A new study found that moms with a husband or live-in male partner sleep less and do more housework than single moms, despite having someone to share the work.
The study by Population Reference Bureau was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
“The idea that a mother does more housework when she has a partner or spouse may sound counterintuitive, but it’s the reality in most American households,” said demographer Linda Jacobsen, vice president of U.S. Programs at PRB. “What we don’t know is why mothers feel compelled to do more housework when there’s a man in the house.”
The study says both single moms and moms with partners spend roughly the same amount of time looking after their children. But married moms are more likely to sacrifice their own leisure time and sleep to do housework.
Researchers hypothesize that it may be tied to social expectations for women with families, according to a release.
“When the at-home parent is the mother, there’s a clear expectation that she’ll be in charge of the family’s domestic life,” said study co-author Noelle Chesley of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “That’s not necessarily the case when the at-home parent is the father.”
Researchers noted that while more and more men are staying at home and looking after the children, fathers may not feel the same social pressure to provide the family with home-cooked meals or clean the house as frequently.
“Women feel socially accountable for the appearance of the household,” said study co-author Sarah Flood of the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities.
For much more, click here.