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Moms Multi-task More than Dads, AND They’re Not Happy About It.

New Flash! Listen up readers because this one is doozy and a real eye opener!

Moms Multi-task More than dads, AND they’re not happy about it.

I know. I’ll give you a minute to let the shock wear off before I continue.


Well in case you needed proof results of some research done on the topic will be published in the December issue of the American Sociological Review.


Based on the men and women questioned on the study:


  • Working moms engage in multitasking 48.3 hours each week, compared with fathers’ 38.9 hours. This means that 43% of a mom’s waking hours are spent doing more than one thing.
  • Mom’s in the study reported that 53% of their multitasking at home is housework, while only 42% of multitasking is housework for dads.
  • For moms 36% of the multitasking is childcare focused while dads reported only 28% of their multitasking time is childcare related.


“This helps explain why women feel more burdened than men,” says Shira Offer, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of sociology at Bar Ilan University in Israel. “It’s related not just to amount but to their experience when they multitask.”


What’s funny is as I sit here writing this post I am trying to drink a cup of coffee (before it gets cold like the last three I poured) jot down a shopping list and it’s taken me 25 minutes to write the first part of the post because I’ve also been answering emails related to school, work and personal. And guess what? No, I’m not happy about it. In fact the strong desire to take an aspirin and crawl into bed is growing more and more and will probably become a headache just as it’s time to go pick up the kids from school.


You may wonder what the importance of a study like this really is. I mean, will a study like this do to change anything? Well, the point of studies like this is not only to open the eyes of dads and partners everywhere that are not really taking an equal sharing of household duties, but also to help change the mindset and open the eyes of employers and policy-makers to take more steps towards making the workplace more family friendly for dads as well as moms. This way dad can also take time off to care for a sick child, attend conferences and ideally be more able to pick up the slack at home. This isn’t the only reason studies like this are vital, however. You see as moms continue to multitask and feel overwhelmed and exhausted and resent their partners for not stepping up and taking some of the load off another set of problems arise.


According to Jackie Frank, editor/ publisher, Marie Claire, said: “By 2020, depression will be the second biggest cause of disability worldwide after heart disease.” Guess what leads to depression? Ongoing stress. And what kind of things can the depression lead to? Alcohol and substance abuse, which has, even more detrimental effects on women than men.


This of course creates a vicious cycle. Depression in mothers has a much more devastating effect on children. Not only can a mother’s mental state literally effect her child’s growth but also the mental state of her children.


This is not about just “being fair” though that’s important. It’s about maintaining sanity in a chaotic world and preventing moms from simply falling apart. Or maybe I’m just slightly overreacting because I’ve got 700 things to do before I pick up the kids from school….


What do you think about this study?


8 Responses to “Moms Multi-task More than Dads, AND They’re Not Happy About It.”

  1. patricia skinner

    I think it is an interesting study. I also feel that the demands on a woman’s time because of the children help us to learn how to multitask faster and adapt quicker. However, I wonder if having control of our surroundings doesnt play into our ability to multitask.

  2. Donna F.

    This is definitely an interesting study. But more and more these days, I am meeting men who are or have been stay-at-home dads, and seem to be taking on the multitasking role, as traditional roles are getting reversed. It is important to remember that one study does not define everyone, even though most women are multitaskers.

  3. Maids Nashville

    I think women are better multitaskers then men, so while I am not happy about this I do not think it is ground breaking research. I know it is nice to wake up our collective responses and remember to help each other out.

  4. lookout

    Even not being a mom this is true for women in general. A lot of people are still stuck in that mindset that a woman should be expected to do the "woman's jobs" cleaning, shopping, cooking dinner. I have always felt this burden, that I am somehow responsible and it has really only gotten worse since getting married.

  5. Cristina G.

    I agree that women are much better multitaskers than men…and my husband will agree as well! I will give him credit though as he is one of the more able men that multitask quite well. I can see how this can lead to problems though. I know I will sometimes feel so overwhelmed by all of the many things that I am trying to do all at once. Sometimes the demands are too much and I have to take a step back.

  6. Jan Warner

    My husband can not multitask at all. If he is watching T.V. that is all he does. I can be on the laptop computer, getting up periodically to help with homework and various other things. I usually just do 3 or 4 things at a time unless I am having a bad day then I get mad at my husband for not helping. I have realized that guys cannot help that they cannot multitask. My husbands can't multitask, my son can't multitask and my dad can't multitask. Most days it is ok and I understand.

  7. Sleepyheadedmom

    I am not surprised…well maybe surprised that the percentage isn’t higher. Lol. Sometimes i feel like I am going bonkers especially around dinner time. Last night I was cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, talking on the phone, tending to my son every 5 minutes….all at the same time…..while the man sat on the couch. Lol. The majority of it though I didn’t want help. I think I cook and clean better so I insist on doing it myself even when I don’t feel like doing it. I wonder how many women are like me and are going batty because they insist on doing so many things. Lol.

  8. Michelle Hagewood

    I completely agree with it. My husband works 2nd shift and anywhere from 10-12 hour shifts so I'm left to get my kids ready for and off to school everyday, pick them up from school since no bus is offered due to us living within 5 blocks of the school, babysitting a little boy for extra income, taking care of a 15 month old, making dinner, helping with homework, making sure the kids are bathed and put to bed on time every night. Then I have me time for about an hour and then I'm off to bed myself just to start all over again the next day. Oh did I mention he works 7 days a week so not only do I do this throughout the week but the weekend too!

    This study just goes to prove that I'm not alone. I have been with my husband for 5 years but just got married in September (also the same time he started his current job) and I already feel the resentment building. I see him, at most, a half hour every day. My 2 oldest don't see him at all during the week, just the weekends, and my youngest only sees him for about a half hour everyday. Since starting this job in September he has had maybe 4 Sundays off and then I'm usually trying to get him to work on his "honey do" list. I also find it hard to let others help out because in my mind I'm the mom and there should be no reason that I can't handle all of it on my own. I don't even know where this comes from because my mom worked outside the home the whole time I was growing up. Maybe it's because I want to offer things for my children that I never had?


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