Split the childcare, don’t split up

Research finds couples are happier and randier when they share the childcare


There’s lots of good reasons for altering your work pattern to spend more time with your children.

Now recent research has found it’ll also lead to more sexy time with your partner.

Scientists surveyed hundreds of parents and then fed the results into some complex equations.

The headline result was men + childcare = happier couples.

The researchers found that people’s relationships take a hit when children come along. Reported satisfaction levels with the quality of the relationship and the frequency of sex dive. However a powerful inoculation against the worst of this effect was for men to do more childcare.

The report authors noted that, “results indicate that men’s performance of childcare is generally associated with more satisfaction with the division of childcare, more satisfying sexual relationships, and higher quality relationships.”

Better sex

The couples involved reported not just more frequent sex but better sex. Changing nappies makes men better lovers.

Those that embrace equal parenting also benefit from a relationship that is more harmonious than those more traditional families in which the woman bears the brunt of the childcare. The latter group reported more conflict between mum and dad. The message is ‘split the childcare: don’t split up’.


The overview of research into the issue was reported in Psychology Today.

The findings lend weight to calls for more paternity leave and enhanced Shared Parental Leave. If dads can spend more time with their babies in the early days, weeks and months they are more likely to have a more hands-on relationship going forward. More flexible working arrangements for dads would also allow them to contribute more too.

This evidence that men getting more involved strengthens romantic relationships and satisfaction adds to theories that getting men more involved in parenting can head off health issues, particularly mental health issues, among mums and dads.

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