Well, the Aussies have been studying the housework habits of mothers and guess what they found out, moms do a lot of chores!
Shocking, I know 🙃.
The report, released by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), was compiled by examining the housework, care and work habits of Australian mothers between 2002 and 2014. They found that the average number of hours women spent before and after having children differed, but both were enormously high.
It begins with 16, which is the number of hours women spend on household chores per week BEFORE they have kids. Once children enter the picture, the numbers continue to rise. 16 jumps to 25 hours a week and then to 30 once the youngest starts school.
This number doesn’t change again until around a decade later when their youngest child turns 15, and supposedly we moms get a 2 hour break when the number drops to 28. Lucky moms, what do to what all that extra time (she says with more than a hint of sarcasm).
When the children finally leave home, it’s back to 25 hours of housework a week on average, not the pre-child total of 16 hours.
However, what’s even more incredible about these numbers is that some of the mothers who were surveyed reported spending a whopping 51 hours a week doing household chores. That’s more than two full days spent vacuuming, washing, cooking, cleaning and picking up after kids (this seems a bit closer to right, doesn’t it?)
The Australian Institute of Family Studies also looked at how the birth of a child affected the hours that women spent in the workforce. Before having kids, women worked 33 hours of paid work per week, however after the first child arrives the number of hours of paid work per week was about 9. Why, probably because in addition to the 25 hours of chores, moms spend an average of 26 hours a week directly caring for their kids (this falls to 5 once the kids leave home, hopefully).
The Director of AIFS Anne Hollonds, says it’s well past the time to make a change towards a more equal split of childrearing and household duties (we hear ya, Anne).
“It’s time for more equal sharing of domestic chores to be seriously addressed as an economic and social issue affecting all families raising children, and apart from being a fairness issue, pressures on mothers may affect the quality of family relationships.”
Did moms need a study to know this, of course not but it is a nice piece of info to pull out next time your partner and kids are wondering why you are so tired and cranky.
So, how much time do you spend on housework, and do your kids and partners do their fair share?