Today's Realities About the Domestic Divide
It’s been commonly assumed that women, whether there are children in the relationship or not, tend to carry a heavier domestic load at home. However, according to Time magazine, times have changed, and men are now pulling their weight. Maybe it’s happened because couples think domestic chore balance is important to a happy relationship. Pew Research Center sure confirms this; in a 2007 poll, “62% of married adults said ‘sharing household chores’ was the third most important ingredient (after faithfulness and sex) in successful marriage.”
And more than ever before, husbands and wives with and without children have never before had such similar workloads. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 men and women who were marriage with no children and worked full time had “combined daily totals of paid and unpaid work,” meaning “work at the office and all the drudgery you have to do at home” were almost the same: 8 hours and 11 minutes for men, and 8 and hours and 3 minutes for women.
For couples with children under 18, surprisingly the differences between men and women were small as well. Full-time working mothers did “just 20 minutes more of combined paid and unpaid work than men did, the smallest difference ever reported.
However, even with this trend toward convergence, working moms still have a greater perception of being overworked. Why? Mothers have increased the amount of time they spend with their kids, on top of working full time. According to Annette Lareau of the University of Pennsylvania, parenting has become more labor intensive as parenting styles have shifted to “the concerted cultivation of children,” to draw out their talents with organized activities to begin early to groom them for success.Continued on the next page