Men manage just four out of 23 Christmas chores, with women left to pick up the rest - but how much does your other half compare?
Mums are already feeling the pressure of mum guilt in the run-up to Christmas as they juggle parenting with work and getting those pre-Christmas gatherings organised, but until you know how to share the mental load with your partner, many of the chores are being left to one parent.
We're not here to man bash, and we know it's not all men, but new statistics released by Starling Bank show couples are gearing up for festive chore wars - with women in heterosexual relationships taking on a greater share of housework during the festive season. The bank has updated its Share the Load tool, which couples can use to calculate how much housework they each really do.
Women take on an even greater share of housework during the holiday than they do during the rest of the year, causing them to enjoy the season less than their male partners.
Present buying is seven times more likely to fall on women’s shoulders (57% vs 8%), and women are nearly six times as likely to be responsible for wrapping them too (58% vs 10%). Women also take on the lion’s share of culinary tasks, whether that’s planning the Christmas meal and buying it (51% vs 12%), or cooking on the big day (46% vs 19%).
Among couples with children, mums are nearly five times more likely to attend their child’s nativity play (28% vs 6%) and are three times more likely to be in charge of leaving out treats for Father Christmas (36% vs 11%).
Rachel Kerrone, family finance expert at Starling Bank said: "Our Share the Load findings and tool sparked conversation in the UK about who really does what at home. Household pressures can be even greater at Christmas and, once again, our research indicates that women are taking on more of the burden.
“To help couples gain better balance at home during the holiday, we’ve updated our Share the Load tool with common festive tasks, allowing people to see how many they really split with their other half - and whether the time spent carving the turkey is equitable to cooking it.”
The 4 tasks men are just responsible for over Christmas - according to Starling Bank
- Carving the Christmas turkey - a male tradition among half of the couples surveyed (51% of men vs 26% of women)
- Getting rid of the tree after Christmas (51% vs 16%)
- Washing up after the Christmas dinner (31% vs 26%)
- Untangling fairy lights (41% vs 28%)
The unequal share of Christmas chores is causing rifts in relationships. Nearly one in five of those who do the majority of work for Christmas (19%) say they feel taken for granted, which rises to 22% for women compared to 12% for men. Women are also twice as likely to feel exhausted once the festive season is over (26% vs 11%) and twice as likely to feel like a nag (13% vs 6%).
But couples can’t agree on who takes on more of the load, either. Eighty-four per cent of women say that within their relationship, they do the majority of household tasks in the run-up to Christmas - rising from 72% of women who report the same during the rest of the year. Only 33% of men agree their partner does the most, however, with a similar number (30%) reporting that they do the most at Christmas in their household, which 3% of women agree with.
It’s a similar story among LGBT+ couples, with more than six in ten (63%) of those surveyed saying they do the majority of Christmas-related tasks, which just 13% of their partners agree with. Among LGBT+ couples with an unequal division of chores, one in five (19%) say they start to resent their partner and 14% say it causes arguments.
In other family news, if you want to give your other half a task, these are the 10 best places to hide Christmas presents from kids, and there's a helpful discipline hack that will work on kids of all ages.
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Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)
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