Welcome to Bizarro World Where Men Love to Do Housework
Why not just give it to him?
That's it, baby! Oh yeah! Give him that mop and a bucket full of floor cleaner. Tell him you have a dirty, dirty kitchen and need a man to clean it. Then give him some laundry to sort, fluff and fold.
You know men. They love doing housework.
Actually, they do. Honest. They may seem happier lying on the couch watching TV in a pile of their own Cheetos, but British researchers say men are the most relaxed and the least stressed when they are equally sharing the household chores.
No, this is not the part when Rod Serling tells you that you just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.
"The way we 'do' family has changed -- not only because mothers are more likely to go out to work, but also because today both mothers and fathers want close relationships with children as they are growing up," Dr. Caroline Gatrell of the Lancaster University management school and the lead researcher in the two-year study, tells the Guardian newspaper in London.
Gatrell and her team conducted the survey for the British charity Working Families. They tell the Guardian they hope their results will help shatter the myth among employers that women are the primary caregivers and must forever balance work and home.
Quite the opposite. Both men and women want to share the responsibilities of raising their children and taking care of their homes.
Gatrell and her team interviewed more than 1,100 working dads about how they combine work and family. A whopping 82 percent of the guys said they wanted to spend more time caring for their young children.
"It is becoming increasingly evident that the expectations that fathers have of the way and amount they are involved directly with their children is altering. Fathers want to spend more time with their children and are doing more of the direct care for them," Gatrell tells the Guardian.
But here's where it gets weird.
Interviews with the men revealed the more housework fathers do, the less stress they experience. Men also reported feeling better when their wives have full-time jobs and put in just as many hours as they do.
Weird, huh? People are apparently happiest when all the burdens -- professional and domestic -- are shared equally.
But employers still don't get it, Gatrell tells the Guardian. They continue to think women need to scurry home to take care of the little ones.
"This is creating a massive problem for both men and women," she tells the newspaper. "Women are having their careers blocked by employers who assume that, once children come along, their commitment to the workplace will be severely compromised. But the same myth is also disadvantaging men who find themselves being their child's main or only caregiver, because employers aren't offering them work-life balance choices. It is time workplace attitudes changed to recognize the massive changes that have taken place in family practices in the 21st century."
Despite all the shifting trends on the home front, Gatrell tells the Guardian, women still do most of the household chores, adding that it would help if employers gave men more flexible hours.
In the meantime, gals, show your guy you understand his needs.
Turn off the lamp. Light some scented candles. Pour the champagne. Then just relax while you send him off to the kitchen to take care of a sink full of dirty dishes.
Mmmm, dirty dishes. What man could resist?
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.