s birth.
But men made up for it on non-workdays, when the amount of time they spent in leisure activities actually doubled between when their partner was pregnant and three months after the birth. “On non-working days, parents are more evenly splitting housework and childcare,” the researcher said.
On their days off, men were relaxing more 46 per cent of the time while their partners did child care. In contrast, women were engaged in leisure only 16 per cent of the time when their partners were taking care of their child. Results were similar for housework, where fathers took 35 per cent of the time off while their partner did tasks like cleaning. Women took 19 per cent of the time off when men did housework.
Men need to get in there and take care of their child and house, particularly on the weekends. In some cases, moms may need to step back and let fathers do housework and childcare tasks without hovering to make sure they meet her standards, the researcher added.