Are YOU a ‘married single parent’ or blessed with a ‘doesband’?

The division of labour when the pitter patter of tiny feet add to a marriage might once have been straightforward, with men going out to bring home the bacon and ‘housewives’ managing the home. 

However, with blessed parity in the workplace – and women no longer forced behind a kitchen sink all day long – it seems a straight split of household chores between partners isn’t always a given. 

The term ‘married single parent’ has been batted around social media in recent years, with women venting that their other halves won’t engage with chores associated with their children. 

Often known as ‘weaponised incompetence’, it described how men ‘play the clueless card’ when it comes to helping out at home. Gender experts say that ‘performative incompetence’ is a strategy often deployed by men to ensure that domestic labour isn’t divided equally.

On the flip-side, there’s the partner – dubbed the ‘Doesband’ who knows exactly where the swimming goggles might be, has been to all the parents’ evenings and doesn’t wince at a nappy that needs changing. 

How to achieve equality in the home? A ‘doesband’ doesn’t need to be asked to help…but many women say they often feel like a ‘married single parent’

Here, FEMAIL looks at the different traits of both:


TikTok is awash with examples of mums pouring forth. US TikToker @oh.socurly, filmed with a sleeping baby on her chest, tells her followers: ‘Why is it [moms] can go weeks and months without a full night’s rest and are still able to get up and take care of our kids in the middle of the night – but god forbid dad is tired!’

The terms ‘married single parent’ or ‘married single mother’ was first coined decades ago but seems to have re-surfaced ten-fold post pandemic, as couples return to physical workplaces and jet-setting business trips have resumed. 

Relationship expert Kate Mansfield says: ‘The division of household chores is influenced by a variety of factors, including cultural norms, upbringing, personal beliefs, and individual preferences. 

Some of the reasons why there might be an imbalance in chore distribution between men and women include:

Gender socialization: From a young age, boys and girls are often socialized differently and may be raised with different expectations regarding household responsibilities. Traditional gender norms may reinforce the idea that women are primarily responsible for housework, while men are expected to focus on employment or other tasks.

Unequal distribution of paid and unpaid work: Women often take on a larger share of unpaid household labor, such as cooking, cleaning, and childcare, in addition to their paid employment. This can create a situation where resentment brews, and women feel overburdened and unappreciated. Men are often oblivious, as women still perceive that men don’t want to help out.

Communication and negotiation: Open communication and negotiation between partners are crucial for establishing a fair division of household chores. If expectations or assumptions about who should do what are not addressed, it can lead to an uneven distribution of chores. resentment and certainly is a major factor in divorce and separation.   

Although, Kate adds that it’s ‘important to remember that these factors are not universal, and many individuals and couples actively work to challenge and redefine traditional gender roles within their households’.

She continues: ‘Increasing awareness, fostering open discussions, and promoting equality can help create more balanced divisions of household labor.’


With mortgage rates suddenly soaring, and parents working longer hours to keep up, splitting the chores fairly has never been more important.  

Celebrate then, the latest incarnation of the ‘hands-on dad’ – the ‘doesband’. He might have worked a 12-hour shift but he’s not about to sit on the sofa watching the Liverpool game while merry chaos plays on in the background. 

If the message is struggling to get through to some partners that unions are based on equality, the ‘doesband’ not only gets it but he leads from the front – happy to cook dinner, pick up little Theo from his fencing lesson and clean the bathroom more than once a year.  

How does it come to pass? Creating an evolved and fair relationship with equal distribution of chores requires open communication, mutual respect, and a shared commitment to equality, says Kate Mansfield.  

‘The temptation is often to avoid the needed communication to create this, for fear of conflict and because it actually also can feel vulnerable and scary to voice your needs and opinions. 

‘Negotiating is a skill, but so worth developing this. However, this is an essential part of having a healthy relationship, and is a great opportunity to model healthy communication and shared responsibility to your kids.


Open and Honest Communication: Begin by having an open and honest conversation with your partner about your expectations and values regarding household responsibilities. Clearly express your desire for a fair and equal distribution of chores, where both partners contribute based on their abilities and availability. Listen to your partner’s perspective and find common ground on how to achieve a balanced division of labor.

Identify Strengths and Preferences: Assess each other’s strengths, preferences, and areas of expertise when it comes to household tasks. Recognize that individuals may have different skill sets or enjoy different types of chores. By acknowledging and leveraging each other’s strengths, you can create a more efficient and enjoyable division of responsibilities.

Create a Joint Household Plan: Collaborate on creating a joint household plan that outlines the tasks, responsibilities, and expectations for each partner. Get the kids involved and make it fun. Play games or sing together as you work. Set goals and targets, with small prizes. This plan can be flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances. Consider designating specific chores to each partner or rotating responsibilities to ensure a fair distribution of work.

Flexibility and Adaptability: Recognize that each partner’s availability and workload may vary over time. Be flexible and willing to adjust the division of chores as needed to accommodate changes in schedules, career demands, or personal circumstances. Regularly reassess and discuss the distribution of responsibilities to ensure it remains fair and equitable.

Support and Appreciation: Show appreciation for each other’s contributions and support one another in completing household tasks. Recognize and acknowledge the efforts made by your partner, and avoid taking each other’s contributions for granted. This positive reinforcement helps build a supportive and nurturing environment within the relationship.

Collaboration and Teamwork: Approach household chores as a collaborative effort rather than individual obligations. Work together as a team, sharing tasks, and supporting each other in completing them. Emphasize the idea that household responsibilities are shared responsibilities, and both partners have equal ownership in maintaining the home.

Equal Opportunity for Personal Time: Ensure that both partners have equal opportunity for personal time and leisure activities outside of household responsibilities. Balancing work, chores, and personal time is crucial for maintaining individual well-being and a healthy relationship. Respect each other’s need for downtime and prioritize self-care.