CORONAVIRUS

Will Men Still Vacuum The Living Room & Take Kids To The Dentist After The Pandemic?

Feb 9, 2021, 11:25 PM | Updated: 11:43 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – There are few upsides to a global pandemic, but University of Utah sociologist Dan Carson knows one – more men are doing housework and taking care of children.

Like gender equity at work, gender equity at home had stalled. Since the so-called “quiet revolution” that brought large numbers of women into the workplace, men have doubled and tripled their time doing chores and child care.

But for the past couple of decades  — even though most people agree couples should share domestic duties  — progress has stagnated.

University of Utah sociologist Dan Carson. (KSL-TV)

Enter a pandemic – schools close, people start working from home. By one measure, working parents take on an additional 28 hours a week of household duties.

A study co-authored by Carlson found, among the 1,000 or so parents surveyed, the number of couples sharing housework equally grew from 26% to 41%. The number sharing child care for children six and older rose from 45% to 56%.

Before the pandemic, Parag Awadhiya felt bad that he was able to spend only an hour a day with his 16-month-old daughter.  Now, self-isolating at home, he and his wife get 24 hours a day with their daughter while juggling their jobs writing and testing software.

Parag and Shubhanjali Awadhiya with their daughter, Viyona. (KSL-TV)

“It is overwhelming,” Shubhanjali Awadhiya said.

“Life has been like on a treadmill,” Paraga Awadhiya added.

“You don’t like to talk about the pandemic as an opportunity, but it certainly is a moment,” Carlson said. “(It) provides parents the opportunity to stop and think.”

“This is this exogenous shock, outside shock that comes in and shakes things up,” he added.

Yet Carlson said considering this is an ideal situation for men to contribute, their contribution is not as big as some might have hoped for.

Women still do twice the work at home as men. Even women who are the household breadwinners do more chores and child care.

Because of the demands of child care, women have lost a lot more work hours and more than 2 million women have left the labor force.

A United Nations Foundation report said the pandemic may wipe out decades of gains of gender equality.

That’s to say nothing, Carlson said, about the plight of single parents, mostly single mothers, who don’t have spouses to pitch in.

He said the question now is whether men continue to contribute more or will they go back to their pre-pandemic ways.

Part of the answer lies in how many jobs migrate back to the office.

“There is still the possibility that the experiences that families have gone through and the lessons they’ve learned will stick,” Carlson said.

Studies show that when fathers take longer parental leave, they’re more likely to contribute after that leave is over.

Parag Awadhiya, who was able to take five weeks of paternal leave, said he will continue to do more chores and child care.

“I don’t want to go back to the state where it was before the pandemic, having seen and acknowledged the workload that was on my wife,” he said. “I believe she was doing much more work than I was doing.”

”That experience of being engaged and learning the needs of your children changes men’s perspectives,” Carlson said.

“The actual experience of caregiving really ends up shaping and changing men’s attitudes and behaviors and their lives,” said Brigid Schulte, author of “Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time.”  “It ends up transforming their lives.”

Brigid Schulte, author of “Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time.” (KSL-TV)

KSL 5 TV Live

Coronavirus

FILE - Comirnaty, a new Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination booster for COVID-19, is displayed at a pharmac...

Jen Christensen, CNN

The FDA tells COVID-19 vaccine makers to update shot to target newest variant

The US Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that it had advised the makers of the Covid-19 vaccines to formulate their new shots to be a better match for the JN.1 lineage of the coronavirus.

9 days ago

(FILE) A test dummy getting hit by an air bag during a crash test....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Thousands of cars equipped with faulty airbags on Utah roads as automakers issues ‘Do Not Drive’ warnings

Auto manufacturers have recalled over millions of Takata airbags because of their potential to explode and shoot out sharp metal fragments. And there are still thousands of those in cars across Utah.

12 days ago

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 03: Dr. Anthony Fauci, former Director of the National Institute of Allergy a...

Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

Fauci testifies publicly before House panel on COVID origins, controversies

Dr. Anthony Fauci is facing heated questioning from Republican lawmakers about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

14 days ago

A sign reminding Copper Hills High School students and staff to keep their hands clean during the c...

Lindsay Aerts

Utah school districts working to prioritize what stays when COVID relief money runs dry

Utah's school districts are working to figure out how they will continue to pay for programs propped up by COVID-19 relief funds.

1 month ago

FILE: Former Utah Jazz John Stockton reacts during a 76-70 Wichita State win over the Gonzaga Bulld...

Michael Houck

Former Utah Jazz star John Stockton sues Washington medical director about COVID misinformation policy

Former Utah Jazz superstar John Stockton has filed a federal lawsuit against Washington officials on First Amendment violations, arguing the state's policy of COVID-19 misinformation is unconstitutional.

3 months ago

Deer Creek Reservoir...

Alex Cabrero

State parks expecting another record visitation year, hiring more workers

It didn't matter how cold or snowy it was at Deer Creek State Park Friday afternoon. Nothing was going to stop Leonard Sawyer from taking his boat out to do a little fishing.

4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Will Men Still Vacuum The Living Room & Take Kids To The Dentist After The Pandemic?