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Men Relax While New Moms Do Chores, Study Suggests


Today in no duh: Women do more chores than men. Wives everywhere will be able to relate to these findings (so ladies, don’t be afraid to pat yourself on the back before you keep reading).

Researchers Claire Kamp Dush and Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan worked with a team to analyze the chore pattern of 52 married, dual-earning couples who were having their first child. The researchers asked all husbands and wives to keep a detailed time diary of what they did on the same day at the same time on a work day and a non-work day. Couples began their diaries during the third trimester and continued for three months after their child’s birth.

What researchers discovered was that on work days after the baby’s birth, couples spent closer to the same amount of time working on chores than they did on non-work days, although overall, women still did slightly more than men. This makes sense because couples who are both coming home from work have a limited amount of time to get things done. Time constraints cause both parents to adopt an “all hands on deck” system, which means husbands are more likely to help out.

On non-work days when parents had more time to get things done, “gendered patterns and inequality where women do a lot more housework and childcare while [husband] leisures” emerged, researcher Jill Yavorsky said.

When men were free, they spent 46 percent of their time off relaxing while their wife was in charge of childcare. On the wife’s days off, she spent, on average, only 16 percent of her time relaxing while her husband handled childcare.

Housework followed relatively the same pattern. Husbands spent 35 percent of their time off relaxing while wives spent only 19 percent of their time unwinding while the other spouse took care of the housework.

Overall, researchers found that the amount of time men spent relaxing actually increased from 47 minutes to 101 minutes after the couple’s child was born. Seriously! Working moms basically have two jobs, and it seems highly unfair that while men are able to relax in their moments off, women don’t get to take their own time-outs. After all, women deserve and need that downtime just much as their husbands!

So, how do to get your husband to do his fair share? “Couples need to be having conversations, ideally before their baby is born, about how they are going to divide household tasks to make sure they are equitable,” Kamp Dush said. And in some cases, she said, moms need to just take a step back and let their husbands to the work.

There you have it: An expert is giving you full permission to kick back and enjoy your break just a little while longer. Go ahead, ladies, and pour that second glass of wine. We’re toasting to you!

h/t Science Daily

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