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Study: Who are less happy – moms or dads?

Who has it worse, moms or dads? A U of M study shows mothers reported more stress and fatigue.

Who's the less happy parent: mom or dad?

Researchers from Cornell University, the University of Minnesota, and Minnesota Population Center did a study and found that moms tend to be less happy about their parenting duties.

The study looked at more than 12,000 parents and how they felt in 2010, 2012 and 2013. The researchers also examined the types of parenting activities moms and dads performed as well as individual well-being during those activities.

Ultimately, mothers reported more stress and fatigue than fathers did.


Well, the U of M says it has a lot to do with which parenting duties or tasks they have.

"Mothers do more time-inflexible tasks like basic childcare, childcare management, cooking, and cleaning with their children than do fathers, and fathers engage in more leisure with children," the report says.

So basically the study suggests moms are less happy because they're doing a lot of the grunt work (often on top of their day jobs) while dads get to have the fun.

Sleep plays a role too.

The study found that mothers don't get as much undisturbed sleep as fathers.

Less sleep has been associated with less happiness and more sadness, stress, and fatigue.

The study isn't all negative though. Parents still "generally" like their kids.

"The good news from our study is that parents generally enjoy being with their kids,” University of Minnesota researcher Ann Meier said.

Meier went on to say that she hopes this information will help moms and dads realize their workloads so that they can balance the "stressful and tiring" tasks in parenting.

"Hopefully, many dads will see that their partners will likely be happier if they trade some of their leisure time with kids for more of the 'work' of parenting," Meier explained.

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