Who should bear the brunt of the housework?
In an age where more and more women are becoming the primary breadwinners in the home, the question of who should pull their weight in the home environment is more relevant than ever.
The other day the Telegraph Online ran a thought provoking piece questioning the widely held belief that men tend to flake out on the sofa with a beer after a hard day at work, while women take up the domestic slack.
The claim that men should help out more around the house to compensate a woman’s “double shift” – a combination of professional and domestic work – is apparently a myth.
New research (carried out by Dr Catherine Hakim) has claimed that men in Britain actually contribute slightly more overall and that, across Europe, both sexes are about equal, putting in an average of eight hours hard graft a day.
Nick Collins of The Telegraph writes:
If both paid work and unpaid duties such as housework, care and voluntary work are taken into account, husbands actually contribute more than their fair share to the household, experts found.
According to a study of how people use their time, men in Britain spend marginally longer on “productive” work each day than women.
While many wives scale back their working hours or drop out of employment after having children, husbands will often work overtime to earn more income for the family.
Catherine was quoted as saying:
This data overturns the well-entrenched theory that women work disproportional long hours in jobs and at home in juggling family and work.
You can read the full piece here.
So are moaning men under-appreciated after all? Maybe so, but let’s not come to any sweeping conclusions. Everyone’s family is different and we don’t think there’s any right or wrong way of splitting the work – a husband may have more time and expertise to devote to one area and his wife another.
We’d love to hear about other people’s experiences. Do you and your partner share the load equally or does one of you do more than your fair share?