Did you know it’s actually bad for a man’s health if they are the sole breadwinner of the family? Neither did we until a study by the University of Connecticut, which followed the progress of over 3,000 married couples aged 18-32, between 1997 and 2011.
During this time, participants were asked regular questions about their emotional well-being and overall health, in addition to their current income. When the man was the only income provider for the household, the scores for well-being were 5% lower, and 3.5% lower for health, than at times when both partners were putting in equally.
It’s always important to read between the lines, though. We can assume that in some of these cases, the man became the sole breadwinner in order for his wife to give birth and then be a mother to a newborn. Not all maternity cover is generous, if it exists at all. And stress factors when a new child arrives are always heightened anyway.
There’s also the small matter of money. When we have less of it at our disposal it’s easy to start feeling the strain. Not least if you have the added expense of another mouth to feed. It might also be sensible to consider the possibility that some of these men were forced to become the only worker in the household due to redundancy, or even ill health in their partner. Neither of which make for a particularly easy ride.
Nevertheless, this is good news for any guy considering becoming a stay at home Dad. Simply put, if it’s bad for health to be the only person going out and earning a living, then surely doing the complete opposite will have a beneficial impact? Well, OK, maybe not- there’s the whole sedentary lifestyle thing you’ll need to avoid in order for the theory to have any real legs. Still, there’s no harm in giving it a try, is there?