The New York Times column on wellness reports on a study here that looked at weight gain over the last twenty-five years, and concludes one reason is that we are doing less housework at home, and sitting more at work. But the researchers note that they did not factor in the energy spent in childcare.
The study didn’t include the amount of energy expended in childcare? I’m sorry, but for me the study is useless then.
When my children were young, caring for them was where most of my energy went—dressing them, bathing them, feeding them, playing with them, lifting them into strollers and carseats, taking them to the park, to swimming, to the library, to endless soccer games—really, the time spent in “housework” was negligible compared to that. And, please note, that parents do all of these things whether or not they are employed out side the home.
Actually, I’d like to see a study that looked at parental weight gain after parents were no longer chasing toddlers around.