Dads are Helping Out More During the Pandemic, But Moms Are Busier Than Ever

This study proves what we already know to be true.

By: Amanda Mushro

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Photo by: Simon Ritzmann

Simon Ritzmann

After weeks in quarantine, parents are feeling burned out. From juggling their kid’s online learning to the stress of dealing with a pandemic, on top of daily life—we could all use a break. While these crazy times have required both parents to take on more work at home, a new study says that, for many families, dads are helping out more than ever, but moms are still doing the majority of childcare and housework. In other news—water is wet.

In a study from Ball State University that surprised zero percent of mothers, fathers reported an increase in their total time of completing house work and grocery shopping; even so, researchers found that moms are shouldering the brunt of the work at home. From homeschooling children to cooking, completing endless loads of laundry, keeping kids of all ages entertained and cleaning, mom’s handle it all. The saying “A mother’s work is never done” may have been created by someone in quarantine.

The research team surveyed over one thousand parents residing with a partner of the opposite sex and analyzed changes in routine housework and care of children. While there was no disagreement between parents regarding the mother’s increase in time and responsibility, there was some discrepancy about the amount of time dad was on duty.

A part of the study that made us laugh out loud is dad’s perception of the time spent doing housework when compared to the actual amount of time he is helping out.

“Greater exposure to domestic work may also lead fathers to perceive that they are spending more time in these tasks than they actually are,” said co-author of the study, Richard Petts.

When it comes to the task of homeschooling, mothers were overwhelmingly in charge of assisting their kids. However, researchers found that dads were increasing playtime with their children—a bright spot to the extra time at home.

So, when life returns to normal–or our new version of normal– dads may hopefully continue to cover more of the household chores so mom can find a few minutes of peace and a lot less work on her plate.

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