A persistent parenthood gap exists in the amount of time and effort mothers and fathers put into household responsibilities. Even in these modern times, women still bare the brunt of care duties. The gap between you and your partner’s unpaid labor has consequences, but you can make improvements together.
The Gender Parenthood Gap
Do you ever feel like you put in more time than your partner into cleaning or raising your children? That is the gap between what women and men do in the home. Men certainly do more work at home than before, but it still is not equal. Men overestimate time spent doing chores, which makes the gap more difficult to close. Understanding this gap is important because it can have lasting effects on you and your family.
Costs of the Domestic Gap
The parenthood gap between men and women’s care and domestic responsibilities is detrimental. Your career advancement suffers, and your husband is not as likely to see similar impacts. According to Pew Research, forty-one percent of mothers believe parental duties impair women’s careers. This compares to just twenty percent of fathers. The additional time you spend taking care of children dampens your ability to get ahead and make more money.
Your partner loses both valuable time bonding with his kids and the opportunity to set an example. Your daughter is more likely to go into a higher paying job if she has a father who is active in domestic work. Active fathers give their sons an opportunity to see and mimic a healthy version of masculinity.
Reduce the Gap with Small Changes in Your Routine
Even small, incremental changes can help offset the challenges of your higher investment in domestic work. Adjusting the number of domestic care duties by just less than an hour for both you and your partner. Find ways for you to step back and your partner to step up.
Encourage your Partner to Put Down the Remote
On average men have more leisure time than women, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey. The difference between the two is half an hour. Men primarily spend this extra time watching television. Agree to switch out one television show for the dishes or for a game of Monopoly with the kids. Your partner naturally wants to be an active part of your family life and care for his children. Small changes in his behavior can help him find a way.
Accept Your Partner’s Participation
You must do less at home as your partner does more. Your routine of doing the majority or all domestic responsibilities makes this emotionally difficult. For that hour of television time, you trade, leave the house to keep from jumping in. Try not to criticize his way of doing something. Two people have different approaches. Treat him like the adult he is and watch him rise to the occasion.
An imbalance of duties at home puts you and your family at a disadvantage. You can work with your partner to make sure you implement changes for good.