Monthly Archives: July 2016

A Practical Guide For Working Parents To Divide Household Responsibilities

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Even when both parents work, mums end up doing more of the household chores. Here’s how to make home life more equitable.

Whose job is it to sign the kids up for summer camp, fill out (and fax) the tedious forms, make sure that peanut-free lunches are packed every evening, and drive children to their fun-filled destinations each day?

In many households—even in this age of egalitarian marriages and dual-income households—much of this minutiae of parenting falls to mum.

And it’s burning women out, both at home and at the office. What’s causing this gulf in responsibility, and what’s a modern couple to do? The first important step is to acknowledge that there’s a problem.

Inequality Starts with Parental Leave

Many couples happily sail along as equals before they have their first child, dividing jobs at home, charging ahead at the office, and dreaming of the family they’ll create together. Today, millennial women are more highly educated than their male counterparts; Millennial men, when surveyed, say that they want to be much more involved as parents than previous generations of fathers.

But the reality of pregnancy and the disparity in maternity and paternity leave policies (women often get some paid or unpaid time off—men infrequently do), means that women take on the brunt of work with a newborn. As they develop a speciality caring for their children, the divide in parental confidence between men and women begins. Within weeks, a new mum knows how to tell the difference between baby’s hunger cries and sleepy cries; dad, with fewer hours on the job, looks to his partner to guide him.

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