Alcorn sent out a survey called “Who Clips the Nails?” to about 300 parents, asking which parent was responsible for the mundane tasks of parenting, as well as the planning and organizing — arranging birthday parties and summer camps, finding doctors, sorting clothes the kids had outgrown — that can take up so much brain space, and consume physical energy and time.
“Not surprisingly, women were doing way more of the psychic burden stuff than men,” Alcorn said. “Half the women were really angry and felt their husbands weren’t aware of how much they weren’t doing. But the other half felt a lot of compassion for their partners, saying, ‘He would love to do more at home, but he’s under so much pressure to do more at work, he can’t.’ “
The Pew report found that 43 percent of mothers reported feeling happiest during leisure time, about twice as many who felt very happy while doing work or housework. Slightly fewer, 37 percent, reported feeling very happy while caring for children, which was still higher than the 29 percent of fathers.
Most fathers, too, felt happiest during leisure time. Only 17 percent felt very happy at work, and only 10 percent — less than half of mothers — felt very happy doing housework.
But Galinsky found women rarely let themselves fully enjoy their leisure time.
“There was this feeling that they were living like they were running a marathon – you’re never supposed to stop,” Galinsky said. “So, when we asked women what they did when they had leisure time and could do something they loved, most said they did housework, so they could get it over with. That’s really sad.”