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Stay-at-Home Dads Do More of One Thing

Photograph by Twenty20

If you’re a stay-at-home mom who wonders if your family appreciates everything you do for them, you may be the minority, according to a new joint survey by Porch and the American Time Use Survey.

The new survey, which examined the stats on stay-at-home parents of both genders, found that not only do most stay-at-home moms feel appreciated by their partners, but they also worry that they aren’t doing enough during the day at home with the kiddos. Along with that rather surprising stat, the study found a lot of interesting new insights into our outdated beliefs about parents who choose the homemaking route—as well as some new trends for what we can all expect the future to hold. Here are some of the most interesting findings from the survey.

Stay-at-home parents are getting more sleep than you would think

According to the results of this survey, stay-at-home moms and dads are getting about a solid nine hours of sleep on average, with dads getting a little bit more than moms (shocking, I know). I have to admit that I was a little surprised to see such a “normal” amount of sleep on that chart.

Stay-at-home dads watch way more TV than moms

OK, so maybe this finding won’t surprise you in the least, but the survey found that stay-at-home dads consume TV or movies an average of three hours per day, while moms clock in at 1.9 hours per day. No word on if the children are included in that screen time or if dads are just better at sneaking away to watch their own shows.

Stay-at-home moms clean way more than dads

One possible explanation to why stay-at-home dads may be putting in more screen time hours—they might not be cleaning as much as stay-at-home moms. SAHM moms averaged 1.4 hours every day of household cleaning, while dads were content to leave their cleaning at .8 hours per day. Different standards or different societal expectations? I guess that’s still up in the air.

Actually, moms do way more "boring" stuff than dads

While we are on the subject, I hate to say it, but there is a major disconnect between how much time SAHMs and SAHDs are spending on the tough stuff during the day—you know, things like food prep (moms: 1.6 hours, dads: .8 hours), grocery shopping and, um, the big responsibility of childcare. Somehow, SAHMs spend an average of 77 minutes more on childcare every single day. Across the board, moms clocked in more time than dads in every single category, from washing toilets to planning activities for the kids.

But, dads do a lot more of this: helping others

Before SAHDs get a bad rep, however, the survey also revealed that SAHDs spent significantly more time on home maintenance, lawn care and car repair. And in the category of “helping others,” whether that be volunteering or pet care, dads out-performed moms. (The nurse in me is especially interested to find out how this data was collected; are dads really helping others that much more than moms or are they just more likely to over-report their generosity? Hmmm.)

While the survey revealed a lot of interesting things about the lives of stay-at-home parents, one thing is for certain: Moms need to start watching more TV.