Parenthood is by far the hardest job this writer has ever had. But according to a new study, about half of parents are more comfortable in this particular job than the other half. Yep, science says that dads are happier than moms.
Of course, I know what you are thinking: yeah, no shit. Far too often, moms are the primary (if not sole) preppers of lunch, makers of dinner and menders of boo-boos. They are often the ones who run the errands and help with homework, and though parental roles have changed in recent years, even in the most progressive households, every kid I know calls for their mama in the middle of the night. According to the Pew Research Center, roughly 8 in 10 adults say women face more pressure to be an involved parent a than men. As for Dad, well, he is the fun one. He is the pitcher, the catcher, the batter, the ball thrower and the tickle-time champion. Dads are the piggyback parent.
And the aforementioned study, conducted by researchers at the University of California Riverside, backs this up. Of the 18,000 individuals surveyed, dads reported “greater positive emotions and fewer daily hassles” than mothers, mainly because of how they interact with their kids. “Fathers may fare better than mothers in part due to how they spend their time with their children,” study author and assistant professor of psychology at Sewanee: The University of the South Katherine Nelson-Coffey said, as the fathers indicated they were more likely to be playing with their littles.
The good news? The researchers believe there is a relatively simple way to solve this problem: Both parents should play more with their children. Easy enough, right? And while this might sound like yet another task to add to Mama’s mounting to-do list, they do have a point. I, for one, love when I get to climb trees with my kid. So, moms, let’s all do ourselves and our kids a favor and put down the laundry for a while, stack up those dishes and break out a board game. The chores can wait; your happiness can’t.
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