How Much Should Dads Make for Housework?

ByABC News via via logo

June 16, 2006 — -- If dad could get a paycheck for everything he did to help with the chores and children at home, how much would he make?

According to a survey conducted exclusively for "Good Morning America," dads would earn $71,160.45 a year if paid in real wages.

The survey found the average American dad who worked full time typically spent 39.6 hours a week doing work around the house -- including 1.6 hours of groundskeeping a week, 5.8 hours of general maintenance work, 3.4 hours doing laundry, 2.6 hours of cooking, and 2.7 hours driving a van.

Over the years, the time fathers have spent with their children on workdays has increased by almost an hour -- from 1.8 hours to 2.7 hours in a 25-year period.

Their time spent doing household chores has increased from 1.2 hours to 1.9 hours, according to the Families and Work Institute, a nonprofit center for research on the changing work force, changing family, and changing community.

"Dads are clearly involved," said Tory Johnson, CEO of Women for Hire and "Good Morning America's" workplace contributor. "In my house, my husband does more chores that I do. He is a neat freak."

Johnson said that dads had become more involved because wives had become dismissive of the stereotype that they could only handle chores.

In addition, men's belief that work outside the home is the be-all and end-all is changing, she said.

Another study out this week from found that 28 percent of working dads said that work was negatively impacting their relationships with their children, and 44 percent of dads were even willing to take a pay cut to spend time with their kids.

"It takes a team," Johnson said. "Nobody on a team appreciates it when someone doesn't pull their weight. Resentment builds, and this is not healthy for anyone. Mom turns into a nag and dad becomes resentful."

While dads certainly deserve recognition for their work at home, clearly moms do as well.

The survey found that working moms were still doing an average of 10 hours' more housework a week than working dads. If moms were paid in real wages for their labor, that would come out to $85,876.

Stay-at-home moms are worth six figures. Between cooking, cleaning and chauffeuring, they are worth $134,121 a year, says.

To see how much the mom or dad in your life deserves to be paid, visit

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