Do Helpful Dads Make Mums Feel Bad?

05/07/2010 11:09 | Updated 22 May 2015

Expectations of dads have changed enormously over the last 50 years. Fathers today are expected to do their fair share of the work involved in bringing up a child. They might not be able to breasfeed (though one man did try), but they can still change nappies, do the laundry and take their turn at the school run. And frankly, if my partner wasn't prepared to pitch in, it'd be time for some serious words.

However, new research suggests that not all parents agree. Live Science reports on a study suggesting that men taking a bigger role in the home has led to some women feeling displaced and lacking in self-esteem.

The study, to be published in the journal Personal Relationships, finds that more women entering the workforce means that they have less time for traditional home-based duties, so men have to step up to a more care-giving role. However, this has led some women to say that they feel undermined because their home-maker role has been usurped.

Women, wake up! This is 2010! The fact that you're not stuck behind the stove all day is a good thing. And if your partner really is a partner, then of course he should be doing his share. Having a family creates a lot of work, but we have long since chucked out the rulebook that said that all the household chores should automatically fall to the woman.

A deeper question that needs to be addressed is this: what is going on when a woman's self esteem is so fragile that it gets rocked by her husband doing the dishes? This study is basically a get-out clause for lazy men.

Researchers interviewed 78 couples in the United States, with 8-month-old infants.The findings revealed that women spent nearly three times as much time taking care of the babies by themselves than their husbands, and husbands rated their wives' parenting skills well above what women rated their husbands' skills.

However, women said their husbands were good parents even if they helped with normal care-giving like feeding and changing nappies. Husbands, on the other hand, didn't think these tasks contributed to making their wives good parents, probably because they expect women to do this.

What do you think? Do you share the housework equally? Is your sense of self worth diminished if your partner does more traditionally 'female' chores?

Source [ParentDish US]

Source [AOL Health]

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