Double-Income Fathers Are Happiest
Canadian parents are faced with much the same work/life balance issues as American families. Today's report in the Ottawa Sun on balancing two careers and childraising explains that men and women have added about 40 minutes to their work day since 1986. For women, this increase is mostly in paid work, but for men, it is mostly from housework and childcare. Statistics Canada's Katherine Marshall says that "It's no longer valid to class jobs in the labour market or tasks at home as male or female."
"Men's move into work at home has lagged women's surge into paid work but Marshall believes men and women will share more equally in the future as women work more -- and get paid more --and sharing becomes the norm." Hey - that's terrific! I wish there were more statistics in the article to back this statement up, but it is nice to see in print nonetheless.
The article goes on to state that "When asked about work-life balance, double-income fathers were happiest, followed by sole-income mothers, then sole-earner fathers. Dual-earner mothers were the least satisfied." The theory here is that women who work are still responsible for the bulk of the childraising and housework (unless their husbands stay home), which makes them cranky. But it is still interesting to note that men are happier if their wives work. I'd like to think that this is because the dual-earner fathers are more equal at home and less stressed out by sharing the family breadwinning. Now, a little extra effort around the house by this happiest group would go a long way toward creating happy partners as well.