Working Mothers Do More Childcare Today Than in 1965 — So Why the Double Standard?

The Pew Institute has published a study showing what none of us suspected: Mothers today spend more time with their children than they did in the 1960s.

SAY WHAT? How is that possible?  Last time I checked, working mothers were stressed-out, choleric, heartless, and carried babies in briefcases. Isn't feminism totally like responsible for destroying the sanctity of motherhood and for MTV raising the next generation?

Well according to this new survey, moms are spending more time working outside the home and inside the home with children too. Based on a survey of 2,511 adults nationwide and an analysis of the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), researchers found that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Overall, moms are spending twice as much time performing housework and childcare duties then men are. Unsurprisingly, the study also found that men spend more time on leisure activities than women.


Where women and men do converge is with the difficulty they have reconciling their role in the workplace with their responsiblities at home. Researchers explain:

"There is no significant gap in attitudes between mothers and fathers: 56% of mothers and 50% of fathers say juggling work and family life is difficult for them."

Although a third of parents feel like they aren't spending enough time with their children, more dads are feeling the pressure: "Some 46% of fathers say they are not spending enough time with their children, compared with 23% of mothers."

Clearly, men could benefit from workplace flexibility as much as women would.


That being said, the study does contain some encouraging findings.  Fathers have managed to increase the time spent with their kids by threefold since 1965. They also spend twice as much time doing housework than they used to.

Imagine what could happen if everyone was given more flex-time?

Read more after the jump at Feministing.

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Elizabeth Plank

Elizabeth is a Senior Correspondent at Mic and the host of Flip the Script.

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