Busy Wife, Happy Life?

Working moms are apparently happier in their marriages when they’re super busy at work. That might be because their husbands tend to then help out more at home, according to researchers. (And p.s., husbands who do more housework have more sex with their wives–this again, according to “scientists”.)

This makes no sense to me. Wouldn’t a working husband whose wife is always busy at the office, eventually grow resentful if more of the housework falls in his lap–just as a working wife would resent it? And wouldn’t that husband wish he could see her more often (just as a wife would in his shoes), and often wonder whether the sacrifices are worth the money and prestige? Would he really pick up the broom and whistle while he works?

Hard to believe. But maybe my marriage is different. We both work very hard to pull our weight at home. We have our assigned household tasks and we expect each other to do them (though I always fail him in my refrigerator-cleaning duties). We earn roughly the same amount, though depending on the year, one of our jobs is usually more demanding, leaving the other one stuck with more of the chores at home. “Stuck” being the operative word–it’s not something either of us relishes, we just adapt and overcome.

Posted in housework

6 Responses to Busy Wife, Happy Life?

  1. Jessica says:

    I actually understand this somewhat. I’ve gone through periods at my job when I didn’t have enough work to do to keep me busy, and I would come home cranky and exhausted from trying to entertain myself all day and feeling like I accomplished nothing. When I feel like I’ve had a productive day at work, I come home happy and more willing to just relax and spend time with my husband.

  2. Jen says:

    I’d be willing to bet your marriage is different. I haven’t seen actual stats but I bet that most couples don’t earn about the same amount, most have one career-oriented person and one not-so-much career person, on whom more of the household duties fall. It seems like what this study is really saying is that people in your shoes are generally happier. I’m sure there’s a cutoff somewhere, a max busy threshhold at which one would no longer be happy (different for everyone), but I think this says that moms who work are generally happier than moms who don’t, because the husbands pick up a little bit of the slack at home. And nothing is sexier than a man with a vacuum ;)

  3. Helper says:

    I find that when my girlfriend is particularly busy I help out even more than usual. This is out of sympathy, practicality, and also self-interest. Helping out more gives her more free time… that she can spend with me. :)

  4. Alice says:

    I feel great when I’m busy at work: I feel successful, necessary, and excited. When I don’t have enough to do, I complain and hate everything, and I don’t do housework because I’m too busy sulking. Is sulking a necessary household task?

  5. I also feel better when I have a lot to do., just like Alice. Being busy in a “good way” gives me high energy levels and a good mood.

  6. Pascale says:

    It is a study based on 169 couples. That is pretty limited.

    However, I think that it is important to make a good choice. Some women are made to stay at home caring for children, others feel more happy at work. If you freely choose your life, working or at home, you have to be happy because you do exactly what you choose to.
    I choose to work since the beginning after the birth of my daughter nearly 6 years ago. I don’t feel guilty about that because she is happy with her nanny and, now, fully blooming at school.
    It is not easy to choose that because some people don’t understand how you can “abandon” your child and will always criticize your choice. Don’t care about them!

    I think the most important is not the amount of time but the quality of time you spend with your child.
    Another point is: when you have too much chores to do at home, it could be nice to delegate to somebody else (cleaning company,…). You will have more time with your husband and children.
    With all these elements, it is easier to be happy…
    All the best to all of you!

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