We’ve all heard the saying, “motherhood is a full-time job”. And that is absolutely true. But it’s also, maybe, a slight underestimation. It’s the job that never ends. There is no downtime. No breaks. No vacation or sick-time. It’s very nearly 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, for years! And I’m just talking about actual parenting-related duties. Once you factor in the hours spent maintaining the home, cooking, and oh I don’t know, your ACTUAL job for which you get paid, you’re working non-stop. A new study says that being mom is equivalent to working TWO AND A HALF full-time jobs. And moms everywhere said, well duh.
We all know motherhood is a full-time job. But in reality, it’s more like 2 1/2 full-time jobs. Without pay and benefits, natch.
A U.S. survey of 2,000 mothers with kids ages 5 – 12 revealed that moms spend an average of 98 hours a week doing parent-related duties. The study showed that the average mom starts her day at 6:23 a.m., and finally “clocks out” at 8:31 p.m. And that’s on a normal day! That calculates to a 14-hour workday, seven days a week. JUST on parent-related duties. So we spend, on average, 98 hours a week taking care of our kids. You guys, there are only 168 hours in a week.
I’m a working mom. And a single mom. So add to that the 40-50 hours I spend working for actual money every week, and maybe add like an additional 20 hours because I don’t have a partner or daily help.
At the end of the week, I practically owe hours back to Time. What is this nonsense?
The study was commissioned by juice brand Welch’s (no idea why). Casey Lewis, health and nutrition lead at Welch’s, says, “The results of the survey highlight just how demanding the role of mom can be and the non-stop barrage of tasks it consists of.” In addition to the workweek information, the survey also says that the average mom gets just an hour and seven minutes to herself everyday. ONE HOUR AND SEVEN MINUTES. In an entire day. Do they count sleeping hours? Because I don’t even get those to myself. There’s always at least one kid kicking me in the nose at night.
Furthermore, 40% of moms reported feeling like their lives are dominated by a never-ending “to-do” list. I look at my to-do list a lot like I look at my student loans: I will probably die with them. “Here lies Jayme, who had 7 items still left to check-off”.
The moms in the study said they rely on a steady intake of coffee to function, as well as Netflix, iPads, toys, and baby wipes. It’s like they were speaking about your life, isn’t it? Listen, this gig is no joke. Motherhood is a full-time job! It’s constant, backbreaking, soul-crushing work. For free! Yes, there are priceless benefits. Yes, I wouldn’t change it for the world. But it would be nice if OTHER people started to really understand and appreciate the emotional labor of motherhood. And it would be nice if we got paid vacations. Just sayin’.
(Image: iStock / kzenon)