Ruth Davis Konigsberg wrote and article in Time Magazine declaring that men are pulling their weight at home and at work, though women still feel put upon.
Turns out that statistically both husband and wife, father and mother, feel equally stretched in a million directions without enough time to get everything done. The difference is that this is an old feeling for moms, but a new one for dads.
Fifty-fifty isn’t exactly happening, because fifty-fifty isn’t a reasonable goal. Dads are working more hours outside the home and moms are putting in more childcare hours. But, the total working hours are the same give or take 10 minutes or so.
Fifty-seven percent of dads agree with this statement, “In the past three months, I have not been able to get everything done at home each day because of my job.” Sixty-eight percent of dads say they “have experienced problems with their employer because of conflicts between their job and their duties as a parent. Seventy-two percent of dads “report that their income would decline if they worked fewer hours.”
The article goes on to state that the reason both moms and dads, but especially moms, feel overextended is because we are participating in “the concerted cultivation of children.” In other words, we’ve raised the bar of parenting higher than previous generations and spend more time at Taekwondo lessons and other child-centered extra-curricular activities.
The article also points out that dads feel pressured because work expectations change for new moms when a baby is born, but not for new dads. The workplace cuts women a little slack, in other words, but expect dad to keep performing at his usual pace.
Essentially, this is good news statistically.
But, does it feel true for you?
Is the work/childcare/housework pretty equal in your house or are you pulling the notorious “second shift?”
In my house, I have to say I have few complaints. Dad helps with cooking, dishes, laundry, childcare and works a full-time job. Any complaints I have are about the amount of time and energy his full-time job demands. The late dinners, the extra-curricular activities like the Thursday night golf game, the working from home on evenings and weekends. These things make it harder for me. The kids are older, so it’s not like it creates more labor. But, I can’t leave and go do something else when he works late or plays golf. I have to be the warm body making sure nothing drastic happens. Also, it just makes me feel lonely.
How about your family life? Is it equal? Does it balance out?
Tracee Sioux is a Law of Attraction Coach at www.traceesioux.com. She is the author of Love Distortion: Belle, Battered Codependent and Other Love Stories. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.