Sharing the chores around the house, Kathy Hale and Mathew Taylor with their children, Jordan Taylor (5 months) and Aurora Hale (20 months) of Casino.
Sharing the chores around the house, Kathy Hale and Mathew Taylor with their children, Jordan Taylor (5 months) and Aurora Hale (20 months) of Casino. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Work/wife balance still out

HIS WIFE says he's "a keeper" and it's not surprising given 26-year-old Mathew Taylor happily does all the cooking and looks after the couple's three children.

"Even when Mathew was working full time he'd still come home and cook dinner for us all," Kathy Hale, 23, said.

The Casino father may have a thing or two to teach other Aussie men according to a new study that found Australian women are spending on average two hours more each day than men on housework, childcare and shopping.

Men, the study found, spend almost the same time on recreational and leisure-related activities.

The AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report: Race Against Time - How Australians spend their time found big differences between how women and men spend their day, with traditional gender roles still evident.

The study found that since 1985 average weekly work hours have risen from 39.5 hours to 42.3 hours for men, and 36.4 hours to 38.6 hours for women.

"NATSEM Director and co-author of the report, Professor Alan Duncan said regular nine-to-five work is no longer the norm, with people working longer hours, often with early starts, late finishes and weekend work.

"These types of work patterns have potentially adverse effects on family life, a greater requirement for tag team parenting and add to the time pressures that working couples particularly are feeling," Professor Duncan said.

For the Hale-Taylor household in Casino, working arrangements dominated household duties and the care of the couple's three children, aged six, 20 months and five months.

"I work in hospitality and I have my car licence, whereas Mathew doesn't, so it's easier for me to find full time work," Kathy Hale said.

Having swapped labouring work for childcare doesn't faze Mathew Taylor.

"It's a hard job looking after kids, but Kathy has the licence so it makes sense," he said.

"I'd rather do the cooking anyway - I like it."


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