Melbourne, October 20 : Australian fathers, on average, spend just about a minute a day caring for their kids alone, says a paper.
Social researcher Lyn Craig writes in the paper entitled 'Father Care, Father Share in International Perspective' that men spend an average of just shy of one hour each working week caring for their kids, and that about 90 per cent of the children's care is done by their mothers.
The report further states that though fathers spend longer with their kids on weekends, they are mostly together as a family unit.
Dr. Craig says that when father are alone with their children, their time is more likely to be spent on "events" like going to the park or taking the kids to sport, instead of doing the drudge work like feeding, bathing or ferrying children to and from school or childcare.
"It's a reflection of the fact that childcare is a family and leisure activity for men," the Australian quoted Dr. Craig, from the University of NSW Social Policy Research Centre, as saying.
"Men tend to contribute when they're free, when they can do the fun things, and when it is a family group situation. Women are the default carer, so they tend to do much more of the routine tasks and multi-task with their other household duties at the same time as looking after children.
"It's a woman's job and a man's hobby. And it stays basically the same regardless of the amount of work women do in the paid workforce," she added.
She further said that the structure of families could be one of the reasons why fathers and mothers divide the care so unevenly.
"Our work and family policies here, including family tax benefits and the absence of paid maternity leave, make it harder for couples to share the care and encourage the specialisation of women in family care and men in paid work," she said.
Dr. Craig, however, conceded that Australian couples overall tended to spend more time caring for their children than those in many other countries, even though they worked considerably longer in their paid work than those in the European countries.
"There is a high value placed on family care in Australia. Everyone's doing their best. It's just a case of developing policies to help men assist," she said.
She said that it was yet to be seen whether new policies, which helped Australian women return to the workforce after having children, would lead to an increased in men's contribution in the childcare.