While men may be bringing home the bacon, as tradition dictates, they rarely bother to cook it or wash the resulting dishes.
Husbands and their wives typically try to be equal partners and split responsibilities, like housework and finances, but having children significantly changes the way work is shared, Alanna Massey reported for Pacific Standard.
An an Ohio State University study shows, on average having children added 21 extra hours of work to a woman’s week, but only 12.5 hours to a man's.
The interesting insight comes when we look at how men and women estimated the amount of work they did in the home each week. While both men and women overestimated, men overestimated by 26 hours.
A Pew study showed that men were more likely to claim they shared the housework with their wives, and women felt like they were doing more of the housework than their husbands.
“While it is tempting to blame men’s phantom workload on self-aggrandizing delusions, these delusions are socially reinforced when we congratulate men for participating in these duties at all,” Massey wrote. “The woman who leaves work to pick up her kids senses the collective eye roll from her colleagues, while a man doing the same is considered a model citizen.”
Articles like “How to get your husband to help out around the house” and “Are you lumbered with a lazy husband,” thrive on the Internet. This coupled with stereotypical husbands on television shows and movies who have to be begged to work around the house seem to reinforce the idea that it's normal to receive rewards for things that many argue should be responsibilities.
A 2013 Pew study shows that having children didn’t change the amount of housework done by men between the ages of 18 and 64, but women saw a four-hour increase in how much housework they did each week when they had children.
Women also did nearly twice as much childcare as men, according to the study. Men with kids typically did 7 hours of childcare a week. Women did 13.6 hours a week.
Alexandra Bradner from The Atlantic suggested that men do not help out around the house as much because they either were not raised seeing fathers helping in the home, lack the motivation to help or were too busy with work.
“Perhaps men simply can't see what needs to be done,” Bradner explained. “They didn't see their fathers doing these tasks; and their mothers did their invisible work quietly and without call for recognition.”
Taking care of a family is difficult for both mothers and fathers, especially when one or both of them are working.
“Only a handful of working parents have the ‘village’ they need to care for their children during the period in which career opportunities slam up against pregnancies, births, years of nursing, and other crucial forms of caregiving,” Bradner wrote.
Shelby Slade is a writer for Deseret News National. Email: email@example.com, Twitter: shelbygslade.