A study published in 2018 revealed that single moms actually spend less time on chores and report getting more sleep than married moms or moms with live-in partners.
Though the study was published in 2018, the story began resurfacing around mother’s day this year since it was an extremely relevant topic.
The researchers wanted to look at the notion that single mothers are “time poor.” They reviewed data collected on more than 23,000 mothers who were living with children below the age of 13.
In addition to showing that single mothers spend less time on chores and get more sleep than married mothers, the data also showed they have more free time.
Some single moms aren’t surprised by the study results. As a writer at Slate who covered the study quipped, when you’re single, there’s “less need to spend a bunch of time nagging — not the kids, but their dad.”
The study’s authors wrote, “We found marital status differentiated housework, leisure, and sleep time, but did not influence the amount of time that mothers provided childcare. Net of the number of employment hours, married mothers did more housework and slept less than never-married and divorced mothers … Never-married and cohabiting mothers reported more total and more sedentary leisure time than married mothers.”
In other words, married moms feel more pressure to do chores and keep the house in order than mothers who are living on their own. But, one important thing to note that was the same across the board, married or cohabiting or not, was the amount of time moms spent providing childcare. It proves what all mothers already know — a mom’s job is truly never done.
But, some moms have found ways to reach out when they need help, and it’s certainly something more moms should do whenever they feel like they need a break. Seriously, you deserve it!
More and more women have started to be more vocal about the unrealistic expectations put on moms and have started to find solutions that work for them.
For instance, a mom’s letter to her husband asking for more help went viral in April 2018. She opened up during a time of need, writing on Facebook, “I’m waving a white flag and admitting I’m only human. I’m telling you how much I need you, and if I keep going at the pace I’ve been on, I will break”:
And another mom’s post about the reasons why hiring a housekeeper was smart and not lazy also made the rounds online.
“I made a decision to hire a house cleaner. Because at night, I’m too tired to do it. And on the weekends, I want to spend more time with the people I love and less with my broom. Lazy? No. I don’t think so. Smart? Yes,” the mom shared on Facebook:
Meanwhile, another mother had another solution: getting her kids involved in the chores.
“I teach my son to cook & do household chores. Why? Because household work isn’t just for women,” she wrote on Facebook:
Given that these posts have gone viral and gained praise from moms everywhere, it’s safe to say that many, many hard-working moms can relate to these feelings of being tired and overworked, often because of gender and societal expectations. But, these viral posts also prove that there’s something moms can do about it: Look for ways to cut down on the amount of work and pressure you put on yourself where you can. A little goes a long way!
So, if you’re reading this and you’re a mom: take it easy tonight. And if you just happen to know a mom who could use a hand, now’s the perfect time to pitch in.
Don’t forget how much moms do, and know that sometimes (most times) they need a little help, too.