Study Finds on Days Off, Dads Relax and Have Fun but Moms Keep Working

posted: 10/19/17
by: Amanda Mushro
Busy mom

If you are planning on having a lazy weekend where your binge watch your favorite shows, play with the kids, and simply relax--a new study says that is only happening if you are the dad because moms cannot relax--even on our days off.

A new study from Ohio State University examined the work/play patterns of over 50 couples with newborn babies. With both parents working, researchers wanted to see what happened on their "days off." For the study, participants were asked to keep detailed activity diaries for the first three months after their first child was born.

They found that during the week, men and women tended to split household chores and childcare duties fairly evenly on workdays. However, when it came to weekends or days off, dads were more likely to engage in fun activities and relaxing while moms continued to complete housework and take care of the baby. The data showed dads were relaxing 46 percent of the time when mom had the baby, but mom only relaxed 16 percent of the time when dad was on duty with the baby.

"When there is more time available on the weekend and parents are not so pressed to get everything done, then we see the emergence of gendered patterns and inequality where women do a lot more housework and childcare while he leisures," said researcher Jill Yavorsky

Researchers did acknowledge that this data does not relate to every couple but can be a real eye opener to parents of children of any age about self-care and helping your partner. "At the time we studied them, these couples were setting up routines that may last several years as the kids grow," said lead author of the study Claire Kamp Dush. "Couples need to be having these conversations from the first few months."

So Dads, if you see your partner using her days off to get work done, remind her that she needs a break too. Plan a date night, tell her to take a nap, or take some of the work off her plate so you both can have some down time.

Now excuse me because I am going to relax. Just kidding, I'm a mom so I need to do the dishes, fold a load of laundry, help the kids with homework, and then maybe I'll relax.