Breadwinners want more help with housework

Published 26 March 2013  |  
(Photo: Copta)

Household breadwinners want a hand with the domestic chores, a new survey has found.

The online poll asked the views of more than 600 people, with 76% of respondents being women.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed (63%) said the biggest challenge of being a breadwinner was achieving a healthy work-life balance.

This was followed by keeping up with the housework (58%), finding the time to socialise with friends (48%) and money worries (44%).

When asked what would make their lives easier, over half (53%) said help around the home with chores like cooking and cleaning. This was followed by flexible working provisions (39%) or supportive government legislation (35%).

The survey also shed light on the guilt some breadwinners are carrying. Forty-one per cent said they felt guilty about not spending as much time as they would like with their children. Just under a third (32%) said they regularly feel guilty about how little time they spend with their partner.

Despite the guilt pangs, nearly all (79%) said their partners were either very supportive or supportive.

The poll was carried out by Fully Booked PR on behalf of Jenny Garrett, author of Rocking Your Role: The How To Guide to Success for Female Breadwinners.

She said more help around the home prevent burn out.

"I see women falling foul of the syndrome on a daily basis, dropping like flies as they leave the train station: 'I might as well do it myself as no one can do it as well as me,' 'I have a handle on it all', 'If I have to stay up until midnight catching up on my work so that I can attend music practice with my child it's worth it'," she said.

"These are all familiar mantras and need to be challenged to avoid people burning out and becoming ill. Work-life balance does not mean working like a dog in the first half of your adult life and then sitting
back and reaping the rewards in the second half, at least not for most of us."

A recent Pew survey found that despite men today taking on about two and a half times the amount of domestic chores as they did in 1965, mums are still spending twice as much time with their children as dads - around 13.5 hours a week compared to 7.3 hours.

Another recent study by researchers from the University of Missouri and Utah State University found that couples who share the housework have a happier marriage.

The study, published in this month's Journal of Family Issues, found that fathers who spend more time with their kids are likely to enjoy a better relationship with their wives.

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