We work full time schedules, do the grocery shopping, plan the meals, schedule pretty much every aspect of our children’s lives, and so on and so on. The average mom’s to-do list would make just about anyone need a nap followed by a long vacation. A new study finds that moms often feel like they do most of the “invisible labor” of running a household and raising children.
Mashable reports about the study published in the journal Sex Roles which highlights the amount of invisible labor taken on by women and how this may affect us emotionally and psychologically. When asked whether or not moms felt they were “disproportionately running their ship on their own” - most of the almost 400 married or partnered mom respondants answered a resounding yes to this question.
Running the ship means taking care of every little aspect of household members’ lives, from the extremely mundane like filling birthday goody bags to making bigger decisions, like which pediatrician to choose. Close to 90% of participants reported that they were solely responsible for taking care of the family’s schedule. And 70% admitted they were “captain” of the ship - having to be in charge of pretty much all household routines, chores, etc. But, from what researchers could tell, this kind of reponsibility (while often exhausting) did not negatively impact a mom psychologically.
What did seem to have the biggest emotional impact on moms was when they are the ones solely in charge of their child’s well being. Almost 80% of moms said they were the ones who know their child’s teachers and school administrators and two-thirds of respondants said they were the ones responsible for being “vigilant” of their child’s emotions. It was these duties that led to lower levels of satisfaction with a spouse or partner and made women have feelings of “emptiness”. Co-author or the study Suniya S. Luthar points out why this emotional aspect make moms feel the most alone when taking on parenting duties. Luthar says, “You always want to have a sounding board. To feel like you’re the only person making those decisions, and you have a partner, has got to be terrifying.”
What do you think of the study that suggests moms are usually the “captain of the ship” when running a household?
Do you take on most of the responsibilities at home? How do you negotiate parenting and household duties?