Feeling the burden of responsibility, mom? You’re not just imagining it. According to research conducted by Kelton Global in the United Kingdom, working moms take on more responsibilities outside of work compared to their husbands.
“These working mothers are organizing, reminding, and planning everything else,” said Modern Family Index 2017 report commissioned by Bright Horizons.
According to Business Wire, 75% of the mothers included in the report with children under 18 years old are employed full-time.
- 86% of working moms say they handle the majority of family and household responsibilities
- 72% feel it’s their job to stay on top of kids’ schedules
- 63% have missed work to take care of their sick children
Based on the responses, results from the research also showed that household workload increased for moms who brought home the primary paycheck. “More work at the office means more responsibility at home, too,” said the annual report. Breadwinning moms are nearly twice as likely (71%) to make sure all family responsibilities are handled, compared to breadwinning dads (38%).
And, unsurprisingly, all of this is taking a toll on moms. Half of the moms find the job of maintaining a work/life balance stressful. Half also report feeling burned out from the weight of household responsibilities.
Nearly three out of five moms say they think of their household duties even while at the office — creating a “mental load” they take with them to the workplace. It brings to mind this quote by Australian journalist Annabel Crabb: “The obligation for working mothers is a very precise one: the feeling that one ought to work as if one did not have children while raising one’s children as if one did not have a job.”
It’s not like dads don’t want to help out, though. Workplace culture and gender stereotypes — that dictate men are supposed to be at the office, and women are supposed to be the ones taking care of the kids — hinder dads from spending more time with the family even if they want. In fact, near half (46%) of the working dads felt burned out from lack of family time.
“Women taking time away from work for family commitments, for example, often raise fewer eyebrows than men, making women the family’s obvious default choice for the bulk of family obligations,” the report said.
“Now is a more important time than ever to break out of traditional male/female stereotypes – both at home and at work,” Maribeth Bearfield, the chief human resources officer of Bright Horizons, told Business Wire. Working moms will feel less burdened with responsibility if dads were encouraged and valued for doing a great job at work and at home. Agree?
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