Dads Are More Likely To Relax On Days Off, Says Study By Captain Obvious

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Moms spend their days off taking care of the kids and doing chores

In the most unsurprising study in the history of studies, researchers found that dads are more likely to relax on their days off, while moms spend their “days off” doing housework or taking care of the kids.

The New Parents Project study released by the Ohio State University looked at 52 couples; most were highly educated, white, and dual-earner households in the Columbus area and all just had their first child. The findings showed women only relaxed for around 46 to 49 minutes on their days off while men spent about 101 minutes relaxing while their partner tended to the kids or did housework.

Knock us over with a feather.

Researchers asked couples participating to complete “time diaries” for a workday and a non-workday both during the third trimester of pregnancy and about three months after their child was born. Once the women stopped laughing at the term “non-workday” they got right to it.

They found on workdays after the baby was born, “the amount of time women and men spent doing housework and child care was more equal than on non-workdays, although women still did slightly more work.”

But on days off, men spent 47 minutes when their partner was pregnant and 101 minutes after the baby was born participating in leisure activities. Apparently they were spent from having to participate in household duties while their wife grew another human being inside her and needed a break from it all once the baby was born.

The study also found that when men are spending their days off taking care of the kids or doing housework, moms are often helping them out. No shit, we’re shocked.

On their days off, men were relaxing 46 percent of the time while their partners took care of the baby. Women only engaged in leisure activities 16 percent of the time when the baby was being cared for by their fathers. Do women have to count “staring blankly at a wall wondering how we got to this place” as a “leisure activity?”

“It’s frustrating,” Claire Kamp Dush, lead author of the study and associate professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University, said. “Household tasks and child care are still not being shared equally, even among couples who we expected would have more egalitarian views of how to share parenting duties.”

And while fathers are doing more than they were 50 years ago when it comes to their kids, 48 percent say they spend too little time with their kids, according to a Pew Research study. When it comes to caring for a new baby, 53% of Americans say that mothers do a better job than fathers. Perhaps women don’t necessarily do a better job, they just spend more time doing it.

Though researchers agree it is a very small sample of first time parents, “we need to look into this further and understand how dual-earner couples are sharing housework and child care,” Kamp Dush, said. After all, Kamp noted, “these highly educated couples where both parents have jobs would be the ones you would expect to have worked out equitable arrangements for sharing housework and child care.”

Of course this is not the case in all households and there are many, many fathers who step up and contribute just as much as their partners, but according to this study, it appears there is still a ways to go before men catch up to women in this department.