The Way We Talk About Dads Contributes To The Mental Burden On Mothers.
It’s a common misconception that mothers shoulder the bulk of the responsibility of raising children by themselves. However, new research dispels this myth. We are increasing both the stress that dads feel and the demands that moms confront by excluding them from the discussion.
The joys of becoming a parent are endless. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those who choose to take it. It is, however, taxing at times. Who among us does not worry for their children on a regular basis?
Parenthood has become considerably more difficult because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both parents and parents-to-be can benefit from this.
Dads in the 21st Century
Not only politics but also discussions and portrayals of modern families were riddled with inaccuracies. The most commonly misunderstood and under-researched aspect of the modern family, dads, was most affected by this.
Everywhere you look, there are stereotypes of lazy, incompetent fathers. An international poll conducted in 2019 indicated that female respondents in the United States, Canada, Argentina, and Japan were more concerned by gender stereotypes than male respondents. Statistics on fathers, on the other hand, debunk this urban legend.
Many fathers are still the principal breadwinners in their families, despite the increasing number of women in the workforce. Women are the principal breadwinners in 22% of married-couple homes with children under the age of 18.
Furthermore, fathers are more involved in their children’s lives than is commonly assumed. According to a 2017 Men’s Health poll, men and women split the responsibility of grocery shopping evenly. During the epidemic, males are undertaking more housework and child care than ever before, according to a new report by the Council on Contemporary Families.
There is a big difference between men and women when it comes to the amount of time they spend doing a paid job. In 2019, the Pew Research Center found that women still do more housework than men.
Unfortunately, this is often accepted as the standard by the workplace culture.
Many fathers are penalized in the workplace for preferring time with their families from the moment their children are born. Consequently, many couples are left with no practical option. For many women, staying at home and doing extra unpaid work might have a negative impact on their careers. Taking care of my premature daughter and ill wife necessitated a lengthy legal battle for me to receive a reasonable amount of paid parental leave.
Dads, too, are stressed, but they tend to keep their feelings to themselves.
The “mental load” has increased, but what does this mean? The definitions used by various studies vary. Sometimes, it’s used as a synonym for remembering the daily chores that keep a family operating well. Given the differences I’ve detailed, it is evident that mothers handle more, but not all of it.
Some of the more mundane aspects of parenting can be stressful, as well. After becoming parents, roughly a quarter of dads feel lonely, which can lead to increased levels of stress. Fathers are under enormous pressure to raise their children in a way that is both nurturing and financially responsible. Many people had been awakened from their slumber.
As a result, it comes as no surprise that new research has showed that stress levels among men and women are nearly the same. During COVID-19, the same was found to be true for parents, according to recent research.
On a scale of 1 to 10, parents were more likely than those without children to report stress levels between 8 and 10, with nearly half reporting stress levels between this range. There was no “statistically significant difference” between moms and fathers when I asked the APA for a breakdown by gender.
Women and men are generally indistinguishable in the amount of work-family conflict they describe, according to a study of more than 250,000 persons surveyed. Men are struggling in silence… However, no one seems to be taking notice.
A mix of biological and social variables has been implicated in the higher levels of anxiety experienced by women, according to research findings. However, blaming these discrepancies on men’s failure to do their share of the work misses the point. As a result, people often fail to detect the warning signs in guys who are truly suffering because they are unaware of men’s stress.
In order to avoid offending women, many males have confided in me that they are afraid to talk about their mental health because they believe women have it worse. Because of this, individuals are unable to obtain assistance. Men are more likely than women to die by suicide and less likely than women to seek help for their mental health problems. Nearly 10% of males reported having “everyday” despair or anxiety, yet just 1 in 4 of them sought help from a mental health professional in a recent survey. Male depression may go unrecognized due to the fact that males exhibit distinct symptoms, according to another study.
The moment has arrived for this issue to emerge from the shadows. All good parents have three things in common: they care deeply about their children, they put in a lot of effort, and they bear a heavy load. That burden can be lessened if we all stand together against outdated expectations and make it very obvious that we’re all on the same team once and for all.