Research Reveals: Women Enjoy Childcare More than Men

Research Reveals: Women Enjoy Childcare More than Men

Pretty fascinating stuff. A new study reveals that mothers of babies enjoy caring for their children 10% more than their husbands…

Here’s what the research on 181 couples discovered:

“On 16 out of 25 child-care tasks — like changing diapers, taking a child to the doctor or getting up in the middle of a night to attend to a child — women reported statistically significant higher levels of enjoyment than men… Over all, women’s scores were 10 percent higher than men’s.”

The funny thing is that when I heard about this article (from my husband!) I thought this described me. I actually don’t mind changing diapers, for example, and I love talking with my baby and picking her up from her babysitter, and other various childcare tasks mentioned on the quiz.

But it turned out that on the quiz the researchers gave the 181 couples, I am FIFTEEN points below the average mother in terms of the pleasure I derive from childcare. I received a 52 pleasure rating vs. 67 for the average mom in the survey. I’m surprised…I thought I enjoyed childcare more than your average mom, but I guess totally not! I think my low score indicates that the stuff I don’t enjoy, like caring for sick children or missing work because a child is sick or waking up in the middle of the night, I DON’T enjoy more than your average mom doesn’t enjoy these things…

You can take this very quick quiz here. What do you think, JewishMOM? Do you enjoy childcare more than YOUR husband? How did YOU rate on the quiz…

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8 comments

  1. Chana Jenny, Maybe we’re just more honest! I also came out lower than the average for women (although higher than you 🙂 ) and I would say that I enjoy caring for our children. I didn’t feel that I could rate highly tasks like caring for a sick child, because I didn’t want the child to be sick, so how could I enjoy it and who really likes changing nappies – yes it’s a chance to play with the baby, but the practicalities aren’t really so nice…

  2. Too funny. I always used to ask my husband, “did you have fun?” or “are you enjoying him?” while he was playing with a child or doing the grocery shopping. He was always (and still is) so matter of fact about these tasks. Just does it because. He does enjoy playing with the children now that they are older and more interactive, but I can hang out with them for HOURS compared to his time span.
    I got a 64 🙂

  3. My husband LOVES being a Daddy. There is nothing about it he doesn’t love. He bathes, diapers, does vaccinations and play time. I’m not sure what important lessons there are for us to learn in comparing women and men.

    I love taking care of sick kids. I manage fine with gross. I love bleach. Mostly I love that I am never confused, frustrated or disappointed (awful word!!) in a kid’s behavior when s/he is sick. I just chalk it up to being sick and move on.

    Anyway I scored 55. Go figure. I’ll have to think about whether I am loving my mothering enough!

  4. I rated even lower – 49. I don’t enjoy the practicals as much as the talking, hugging, loving… We do what we gotta do, and we love the cumulative even if we don’t love all of the details!

  5. I got a 49 and my husband got a 48. I don’t know where these women got such high scores… maybe it’s working women – because they’re WISHING they could do half these things. I do these things day in and day out all day hehe, that’s why i scored so low!

  6. Daniella

    I am very skeptical about this study, because as people have mentioned, women are more socially expected to enjoy these tasks and probably rated their enjoyment much higher than it actually is; plus, for working women they probably do derive a lot more pleasure from things they don’t need to do nearly as often as full-time moms. I don’t think the study controlled for that, which is a major fault in my eyes.

  7. Well I got a 48, and I was expecting to get a lot lower!!!!!! Apart from finding some questions a little vague ( like caring for a sick child: I mean, does the child have a violent stomach flu or a simple fever that goes away with a little tylenol? ) which made it harder to answer honestly, I saw a distinct pattern in my answers about my clear preferences in motherhood, and I found it quite helpful. Good for a short cheshbon nefesh!

  8. As the talkbacks expressed, this quiz is not really representative of all childcare tasks. I remember feeling VERY anxious when picking my daughter up from her metapelet, because each time I would see something that made me want to quit working and stay home with her–but strangely that lowers my final score?! Whatever. People also raised a good point about older kids. I think a lot of times parents who like the little kids have a harder time with the older ones and vice versa. In my family, my husband likes the little ones–changing diapers and giving baths are fine by him, but having a conversation about cliques at school or helping an older child with an arts and crafts project are almost more than he can bear. So it’s 2 years vs. the next 118…

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