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

This study proves what we moms already know to be true.

By: Amanda Mushro

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Photo by: Simon Ritzmann

Simon Ritzmann

After a year in quarantine, parents are feeling burned out. Between juggling online learning for their kids and 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 for many families, dads are helping out more than ever—but moms are still doing the mom-thing. They’re taking on more work and still doing the majority of child care and housework. In other news, water is wet.

A study from Ball State University that surprised zero percent of mothers, reported that fathers are experiencing an increase in their total time completing house work and grocery shopping. However, researchers found that moms are shouldering the brunt of the work at home. They’re homeschooling children, cooking family meals, doing endless loads of laundry, keeping kids of all ages entertained, and cleaning their homes. The saying "a mother’s work is never done" may have been created by someone in quarantine.

The research team surveyed over 1,000 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.

One part of the study that made us laugh out loud was dad’s perception of the time he spent doing housework versus the actual amount of time he spent helping out. "Greater exposure to domestic work may also lead fathers to perceive that they are spending more time in these tasks then 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. Nevertheless, researchers found that dads were increasing playtime with their children—a bright spot to the extra time at home.

When life returns to normal (or our new version of normal), dads will hopefully continue picking up 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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