Saturday, 30 June 2012

Fathers are happier when doing more housework

A study says...what???

Excuse me???

Fathers are really happier when doing more housework??

Is anyone genuinely happier when doing more housework??

Is this just me? Am I some sort of freak of nature for not enjoying doing the housework I have to do now, let alone more housework? I really can't imagine anyone feeling happier when doing more housework - the whole concept is a complete anathema to me. Not for nothing did someone buy me a fridge magnet with "My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance!"

But seriously, isn't it more likely that men and women, parent and non-parent, would actually like to be waited on hand-and-foot, to have meals cooked, washing up done, clothes washed, ironed and back in the drawer, house cleaned top to toe! No?

Ok, so I read a little further than the headline, once I'd got over the shock. That headline was expertly chosen as it certainly did lead me to read more - like I say - once I'd recovered from the shock.

The study was carried out by Lancaster University Management School on behalf of the charity Working Families. It looked at flexible working and the amount of housework carried out by mothers and fathers. The study makes the serious point that families have changed so that rarely is there only one working parent and that more flexible working for both parents would ease the burden on the family as a whole. Absolutely! I'm all for that. In my experience (including being one half of a male/female job-share partnership) flexible working generates loyal, dedicated, focused employees with excellent time management and organisational skills. But businesses and organisations still don't really seem to have grasped that yet.

The article then lost me again...apparently the best way to de-stress a father is for his partner to share the weight of the domestic burden! I still don't get it. Do these fathers think they'd be shouted at less if they did more housework and therefore less stressed? I still have yet to meet a housework-loving, stress-free mother or father!

Maybe I just need to get out more!

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