December 1st, 2011
Dad’s are doing more, but mom’s are more stressed, study finds: A study of 500 dual-earner families finds that fathers and mothers are spending roughly equal amounts of time doing paid and unpaid work, but mothers are spending nine more hours a week multitasking.
In an age when parenting has become “more intensive,” as the study puts it, the challenges and rewards of raising children have become a matter of growing research and national debate. Researchers consistently find childless Americans to be among the happiest, and have documented a drop in mental well-being among parents that does not lift until the kids leave the nest.
“We have this cultural belief that children are the key to happiness and a healthy life, and they’re not,” said Wake Forest University sociologist Robin Simon, who in 2005 found that no parents — irrespective of their kids’ stage in life — were happier than adults who had no children. Simon called the latest study “fascinating.”