Myth: Moms do more work than dads

This claim is false.

Let’s look first at the U.S.  Mothers and fathers put in equal work.

The definitive source for what Americans do is the American Time Use Survey, which gathers representative data on tens of thousands of households.  Total work hours are the combination of paid work, unpaid work (such as household work) and childcare.  Here is a section of All In summarizing what the ATUS shows:

Today’s dads and moms work equally hard on behalf of their families. When you combine paid work with household chores and child care, they put in just about the same amount of time. And we’re talking a lot of hours. On average, dads put in about fifty-four hours of work time to moms’ fifty-three.  In two-income homes, moms work fifty-nine hours to dads’ fifty-eight. In single-income homes, the breadwinner works more overall. And although the number of female breadwinners is on the rise, dads are still the vast majority of primary or sole breadwinners.

You can see this section of All In for free here.  It includes a citation to Pew Research, an organization that gets plenty of things wrong, but got this right.

As for global figures, the ILO (International Labour Organization) put out a report hundreds of pages long. Inside it was a claim that when hours for paid and unpaid work were combined across several dozen countries, women’s total work hours were higher. However, I asked the ILO about this and spoke with a researcher behind the report. Some statistics used date all the way back to 1998 and 1999. The report includes a big mix of figures from across different time periods. It does not show a snapshot of any moment in time, and does not depict today’s realities.

Remember: the lazy dad myth holds back gender equality.