Psst, moms! Want to know the secret of having your husbands pick up some of the workload at home? Here's the secret:
New research into the idea of "maternal gatekeeping" shows how attitudes and actions by the mother may promote or impede father involvement.
"For women who insist they have the gold standard around parenting and housework, men just tend to walk away," says Joshua Coleman, a clinical psychologist in San Francisco and Oakland. "They feel their own ideas about how the house should look or … how the children should be raised aren't given equal share."
Kenney presented research she co-wrote at a meeting of the Population Association of America over the weekend. The study of 1,023 couples from 20 large cities in the USA found mothers were protective of their caregiving and educational engagement with the child but were less so for playtime activities that "were not considered threats to the mother's caregiving identity," the paper says.
"Maybe he's not more involved because mom is holding him back," Kenney says.