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Gulp! Moms Spend 27 Percent of Time on Housework

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A great story in the New York Times --  "Families' Every Fuss, Archived and Analyzed" --discussed a UCLA study wherein researchers videotaped 32 dual-income, middle-class families for three years.

woman holding iron

Here's what the researchers found:

  • Moms do most of the housework, spending 27 percent of their time on it. Dads spend 18 percent of their time on housework, and kids spend 3 percent of their time on it. 
  • Husbands and wives were alone together in the house for only about 10 percent of their waking time. 
  • The entire family was gathered in one room about 14 percent of the time. 
  • Couples who reported the least stress tended to have rigid divisions of labor, whether equal or not. 
  • Mothers spent 19 percent of their time talking with family members or on the phone, and 11 percent taking occasional breathers that the study classified as "leisure." Dads spent 20 percent of their time chatting, and 23 percent on leisure. 
  • Parents spent large amounts of solo time with their children -- 34 percent for mothers and 25 percent for fathers. 
  • The clutter on the fridge door tended to predict the amount of clutter elsewhere.

Do these stats surprise you?

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3 comments so far | Post a comment now
Black Iris May 25, 2010, 10:32 AM

Did the housework category include shopping, errands, and cooking or just cleaning?

How many hours of paid work were the husbands and wives doing?

worryfather May 26, 2010, 7:38 AM


We are working parents, in fact, we think we are more stressful during weekend during housework. We need to follow a tight schedule, and need to get the most of the things done during my daughter’s nap time.

Golf September 14, 2010, 10:39 AM

In related news, Tiger changed his name to Cheetah.

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