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It’s Still Mom at Bedtime

François_Riss_LullabyIf you’re part of a working couple (two people who are married or in a committed relationship) with children these days, you’re probably sharing more of the household (related to home) work than parents did 50 or 75 years ago.

According to the American Time Use Survey (set of questions asked of many people) conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor, men and women now work roughly (about; approximately) the same number of hours each week, although men still work more paid hours and women work more unpaid hours. And while men report doing more at home, there is still one area where moms do the lion share of the work (do the majority or most of the work): childcare (taking care of children).

You may think, well, if fathers are doing more of the other housework, such as vacuuming (using a machine to remove dirt from floors, rugs, and carpets), then the housework is equally divided (split evenly) and everyone’s happy, right? Not according to sociologists (people whose job is to study how people interact and other social issues).

According to recent research, childcare is much more stressful than household tasks done alone, such as washing the dishes. As one mother put it (illustrated it; explained it) in a recent Wall Street Journal article, “dishes don’t talk back,” meaning dishes don’t argue or reply in a disrespectful or disobedient (not doing what one is told) way. And at bedtime (time when people prepare for sleeping) when parents have to deal with children who are perhaps at their grumpiest (most bad-tempered) and most reluctant (not wanting to do something), it’s moms who are most often doing this duty (work).

According to the American Time Use Survey, in a dual-income (both members of a couple with paying jobs) family, the mother is three times more likely to have her sleep interrupted (caused to stop for a period of time) if the couple has a child under the age of one than the father is, and stay-at-home mothers (mothers not working in jobs outside the home) get up six times more often than fathers. Less sleep and more interrupted sleep means more stress.

Do these figures (numbers) and observations jibe with (agree with) what you’ve observed among families where you live? Are fathers and mothers sharing the work at home equally, not only in the amount of time needed but in the level of stress involved?

– Lucy

Image Credit: François Riss Lullaby from Wikipedia

16 Responses to “It’s Still Mom at Bedtime”

  1. emiliano Says:

    Of course NO, in fact mothers are doing all the heavy tasks in their houses and fathers help them what is quite
    different.

    But if talking about caring the children differents use to be even greater as a rule, why? I don´t really know
    but working with lot of mothers at the bank they were always looking after their children, phoning, talking
    with the persons in care of them inside the house, talking with the children by the phone, shopping, cooking,
    and so forth.
    It could be a man that do the same that the mother, but I have not seeing him yet in all my life. It is the
    same that witches that could exist but I have not known one of then till the moment.

    When we had the first baby, Eva, Cuca decided to leave her work outside home, it was at the same bank than
    me as you know, and take care of the baby at home. Yes, it was a hard difficult decision but we understand
    it was the best for Eva and of course for Cuca not having so much work. What I was seeing was girls, mothers,
    that did double tasks to get more money but this was out of our minds. Quality of life doesn´t mean more
    money to spend, for her and for me means more time together, more time with the children, spend less money
    and have enough time to dedicate at the children and the person you love more, and yes it results after all.
    In fact we have been really very happy with less money and more time to spend together.

    My best dear Lucy the most inteligent American English girl I have ever met.

    emiliano

  2. emiliano Says:

    Living in a condominium as we live for good or for bad the usual is to be aware about the life of nearly all the neigbours that sorround
    our walls, more even if you like to be in peace without noises or having the TV off.
    Wall to wall where we are livind there is a woman, same age than my daughter Eva, that have two children of nine and seven years old.
    The boys have grown up these years just at our side, we are wall to wall, their mom works outside home and she take the children every
    morning to the nursery first and to the school now.
    You can´t imagine the shouts of this poor unhappy woman struggling with the rwo boys along all these years, it is like a crazy task for
    her once she takes off the children from the nursery and the school. Incredible fights, shouts, more shouts, more firhts every evening
    with the poor boys. It seems she is crazy but the husband is missing, he returns home nearly at night, of couse he works a lot but
    outside his home. Some time i thought these boys were bad treated by their crazy poor mother fed up with so many tasks and her
    lack of patience with house tasks and care of children.
    Why this girl married and have children? That´s the big question for Cuca and for me.
    When my three girls were at home, being children, there was not any single shout from Cuca´s mouth, never, I was with her and the girls
    all the evening and the little children were absolute nice not revolting little devils, not at the least because their mother were always in
    good humor given them the best from her. Of course I would try to do the same like Cuca but never I could reach her high status of
    nice attractive character with the daughters.
    Listening to the shouts of this poor woman with their children I feel very sorry for her and for the children.

    Again dear Lucy all my best for you always. emiliano

  3. Peter Says:

    Hi guys ,
    This is Peter writing
    Eslpod and I goes way back.
    The truth is I have not been around for a long while. U know , I used to be a regular here on this very blog.
    Well, let’s just say:things turn ugly for me so I had to go under the radar for a bit, if you know what I mean.
    It is not that I m a villain or anythig it is just that I m the luckiest guy alive. I know , u got the drift.
    Well, I m glad that Eslpod is still up and about.
    Oh, where are my manners
    Hi chief ,
    How have you been
    Hi Lucy , guess what !!! Your crazy student is back:))
    U know , I was off track for a bit. But it doesn’t mean that I was totally out of touch with English language.
    I see , Emiliano is still beating everybody to it when it comes to posting comments
    Hi bro
    How have been
    Do u remember the class Clawn : Peter :))
    I know you are saying ” dude , you were as corny as it could get.”
    Well , when you are right ! You are right

    By for now folks
    Catch u later

  4. Peter Says:

    Man , I m way behind
    Dear eslpod,
    Seems like u and I have some serious catch up to do.
    Well,
    It is my loss

    Yours
    Pete

  5. Peter Says:

    From where I stand , all the errands and chores are equally shared and done with both women and men in conventional families. Well, it gues without saying that heavy duty jobs like vacunming , leaf blowing , snow shoveling , cleaning the gutter , cutting the grass and do one is typically some by the physically strongest member of the family which is ,in most cases, men.
    The more delicate house hold duties usually is done by femail members such as cooking , sewing, dusting , baking and so on.
    U know , now a days kids are the boss
    Not parents

  6. Dan Says:

    Hello everyone, Hi there Peter nice to see you back.

    Here my two cents on the subject: First, women must get back behind the burners where they belong.

    Second the man ought to be the breadwinner. That is things are supposed to be, period!

    HAHAHAHAH! Calm down women! I am just kidding.

    ” there is still one area where moms do the lion share of the work” talking on the phone! ahahaha joking again :-)

    Come on guys! anyone knows that the TV take care of the kids.
    Wait, wait, we are in the digital age….today kids grow up with game consoles and smartphones.

    Do not worry parents! just a matter of time and you can download an APP. that take care of the kids.

    Bye! Thanks

  7. Dan Says:

    Someone is concerned because we are witnessing the breaking up of the so called “traditional family”

    I have no problem with that. I do not see anything wrong with gay couples and singles growing up kids.

    It is not the gender of an individual that makes him/her a good parent.

    What is it then that make a good parent? I do not know! but it is not the shape of the family.

    What do you guys think?

    Thanks

  8. emiliano Says:

    it is always a pleasure to see you here Peter, so welcome again my dear Peter
    you know this is like home.

    How have you going on through life Peter ?

    See you. emiliano

  9. Wang Luu Says:

    Peter is back ????

  10. Finn Oddvar Stensrud Says:

    Dear Lucy!

    In Norway, men are more willing to take care of the children, than before…

    Not my father :) But, I (20-25 years ago)… and my son had/has a different view and practise!

    I took care of my son at night – my son does the same with his little son, Niklas :)

    Of course – I wasn´t, and he isn´t alone with the job! :)

  11. Tania Says:

    Hi! Welcome back to our ESLPodcast blog, Peter!

    Glad to meet you, Finn Oddvar Stensrud!
    We are waiting for news from Norway.

  12. Dan Says:

    Thank you guys for ESL Podcast 983 – Breaking Bad Habits

    I enjoyed that, and I have even learned about that Aristotle’s thing I did not know.

    Thanks and have a good day.

    2fsl

  13. Tania Says:

    Hi! I like the title “It’s Still Mom at Bedtime”.
    Yes, without mother the house is empty, is cold.
    Any child wants first to see the mother and then the father.
    The biggest tragedy is to die a mother having little children.
    Nobody can replace her.

  14. Tania Says:

    Hi! Fathers and and mothers are sharing the work at home equally. Is it a joke?
    It would be a nice story to be true. Few men can understand the transformations within the soul of a woman when she becomes a mom.
    Of course, there are and special men who can appreciate and help his wife.
    It’s a rare gift to have such a husband.

  15. Tania Says:

    Hi! “Less sleep and more interrupted sleep means more stress” for all mothers.
    Mother becomes nervous , tired, with less attention for her husband.
    Men can’t understand her. They must help his family if they can.
    If not, this can affect their marital happiness.

    There is just a step till to say “alone together”.
    What a pity!

  16. Tania Says:

    Hi! We use the same phrase “the lion share” with the same meaning, even if we don’t have lions.

    A new nice design on CAPTCHA Code. Thank you, Adriano.