Modern family: moms, dads balance work, children, chores differently

Published: Saturday, March 16 2013 6:32 p.m. MDT

When he gets home from his job as a financial controller, he says he's not the kind of dad who chucks his shoes and hides out upstairs. "I spend my time with them when I'm home," he said. They wrestle and play games, ride bikes and goof off.

"She makes dinner, so I try to clean up after dinner," he said. On weekends, he recruits one twin to help him clean the bathrooms, while she and the other twin tackle the kitchen.

"My dad worked longer hours and was gone on trips more than I am," said Andrus, who noted that the day is never long enough to do everything they'd like, once work and dinner and cleanup are done. They try to make up for it by spending their Saturdays together.

Not having enough time with Abigail is Aaron Curtis' biggest worry. "My dad was a workaholic and I am of the same ilk. ... So far, I've been lucky enough not to miss too much. I am going to make an effort so that when I can, I will be there."

Other highlights

Most parents feel like they're doing a good job raising their children, the report said. Of parents with children under 18, 24 percent say they do an excellent job, while 45 percent give themselves "very good" marks. Only 6 percent give themselves bad grades. Moms gave themselves higher ratings that dads gave themselves, and working moms graded themselves higher than mothers who are not employed elsewhere.

The report said the gap is widening between married and unmarried mothers. About half of unmarried mothers would like to work full time, while only 23 percent of married mothers say that would be ideal.

While paid work, child care and housework combined take up similar amounts of time for both mothers and fathers in homes where both parents work, it's not true in single-earner households. In those with two working parents, moms put in 59 hours a week total, while dads put in 58. If dad is the sole wage earner, his workload exceeds his spouse's by about 11 hours (57 vs. 46 hours a week). When mom is the sole earner, her total workload exceeds that of her spouse by an average of 25 hours (58 vs. 33 hours a week).

EMAIL: lois@desnews.com, Twitter: Loisco

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