Moms Work About 2.5 Full-Time Jobs Thanks To Housework & Their Careers, Study Says
New findings from Welch's recently summed up just how many hours working moms clock in per week — and it's a lot of hours. The study of 2,000 American mothers with children ages 5 to 12 found that the average working mom works the equivalent of 2.5 full-time jobs. She clocks in a 98-hour work week, with her day typically starting at 6:23 a.m. and ending around 8:31 p.m. That's a 14-hour workday when you factor in work duties and family responsibilities.
Moms work hard — we all knew that. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 70 percent of moms with children under 18 are employed, which means that most moms are balancing work and families. But the Welch's study — which was conducted between May 5, 2017 and May 11, 2017 by Market Researchers OnePoll under Welch's nutrition program — proved just how hard (or, rather, long) moms really do work. The researchers reported that 4 in every 10 moms surveyed said the week felt like a never-ending series of tasks to complete, according to ABC.
The results of the survey shed light on just how demanding the role of "mom" can be thanks to the "non-stop barrage of tasks," Casey Lewis, MS, RD and Health & Nutrition Lead at Welch's reportedly told Yahoo! News.
"Busy moms may identify with the list of 'lifesavers,' which highlights not just a rigorous workload but a constant requirement to feed and fuel the family, week in and week out," Lewis said, Yahoo! News reported.
On top of office and home responsibilities, many mothers also face what's become known as the "mental load." The mental load is all that mental list-making and planning moms do to manage their life and that of those who depend on them. According to Scary Mommy, it’s the running commentary in their minds — the racing how-am-I-going-to-get-all-of-this-done thoughts and all the "invisible work" they're doing to manage all the actual work they've got to do.
And even despite how hard working moms really do work, they are often subjected to discrimination, which is known as the "motherhood penalty." Cornell researchers conducted a study in which they sent fake résumés to hundreds of employers, and found that mothers were half as likely to be called back by prospective employers. And another more recent study found that while men’s salaries increased more than six percent when they had children, women’s decreased four percent for each child they had.
For women who do earn more money, however, the grass isn't necessarily any greener. Research from childcare provider Bright Horizons suggests that, even as the percentage of female breadwinners increases, women continue to take on the vast majority of household and family-centric duties. In fact, household responsibilities for working moms only increase when women are bringing home the primary paycheck, according to Bright Horizons. Breadwinning moms in married households, for example, are three times more likely than breadwinning fathers in married households to be keepers of their children’s schedules, the Bright Horizon's study found. They’re three times more likely to volunteer at school, and they’re nearly twice as likely to make sure all family responsibilities are handled. So it's no surprise that 69 percent of working moms say their responsibilities at home and at work create a hefty mental load — or that 52 percent report burning out due to that mental load, according to Slate.
The fact is that more women are working than ever before — and more women are even working past the age of retirement than ever before, too, according to TIME. But while women may be gaining representation in the workplace, there seems to be stagnant inequality in their homes.
Editor's note: After publication, we discovered this article did not meet our editorial standards. There were portions that did not correctly attribute another source. It has been updated to meet our standards.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.