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

Are YOU a ‘married single parent’ or lucky enough to have a ‘doesband’? Relationship expert tells FEMAIL how to command equality when it comes to domestic chores

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, claiming to be clueless about how to help. 

Gender experts say that ‘performative or weaponised 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’ were first coined decades ago but seem to have re-surfaced ten-fold post pandemic, as couples return to physical workplaces and jet-setting business trips have resumed in earnest. 

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 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.