Study finds that stay-at-home dads do much less than stay-at-home mums
Who does what in the home is, as many long-term partners or married couples can attest to, one of the most common reasons we fight with our other halves.
The fact of the matter is that when it comes to both housework and childcare, statistics show that it is us women who bare the absolute brunt of it, regardless of whether we stay at home or go out to work. And now, according to The Guardian , it would seem that even when fathers opt to stay at home and mum is the (financial) breadwinner of the family, dads are still slacking on the job when it comes to childcare.
Yup, that's right. According to research by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), stay-at-home dads actually spent less time taking care of the kids than working mums, believe it or not. Because while the at-home dads dedicated an average of 19 hours to childcare per week, working mums clocked up 21 hours of childcare — on top of the 35 hours per week they were already spending at the office.
Yikes. We still got a long way to go before finding some gender equality when it comes to childcare, it would seem.
One silver lining is that these dads made up for it in housework, though only slightly. According to the researchers, the stay-at-home dads reported doing 28 hours of housework per week (with housework including everything from running errands to car maintenance), compared to 23 hours for working mums.
Now, reverse those roles, however, and the numbers start looking very worrying. When dads worked outside the home, stay-at-home mums spent far more time on childcare and housework, clocking up a whopping 38 hours per week, as opposed to dads, who only spent 13 hours doing the same thing.
Why are stay-at-home dads slacking on the job, you might wonder? Well, this is what AIFS director Ann Hollands had to say about the findings:
“For many, becoming a stay-at-home dad is an economic decision, driven by unemployment, under-employment or disability, and not a lifestyle choice to spend more time parenting,” Hollands explains.
“The fathers tend to be older, with older children and they don’t tend to pick up the full domestic workload to the same extent that stay-at-home mothers traditionally have.”
Hm... Or is the aul' gender roles again, do you think? The age-old, timeworn idea that at the end of the day, kids and laundry and dinner-cooking is woman's work? Regardless of the fact that mum might also have a 'regular' job outside the walls of the house?