Mothers are Busy People

I just read an interesting statistic from the Pew Research Center. Their data shows that between paid and unpaid work, the average mother works about 2 more hours a week than she did in 1965. But the mix of time spent on paid work, housework, and child care has changed dramatically. Today the average number of hours mothers with children spend each week are as follows: child care 13.5, housework 17.8, and paid work 21.4.

Yes, mothers are busy people. The findings from the Pew Research Center also point to 56% of paid work mothers saying it is very or somewhat difficult to balance work and family responsibilities. That’s not really a big surprise. Figuring out how to keep everything going at home and at work takes organization, flexibility, and commitment. I would also add a sense of humor and the ability to function on little sleep. 🙂

I grew up in a family where I watched my mother work hard. She took care of the home; tended a large garden and raised chickens; supported us kids in our school, church, and 4-H activities; orchestrated family functions; and taught school. I’m guessing there were many days she found it hard to manage work and family. But somehow she kept it together and taught us many life lessons. And most important of all was that we always knew Mother was there for us. What a wonderful gift to give your children!

How do you handle all the many roles of being a mother?


Donna Donald

Donna Donald is a Human Sciences specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach who has spent her career working with families across the lifespan. She believes families are defined by function as well as form. Donna entered parenthood as a stepmother to three daughters and loves being a grandmother of seven young adults.

More Posts

2 thoughts on “Mothers are Busy People

  1. A key thing for me to keep in mind is thinking about “what kinds of kids am I trying to create” and “what can I do or say” to help make that happen.

    So, I think about what are the attitudes, values, behaviors that will help my kids become the kind of people that I would like to see them become. I also think about “how can I help them get there”? Can I help create opportunities for them that will expose them to things that can help create certain attitudes, values, behaviors? I think about how I interact with them, or how I behave— do my behaviors help teach them what I want them to learn?

    I also realize that there are many influences outside my realm that will shape my kids now and in the future. But, I try to do what I can do. And, sometimes I don’t do as well as I would like. But, then I remember there is tomorrow and I am a “work in progress”:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *