Dad Sparks Anger for Choosing Golf Over Family Time With Wife and Kids

A mother on Mumsnet has asked the forum whether she is being unreasonable to expect a bit more help with the child care from her husband.

"Currently I do the bulk of childcare while my DH is off playing golf most weekends. We both work full time. My husband has a busy job and leaves the house at 530am and is back about 630pm. This leaves me to get the DDs (1 and 3) ready for crèche and do drop off and collection every day."

She continued, "DDs go to bed at 7/730 so DH has limited interaction with kids during the week. At the weekend he leaves for golf on Saturday at 7am and comes back at 2pm. After this he usually requires a nap. He spends some time with DDs between 4-7.

"Sundays are usually better and he is only away for a couple of hours in the morning. He does [spend] a couple of hours quality time with the kids on a Sunday. I'm so exhausted and overwhelmed from being the main caregiver. I know men are generally less involved with DD, but at this stage I feel like he is really taking the piss!!"

Parental Roles

An Ohio State University study appears to suggest that during the co-parenting of young children, the less the father has to do with caregiving duties, the better the parents get on.

The researchers asked 112 heterosexual couples with children aged 4 years old how often they engaged in play activities versus caregiving activities.

The study's press release said, "The families were then observed, with both parents helping their child to draw a picture and build with blocks. The test? To detect how much the parents or supported each other or undermined each other in parenting their child."

Parenting
A Mumsnet user has been almost unanimously supported for wanting her husband to spend more time with their children. Getty Images

The release continued, "Results showed that couples had a stronger, more supportive co-parenting relationship when the father spent more time playing with their child. But when the father participated more in caregiving, like preparing meals for the child or giving baths, the couples were more likely to display less supportive and more undermining co-parenting behavior toward each other.

Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of human development and family science at Ohio State University, said, "The results were surprising, and may be disappointing for people who believe mothers and fathers should share equally in the caregiving for their children."

Schoppe-Sullivan added, "I don't think this means that for every family, a father being involved in caregiving is a bad thing." But the study seems to suggest that the Mumsnet mother's tendency to criticize the father's availability for caregiving activities creates friction between the two.

Conclusive Results

Users on Mumsnet voted almost unanimously that the original poster was not being unreasonable to expect more from her husband, with 97 percent of the vote:

"Time for you to have child free plans on a weekend. Leaving at 7am and coming home late. He needs to step up and do some parenting too".

One user was critical of both parents, suggesting the mentality that men spend less time with their small children and especially daughters was an issue, "This is the problem right here. Its your mentality. Why on earth do you think and tolerate this? You believe in some nonsense like this and enabling him."

Newsweek was not able to verify the details of the case.

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