Study says mum find parenting less “fun” than dads. DUH

Study says mum find parenting less “fun” than dads. DUH

I often find myself thinking that research must be the most redundant job, especially research on parenting. Just ask mums and they’ll tell you the truth! Latest research says mothers find parenting a lot less fun than fathers do. Duh! Ask any mother how tiring being a mother to a young child is and she’ll tell you this over and over again, instead of spending thousands of research dollars.

 

But jokes apart, here’s what the study says (as reported in Economic Times today) – parents generally enjoy being with their kids, but mothers enjoy it less than fathers do because they do more of the ‘work’ and less of the ‘fun’ parenting duties.

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This is the bit that made me laugh. “The researchers found that mothers reported more stress and greater fatigue than fathers due to parenting tasks.” Yeah well, starting from having the baby, breastfeeding it (exclusively for six months!), staying up nights, changing nappies to being called upon for just about everything WHEN THE OTHER PARENT IS RIGHT NEXT TO THE KID, mothers know how hard it is.

 

It’s worse if you are an SAHM: at least dads get to work and have interactions with grown ups outside. Until a child is old enough to be playing on her own and to be left with a nanny, mothers rarely see other adults. And even then, it’s others mothers, and the talk becomes there same: how does your child eat so well, what time do you put him to sleep, has she started talking yet. And when the conversation reaches constipation and loose motions zone, which is really, really quickly among mothers of young kids, I just want to shoot myself. What happens to the sparkling intelligent woman you used to be, why hide her away behind mundane kids talk? Ever caught a dad discussing baby poo and how the maid just doesn’t clean the baby’s utensils right? No, you won’t. Because men are not as invested, men don’t do as many things. Men, according to many wives, are the other baby they need to take care of.

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The study says this experience gap is attributed to the differing tasks of each parent. “Mothers are more likely than fathers to be called on by kids ‘around the clock’. Fathers’ sleep and down-time are less likely than mothers’ to be interrupted by kids. This is part of the reason fathers are less tired than mothers when parenting,” said one of the researchers Ann Meier from University of Minnesota in the US. Huh, don’t mothers know this only too well. It’s exactly the time when you’ve laid down for a quick shut eye when your daughter can’t find the stones she brought back three years ago from school and your son can’t figure out where his teddy bear is WHICH HE PUT DOWN JUST TEN MINUTES BACK. And let’s not even start talking about how every single emergency in the world only arises when you go to the loo and take your clothes off for a relaxed, extended bath.

 

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The researchers found that not only do parenting activities between mothers and fathers differ, the environment surrounding the activity differs as well. “When mothers are with their kids, they are more often by themselves. When fathers are with their kids, they are more likely to have other adults around, offering some back-up. This helps us understand why fathers are less stressed when with kids,” Meier explained.

 

Seriously, researchers and universities, next time just talk to a mother on your team and you’re done. Spend the rest of the research grant on figuring out how to keep children from not knocking your door down when you go to the loo.

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