independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Opinion on father's worth in home divided – survey

DEPENDING on who you are, tomorrow will either be a day you love or a day you hate. No, we're not talking about Bloomsday, or the hangover after a day of sport on Saturday. Sunday is Father's Day.

That day men across the country get pampered for all their efforts, or blokes needlessly become the centre of attention on an intolerably long weekend.

But are they really appreciated? Are fathers really deserving of a day that is all about them?

Research from Irish Life suggests that opinion on their efforts is divided, to say the least.

The pension firm found that fathers have a, well, rather inflated view of their efforts at home.

It's a sad tale in some respects. Only one in three feel the work they do for their family is appreciated by their children, while only one in two feel their efforts are appreciated by their wives or partners.

As one might expect, there is a huge gap between what the men see themselves as doing, and what their other halves think they do.

The report reads like a script for a 1960s comedy starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day.

While dads estimated that their time spent on household work amounts to 55 hours a week, their wives or partners thought that this figure is just 29 hours.

Irish Life's research also found dads underestimate the work carried out in the home by mums: the men think mothers spend 51 hours per week on household tasks, while the women put this figure at 93 hours. Men also think they get 14 hours of 'quality time' with their wife each week, but mums think they only get 10.

When it comes to how much they are worth, the divide continues. Dads estimate it would cost €26,000 per year if the family had to pay for the work they do at home, while their other half think it would cost €15,000.

Mums estimate their work at home would cost €38,000 to replace – their husbands/partners think it would cost €28,000.

There is a serious side to this, of course.

Nearly three-quarters of fathers, and two-thirds of mothers with young children said the family would struggle financially if they fell ill or weren't around any more.

A little more than one in three respondents has a life insurance policy that would pay out to the family in the event of death – but the average payout that these policies provide for is €177,000, says Irish Life.

Irish Life's executive manager for marketing Karl Symes believes the report shows the need for families to plan for their financial future.

"While this research shows men and women clearly differ on the extent of the work they do around the house, it also shows they agree on the need to protect their families from the financial implications of the death or serious illness of a parent," he said.

Irish Independent

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