They’re typically the ones earning more money and working longer hours.
But that all changed once women entered the workforce in large numbers in the ’70s. Women started earning incomes comparable to men and spending just as much — if not more — time at the office.
So who’s doing the laundry and picking up the kids at soccer practice?
Well, the women are, of course.
It’s been long a common complaint of women who juggle housework, childcare and full-time jobs: why can’t the men pick up some of the slack?
Well, they are. Slowly.
In a 2007 poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, 62 percent of married adults said “sharing household chores” was the third most important factor — after faithfulness and sex — in a successful marriage, up from 47 percent in a similar study in 1990.
I can relate.
I work a full-time job, freelance fairly consistently and participate in several outside projects, including community service. I have friends I want to see, dogs that need walking, and calories that need to be burned before dinner.
Add to that the laundry that needs to get done (and folded), meals that need to be made, dishes that need to be washed, bills that need to be paid, floors that need to be Swiffer-ed — and I’m exhausted before the end of the weather segment on the 6 p.m. news.
These things — the household chores — tend to still be the job of the woman. And I can’t understand why. If a man lived on his own, he would have to do the same thing. (Sure, maybe laundry wouldn’t get done every week. But still.) So why does that change in a marriage?
Only 9 percent of 810 people in a recent survey of dual-earner couples say they split everything down the middle, housework included.
And yet men are feeling just as tired and overworked as women.
In a survey of nearly 1,000 fathers, conducted by Boston College’s Center for Work and Family, 57 percent agreed with this statement: “In the past three months, I have not been able to get everything done at home each day because of my job.”
It’s a surprise to many men just how much work keeping a home can be.
I’m very lucky; my boyfriend actually enjoys cooking and cleaning. (I learned quickly, though, that we can’t do either together.) But among my girlfriends, that’s a rarity.
Got a thought on this?