Multitasking and Working Moms
Working moms multitask about 10 hours per week more than working fathers according to a study published in the December 2011 edition of the American Sociological Review. On average, working mothers spent 48 hours per week multitasking, while working fathers averaged 39 hours. Women in the study were more often juggling childcare and housework, while men were more likely to be engaged in less labor-intensive multitasking, such as returning a business call while watching their child playing. The study’s authors, Shira & Schneider, suggest these findings explain why women report feeling more rushed and stressed out than their partners, even when both may have a similar workload.
Because women are under more scrutiny than men for their abilities as housekeepers and mothers, they found multitasking to be a more negative experience, while men experienced multitasking as positive. The study’s authors suggest it is important for men to share household and childcare tasks more equally, and that employers need to allow men more flexibility so they can be more involved in home life. Here’s the link to the full study:
Multitasking and Well-Being among Mothers and Fathers in Dual Earner Families
What is your experience? Do you feel you and your spouse share tasks equitably? If so, what did you do to make things feel fair?