A new study by the Pew Research Center in Social and Demographic Trends found that the amount of time mothers and fathers spend doing paid and unpaid labor is gradually becoming more equitable, though there are disparities based on household income.
The researchers found that, on average, fathers spend more time than mothers in paid work, while mothers spend more time on child care and household chores, but fathers now spend more time engaged in housework and child care than they did half a century ago, doubling since 1965. Mothers’ time doing housework has gone down significantly over the same period.
Perhaps even more interesting points from the data is the parental perception of the time they spend with their children and what type of work they perform: both mothers and fathers tend to describe their parenting positively, and though fathers still wish to spend more time with their children, the vast majority of those surveyed tend to feel that they spent adequate amounts of time caring for their children. However, parents are split evenly in their description of the ease in which they can carry out their responsibilities as a parent with all of their other duties.
Ultimately, what we see is a convergence in the division of labor: increasingly, men and women are doing equitable amounts of work, though it remains divided between working in and outside of the home. Incredible changes have been made, not just in terms of women's rights, but in terms of the modern economy and what is required to support a family since these surveys first began taking place in 1965, and the recession and difficulties present in the economy since then have only continued require the salaries of two to support a family.
These are interesting disparities to consider in your familial relationships as the work week wraps up and the weekend (the ultimate domain of household labor) approaches.