Today's modern families look much different than families did even 10 years ago, much less 50 years ago. Finally, we're seeing more and more fathers realize that being an active parent and participant in the household isn't just rewarding on a personal level, but it's absolutely necessary so that mothers don't lose their minds. In families where both parents work, it's absolutely crucial that both parents do their fair share, yet we know that mothers are still carrying the greater burden. Studies have shown that stay-at-home moms do enough work to earn a salary of at least $160,000 a year, while it's also been proven that women actually do more housework when there's a man in the house than single mothers!
Despite endless studies proving that mothers, whether they be stay-at-home, working, working part-time or work-at-home moms, do the lion's share of work around the house as well as with the children, one columnist at the New York Times wrote an opinion piece that seemed to agree that women do more work around the house, but that on the whole, dads actually do "more work than married mothers." Seriously.
On Father’s Day, the honor of dads must be defended, says @DouthatNYT. Yes, fathers spend less time doing household chores. But when you add up housework, paid work and childcare, married fathers today are doing even more than their fair share. https://t.co/aY7cIYX96U— New York Times Opinion (@nytopinion) June 16, 2019
Ross Douthat seemingly agreed that there is truth to the stereotype that men earn praise for doing the most menial of parenting tasks, such as grocery shopping with their children or basic caring for them, something women do daily without so much as a "good job" sent her way. He even seems to confirm that fathers do less around the house and with their children than mothers, yet still feels that men are doing more.
"Yes, fathers still do much less work around the house than moms, even when both spouses hold down paying jobs. But as Robert VerBruggen points out in an essay for the Institute of Family Studies, “The Myth of the ‘Lazy’ Father,” when you add up housework, paid work and child care, married fathers today are doing slightly more work than married mothers."
He even goes on to state that this is true in a variety of households including households where both parents work as well as where the mother stays home and the father works full time. He even seems to suggest being a stay at home parent means spending your days relaxing, writing, "only when the wife works full time and the husband stays at home is there a clear advantage for dad in hanging out and chilling." Because most stay-at-home moms spend their days just "hanging out and chilling."
Douthat even suggests that perhaps the reason women do more around the home than men is that "women’s longer home-hours reflect genuine female preferences, a widespread maternal desire for part-time work, and not just the dead hand of patriarchy."
He fails to acknowledge the lack of wage equality between men and women, the lack of fair pay for women and the general lack of gender equality in all facets of life, from work to home as to why many men are tasked with working full time while more women opt to work part-time or stay home to raise their children and not simply because of "female preferences."
It seems that many readers were equally incredulous that this opinion piece would be written, much less published, and took to social media to share their own opinions.
Surely there was someone somewhere at the newspaper who could have said "Ross we're not publishing this, it's pitiful"?— Dr Fran van Plannaram Ph.D. (@dismalplaces) June 16, 2019
The best way to honor dads is to tell them they don’t do as much as moms and then give them a trophy for improving.— “Celia” (@_celia_bedelia_) June 16, 2019
Oh good lord. Mansplaining about dads is like an entry in the department of redundancy department.— MannahattaMamma (@mannahattamamma) June 16, 2019
While thankfully more and more fathers are becoming more involved in their raising and care of their own children and are contributing more around the house, let's not go crazy by stating they're actually doing more than women. After all, there are legitimate studies to prove that mothers are still the rock stars of the family, and everyone knows it.