Ideas & Advice

This Is Why Dads Are Happier Than Moms

This Is Why Dads Are Happier Than Moms
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“Children are a social benefit for everyone, but they are a public good for which mothers pay a disproportionate price,” observed a researcher at the Center for Social Policy Research at the University of New South Wales. over ten years ago.

With fathers taking on more active roles at home, you must be wondering why in 2020 views remain significantly different on parenting roles, happiness, and well-being. Clinical psychologist Darcy Lockman, author of Trendy: Mothers, Fathers, and the Myth of Equal Partnership, writes in a New York Times editorial, “What ‘Good’ Dads Get Away With,” that “by passively refusing to play an equal role, men reinforce” a separation of spheres that underlies male ideals and perpetuates a gender order. by favoring men over women.

What Ashley McQuire, writing for the Institute of Family Studies, finds to be “the liberal feminist obsession with drudgery of being dated and tired.” She says, “These women want to be the primary caregivers of their children and are happy when they can prioritize what they do at home. It’s a cold, hard fact that for some reason feminists like Lockman just can’t accept.

When the Pew Research Center recently looked at the numbers, the division of household chores is 18 hours per week for mothers and 10 hours for fathers. Additionally, Pew found that more mothers, 53 percent, felt they were spending enough time with their children. Only 36 percent of fathers take this position. In short, most dads would like to spend more time with their children.

According to the Pew, fathers spend about eight hours a week babysitting (a slight increase from the two and a half hours for men 50 years ago) compared to 14 hours for mothers.

Happy moms, happier dads

The way mothers and fathers spend time with their children affects the well-being of mothers and fathers. A new study, “Happy Moms, Happier Dads: Gendered Caregiving and Parents’ Affect,” highlights previous research indicating that dads are happier and tells us why. Study researchers, Cadhla McDonnell, Nancy Luke, and Susan E. Short, analyzed specific child care activities to determine where and when the activity took place, which parent was present, how much care was received. involved and how the mood of mothers and fathers was affected. .

Their study, published in Family Problems Journal, examined who did what to meet a child’s basic needs; who was involved in recreation or sports; or homework help; and who made arrangements for children, doctor’s appointments, or did most of the transportation. They focused on the context of care rather than the time spent determining a parent’s level of stress and happiness. The authors state: “Parenthood is emotionally demanding and highly gendered. We see a gender imbalance in the emotional rewards of childcare: fathers report more happiness, less stress, and less fatigue than mothers. “

Working Moms report that “despite these challenges, for many working parents, including about 8 in 10 working full-time mothers, their current employment situation is what works best for them at this point in their lives. whatever stress and feelings the job “engenders.” it is more difficult for them to be a good parent.

The stressor

Aside from the difficulties for both parents, for the fathers in the “Happy Moms, Happier Dads” study, the emotional rewards were greater; they were happier and less stressed because they engaged in more recreational activities and less stressful aspects of parenting.

Reporting the results of an Austrian study for Psychology Today, Michael Ungar argues that because fathers care more for children, they become more stressed than mothers, especially in families with young children.

Leah Ruppanner, who teaches sociology at the University of Melbourne, found the opposite. She and her colleagues looked at data collected from about 20,000 Australian families over 16 years. In addition to finding that having a second child affects the mental health of parents, she concluded that “before childbirth, mothers and fathers report similar levels of time pressure. Once the first child is born, the pressure of time increases for both parents. However, this effect is significantly greater for mothers than for fathers. Second children double the time pressure from parents, further widening the gap between mothers and fathers. The time constraints and the stress they create “have not diminished as the children get older.” Ruppanner’s findings seem to hold up even as children reach adolescence.

As children get older

The study titled “Mothers ‘and Fathers’ Well-Being in Parenting Across the Arch of Child Development: Well-Being in Parenting by Child Age”, assessed how over 18,000 parents felt in different activities with children of different ages. ages using American time. Use the wellness survey module. Senior researcher Ann Meier found that both parents are less happy with teens, but mothers “report more stress and less sense. [than fathers] with teenagers. The study highlights that adolescence is difficult for the happiness and well-being of parents. Nonetheless, the researchers summarized that “mothers put up with stress that fathers don’t feel, even after accounting for differences in the context of their parenting activities.”

Among the families you know or in your own family, would you agree that the father is happier, less stressed and more satisfied than the mother when it comes to raising the children? Or do you think, like Ashley McQuire, that “women want to be the primary caregivers of their children and are happy when they can make what they do at home come first”, however that affects? their well-being?

Copyright @ 2019/2020 Susan Newman

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