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Childcare is Mommy’s job but Daddy’s hobby in Australia

One minute per day, six minutes per week. This is the average time that Australian daddies spend alone with their kid(s) without mommies around. When it comes to the routine care of the kids – bathing, feeding, changing, the average can go up a bit – 60 minutes (1 hour) in a working week although daddies tend to do it as a team with the mommies (90% of the time) and seldom alone. Mommies, on the other hand, average 3 hours a week on childcare solo duty, not counting the hours spent multi-tasking with household chores.

However, on the weekends, Aussie daddies tend to spend more time with the kids but still seldom alone but as part of family activities. If ever Daddy takes over from Mommy for a couple of hours on the weekends, it’s for fun activities such as sports or going to the park, but very seldom for basic care.

This is a according to findings by social researcher Lyn Craig of the University of New South Wales, as reported by The Australian.

In other words, compared to some developed countries, the disparity in parental duties in Australia is much greater compared to some countries although the “minute-a-day figure was fairly typical across the world – only Scandinavian countries showed a slightly higher figure” the report says. Denmark is especially remarkable, with Danish daddies doing as much as 17% of childcare solo.

Men tend to contribute when they’re free, when they can do the fun things, and when it is a family group situation. Women are the default carer, so they tend to do much more of the routine tasks and multi-task with their other household duties at the same time as looking after children” according to Dr. Craig.

The big difference between Danish and Australian parenting styles may be due to the fact that more Danish women work full time (65% in Denmark vs. 12% in Aussie). However, in Aussie, childcare tends to be Mommy?s job and Daddy?s hobby regardless whether Mommy is working full time or not.

To explore further this issue, Lisa Millar of ABC online interviewed Dr. Craig together with 2 “typical” Aussie dads. The two dads do not agree with the 1-minute-a-day estimates but they do agree that the time they spend with their kids during the week is “ridiculously low.” They also admit to spending more time with kids in fun activities, probably to give Mommy more time to take care of the household chores.

Question to daddies: how much time do you spend alone with your kids? Do you think there is a disparity in parental duties in your home?


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