Today's Realities About the Domestic Divide - Page 2
This parenting style keeps moms busy taking their kids to this class and that class, in addition to what they do to manage the household, plus their work outside the home life, plus combining their own leisure time with child-care activities. According to the University of Maryland’s time diary studies, in 1975 mothers combined 25% of their child-care activities with leisure activities. By 1998, mothers were combining 50% of their child-care activities with leisure activities.
“Intensive mothering” as Lareau calls it, often makes women feel they are still taking the brunt of the load. Yet research tells us the guys are doing more to the point of about the same as the women, and also feel the pressure to be the “involved father.” Both sides feel pressure to do more than can be done in a 24 hour day to be the best parents they can be.
Marriages without children don’t have this kind of pressure. The idea of more equal domestics has already been a trend. Interview research for Families of Two indicated a trend for the child-free working outside the home full time to more equally share the domestics at home, and not necessarily split on gender roles. He might be the one wash the dishes, or garden and she might be the one to track their finances and investments, for example. It seems with and without kids, there is more equality than ever before, but with parents, it still does not come without the pressure for mothers and fathers to try to find time to do all they believe they need to do to be the ideal parent.