It’s generally understood that every mum is a superhero who’s the main CEO, chef, cleaner, tutor, and general keeper-together of the family, covering the jobs of several people. And as every mum knows, motherhood has no set hours, with ‘night shift’ often following overtime after a ‘day shift’.
It’s a labour of love – but that doesn’t mean it’s not A LOT of work. And finally there’s research into just how much work it is.
A survey of 2000 Americans mums of children aged five to 12-years-old were surveyed about their weeks by juice company, Welch.
The responses exposed something that every mum already knows – child-rearing is one of the most demanding jobs you can have.
On top of physical work, mum’s deal with ‘the mental load’ of parenting. We discuss, on our podcast for imperfect parents. Post continues…
The average mum starts her day at 6:23am, and doesn’t ‘clock-off’ until approximately 8:31pm. That’s a 14-hour working day – usually every day of the week.
Which means that’s 98 hours for the entire week; or, the equivalent of two and a half full-time jobs.
But surely she has some down time, too? Survey says: on average, just one hour and seven minutes a day.
And does she get any help? Yes! From coffee, wine, the occasional nap, and the use of her ‘mum voice’ – which the kids actually listen to.
Also listed as things mums depend on to get through the long, demanding hours were babysitters or family help, television, wet wipes, take-away food and electronic devices. And yoga pants, whose inclusion will come as no surprise to most mothers, who already know that activewear saves lives.
One of the most time-consuming aspects of motherhood is the management of little people, who are often fussy-eaters, reluctant sleepers, and exacting bosses.
It seems that the only reason why more mums don’t cut back on their motherhood hours, or quit altogether, is that they find their children as infinitely adorable as they are a strain on financial and emotional resources.
Which is very lucky for the kids.