It’s no surprise that parenting has changed drastically over the last 50 years. Not all that long ago, mothers were the caretakers, while fathers worked to support the family. This is how most families were, but along the way, it slowly started to change. Women wanted equality and they achieved it for the most part. Being a mother in the 50’s was nothing like it is today. Most of their lives revolved around raising their children, cooking and keeping the house tidy.
Mothers have come a long way since then, but are we truly equal when it comes to parenting? Fathers are more involved with their children than they once were, but research shows, mothers still spend more time taking care of the kids than fathers.
When parents split up, the children stay living with the mother most of the time. Fathers usually stay involved, but the mother is the main caretaker in many situations.
Of course, this isn’t the case in every situation and household, but there’s no doubt that mom and dad are not equal partners. We might get there one day, but for now, mom will still be getting less sleep and have endless tasks. Keep reading to find out 15 shocking realities that show mom and dad are not equal partners.
15 Late-Night-Feeding Inequality
No one is exempt from late night feedings. All of us parents have experienced the sleepless nights, especially in the very beginning. Some parents take turns with the late-night feedings, but if mom is breastfeeding, she’s usually on her own. It doesn’t matter if you choose to breastfeed or bottle feed because both have their tiring challenges at night.
Late-night feedings add to the overall tiredness and stresses of being a mother, but the joy of being a mother outweighs everything.
I remember with my last child, I would come home late after working a double shift and have to be back at work early the next morning. I would feel like a walking zombie. It was bad enough that I was already exhausted from work, but then I would be up half of the night breastfeeding. I’m certainly glad those long nights are over.
14 Endless Diaper Changes For Mom
I doubt there are any parents who are thrilled about changing diapers. It’s one of those things that no one really wants to do, but we have to. After surveying 26,500 moms and dads, Parenting.com concluded that moms and even dads, both agree that mothers are more stressed out and overwhelmed. It’s nice to know that fathers acknowledge we’re stressed out and they do seem to appreciate how much we do, but it doesn’t seem to get them to help more.
An overwhelming 51% of mothers who participated in the survey also voiced their opinions when it came to diaper changing, agreeing that dads need to change more diapers.
One of the mothers said, “My husband never changes diapers, ever.” They also had many mothers who sent letters complaining about fathers not waking up in the middle of the night to take care of the baby. It seems as if many dads are getting out of late night feedings and diaper changes.
13 Cooking Meals Is Mom's Specialty
On television and in the movies, you usually always see the mother cooking and that’s because mothers normally do most of the cooking. Dads have their specialties that they can make, but for many dads, that’s pretty much all they know how to make. They can be great at working the grill, but when it comes to a daily home-cooked meal, it’s usually mom’s time to shine. In my household, I do almost all the cooking, which can be very tiring.
Sometimes I dread having to make dinner every night. When my boyfriend does cook, he usually makes the same few meals, but I must admit, the few things he makes are delicious. Although I’m not ecstatic about having to cook dinner every night, I sure do enjoy the compliments. I’m sure every mother enjoys the compliments and likes to be recognized for their hard work. It’s not easy coming up with new and exciting meals every day.
12 Who Deals With It When Everything Piles Up
Moms have dads beat when it comes to cleaning. According to CBS News, there was a survey that showed mothers spend more time doing chores and cleaning, all while taking care of the children. This is one of the several factors that contribute to moms being more stressed out than dads.
According to Today, there was a mom who went on a cleaning strike for a week to see what would happen. The mother Jessica said, “I wanted to clean it. I wanted to make myself feel better by cleaning it. But I made a decision. I had made a decision to leave it alone.” I would have gone crazy. I couldn’t imagine what my house would look like if I went on strike for a week.
I get done cleaning one room and move onto to the next, but during cleaning the second room, the first room is already messy again.
I’m sure many mothers can relate and know all too well what I mean. It does make you realize just how much we really do.
11 Basic Child Care - Still Moms
That’s right, you guessed it! Moms have dads beat in this department too. As stated before, it is true, fathers are more involved than they were just fifty years ago, but mothers still take the lead when it comes to taking care of the children. According to The Conversation, fathers spend approximately seven hours caring for children each week, whereas mothers spend around 14 hours.
This doesn’t include the amount of time spent cooking, cleaning and running errands. It makes you wonder how we even find time to sleep. They also mention mothers spend more time doing the “worry-work” of parenting such as setting up activities, planning, and organizing. Sometimes we may even take the lead in parenting without even realizing it, partly because we want to be in control or we may just be so used to it.
10 Taking Care Of Sick Children - The Reigning Queens
Mothers tend to be the ones who care for the children when they are sick or even when they get hurt. Moms have that motherly instinct and we can be very nurturing. Children pick up on that and it could be the reason that they seem to favor mom when they aren’t feeling good. According to A Mother World,
moms are 10 times more likely to stay home from work when their child is sick.
No parent likes to see their child sick or hurt and we wish we could take away their pain. We may not be able to take away their pain, but we sure do know how to make them feel extra loved and comfortable. When my youngest is sick, he always prefers me. His father doesn’t even get offended. He’s used to it and understands he just wants to be held and comforted by mommy.
9 Dad Gets To Be The Fun One
Dads get to have more fun with children than moms do. Moms are consumed with doing chores and cleaning, which gives them less time to have fun with the kids. There was research done that proves this is common in many households. According to CBS, “The likely reason: Moms spend more time with their kids while doing tedious chores like cooking, cleaning and child care, while dads spend more play and leisure time with their kids.”
Many times, when parents are no longer together, the children live with mom. Mom gets to take the children to school, help with homework and do all the regular things that need to get done. The kids will get to spend time with dad on the weekends and have fun, which makes it seem as if dad is the fun parent. I’m not saying this is everyone’s situation, but it does happen often.
8 Doctor Appointments - A Motherly Instinct
Mothers are professionals when it comes to organizing and planning, which could be why mothers usually take control of doctor appointments. Moms are more likely to keep up with making check-up and vaccination appointments, dental and eye exam appointments. Sometimes both parents attend the appointments with the children, especially if it’s for something serious, but many times, mothers take the children to the doctor solo.
According to The Conversation,
“Mothers are more likely to make child care arrangements and schedule doctors’ appointments because mothers remember, and mothers remind.”
Next time you take your child to the pediatrician, look around, most times, the waiting room is filled with mothers and their children. Occasionally, you will see one or two dads there. They say mom knows best, so maybe it’s a good thing mothers attend more doctor appointments.
7 Shopping Done By Planning Masters
There are not too many men who are fond of shopping. My boyfriend hates to go shopping and I don’t really like when he comes with. He complains about what I want to buy and complains even more about how long I’m taking. I’m sure I’m not alone in this situation. It does make sense that mothers do most of the shopping, considering mom does most of the cooking.
When my boyfriend does run to the grocery store, he always seems to forget something, even when he has a list. You see this situation in movies and shows, and that’s because it really does happen. I guess shopping just isn’t a father’s favorite thing to do. It makes me wonder if my boyfriend forgets stuff on purpose, just so I stop asking him to go for me. When he does get what I asked for, he comes back with it in either the diet or sugar-free options. He never seems to look at the labels.
6 When It Comes To Birthdays And Holidays
When it comes planning birthdays and holidays, both parents may be stressed out, but moms are usually the one who is overwhelmed with all the tasks. According to Pick Any Two, moms are always planning family celebrations, remembering to send birthday cards and thank you cards, picking out presents and even planning family vacations. When parents are separated they may end up having separate birthday parties and even holidays.
Some parents believe it’s important to plan these events together, especially when it comes to birthdays, so the child can have both sides of their family present for their special day. In my household, I do all the planning, cooking and hosting, but I do get help with picking out the presents. When it comes to Christmas, many fathers help set up the tree and decorate, which is very much appreciated.
5 Multitasking Champions
Women are amazing when it comes to multitasking. According to The Conversation, “Mothers multitask more than fathers do. A recent study showed the size of this difference: mothers in dual-earner families spent 10 more hours per week multitasking than fathers did.”
Fathers tend to focus on the basics, such as making sure the kids are fed and making sure they get where they need to go.
Since mothers multitask daily, they end up feeling more frustrated than fathers do. They also seem to always feel like they are forgetting something. I always feel like I’m forgetting something. It could be something as small as forgetting to fill up the hand soap. There are all kinds of small tasks that need to get done each day that mothers take care of. Some of these things are stuff that not everyone thinks about, but all these small jobs add up.
4 Moms Are More Involved In Education
It is extremely important for both parents to be involved in their child’s education. It seems as if mothers are more likely to be active in their children’s schooling. Even when something happens at school or a child is sick, they tend to call the mother first before they attempt to call their father. Let’s not forget the PTO and endless bake sales. Both parents provide a beneficial role when it comes to a child’s education.
According to Fatherhood.gov, “When fathers are involved in the lives of their children, especially their education, children learn more, perform better in school, and exhibit healthier behavior.” Schools have been doing more to involve fathers in their children’s education, at least in my area. They have activities that are set up for dads to participate in. One of the activities my school district offers is called Donuts for Dads, but sadly, not too many fathers show up.
3 Full-Time Employee And Mom
Being a full time employee and a mother can be stressful. Nearly half of working mothers feel like they are always being rushed, which makes sense considering were always on the go. When both parents work full time, mothers still end up taking care of the children more and dealing with daily activities. According to Pewsocialtrends.org, a survey revealed,
“In households where both parents work full time, many say a large share of the day-to-day parenting responsibilities falls to mothers.”
Although, mothers are more likely to get more help from fathers if they do work full time. I have four children and I work full time as a supervisor. More than half of the week I only get about four to five hours of sleep a night. It feels as if I’m constantly busy because there’s something that always needs to be done. I’m sure there are many working mothers who can relate.
2 Moms Are Statistically More Stressed Than Dad
It’s no secret that moms are very busy on a daily basis. From cleaning to cooking, shopping, planning, helping with homework and of course, taking care of the little ones. Once children start school, there’s also the morning craziness of getting the children ready and getting them to school on time. There’s never a dull moment in the life of a mother. According to Consumer Affairs, “A new study published in the American Sociological Review, finds that parenting is more stressful for moms.”
The research also concluded, mothers spend up to ten more hours than fathers do, taking care of the children and doing chores each week.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working mother when it comes to taking care of the children. Either way, moms are overwhelmed with endless tasks. I think it’s safe to say, moms are superheroes in disguise.
1 And They Also Get Less Sleep
As stated before, I don’t get much sleep and I know I’m not the only mother who has this tiring problem. I know I’m not the only one because there have been several studies to prove this. According to Fisher-Price, a study concluded, “Unlike men, women’s sleep is affected by having kids in the house. The study found that only 48 percent of women with kids reported getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night.”
More than half of the mothers aren’t getting enough sleep. Studies also show, the more children you have, the less sleep you will get. I’m actually jealous of how much sleep my boyfriend gets compared to me, but I am appreciative of the help that I do get from him. I wouldn’t want fathers taking this as downgrading them, because that’s not what this is about. Hopefully, fathers can value our roles just a little bit more and offer some extra help when it’s needed.