Moms are known for their ability to multitask. Whether their focus is on running the house and family exclusively or also have commitments to an employer outside the house, mothers constantly have their hands full and their minds pulled in multiple directions. When the coronavirus outbreak forced millions of people home to work, mothers took even more responsibility onto their shoulders.
So, if you’re a mom and you’re feeling like you’re working harder than ever even though you’re at home, it’s not your imagination. There is scientific data to validate your struggles.
The Boston Consulting Group surveyed 3,055 working parents in France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States between March 20 and April 3. All of the parents surveyed continued to work during the pandemic’s stay-at-home orders, either at home or on-site. The survey parents had at least 10 hours a week scheduled for their jobs while working during stay-at-home orders.
The parents participating in the survey reported working an additional 28 hours each week in household chores and childcare during the coronavirus outbreak, according to the study. The mothers took on most of the extra responsibility, though.
Hourly chore and child care responsibility totals averaged 65 hours for mothers, up from the normal 35 hours per week before the corporate shutdown. In contrast, fathers who were putting in 25 hours per week on the same chores reported an increase to 50 hours weekly.
The survey showed about 60% of responding parents had no help with child care or education and another 10% actually have less help than before the outbreak. Since most schools and child care centers have been also shut down due to the virus, parents are having to balance work and home responsibilities at the same time — and finding it harder to be productive.
Most of the extra time per week parents reported devoting to home tasks, unsurprisingly, was dedicated to childcare, planning children’s activities and remote learning. Parents said they spent the rest of the time in shopping, cooking, and cleaning.
Trying to balance so much is taking its toll on moms. About 66% of women said they were worried about their mental well-being. This could be due to the fact that nearly half of them are sleeping less than ever and nearly two-thirds of them have concerns about their child’s education due to school closings.
The study results may provide some form of comfort for moms who feel they are alone in the struggle to keep up at home and at work. Sure, we shouldn’t need confirmation on a piece of paper. But it is reassurance that what we’re feeling is not an overreaction and is based in fact.
It just feels good to be recognized for the hard work!