Moms more likely to do more work during pandemic, study finds

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — June 1st marks the United Nation’s Global Day of parents, a day to recognize parental figures for the vital role they play into the development of young minds.

During this unique and difficult time parents have been stepping up to teach their children from home, but according to a new study moms have been bearing the most weight.

The study, published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and UCL Institute for Education studied 3,500 families with two opposite-gender parents.

The study found that moms are more likely leave work to take care of their children and for those who are juggling both a job and taking care of the kids at home the study found that almost half of that time is being spent dealing with interruptions.

“Mothers in these households are doing paid work during an average of five hours a day in addition to doing the same amount of domestic work as their partner,” Research Economist Lucy Kraftman said. “The vast increase in the amount of childcare that mothers are doing under lockdown, which many are juggling alongside paid work, is likely to put a strain on their well-being.”

Mom’s in the Capital Region weighed in on the challenges of being both a parent and a professional during the pandemic. They said it all comes down to creating a plan.

While the study found that moms are bearing the most weight, dads also stepped up by conducting chores around the house and cutting down their work hours.

The report also finds that:

  • Mothers are 23% more likely than fathers to have lost their jobs (temporarily or permanently) during the current crisis. Of those who were in paid work prior to the lockdown, mothers are 47% more likely than fathers to have permanently lost their job or quit, and they are 14% more likely to have been furloughed. In all, among those working in February 2020, mothers are now 9 percentage points less likely to still be in paid work than fathers.
  • Mothers who are still doing paid work have reduced their paid working hours substantially and by more than fathers. Prior to the crisis, working mothers did paid work in 6.3 hours of a weekday on average; this has fallen by over one-fifth to 4.9 hours. Working fathers’ hours have also fallen, but by proportionally less, from 8.6 hours before the crisis to 7.2 hours now. 
  • Mothers are also far more likely to be interrupted during paid working hours than fathers. Almost half (47%) of mothers’ hours spent doing paid work are split between that and other activities such as childcare, compared with under one-third (30%) of fathers’ paid working hours. Where focused work time is important for performance, gender differences in interruptions and multitasking risk further increasing the gender wage gap among parents.
  • In families where the father has lost his job while the mother kept hers, men and women still split housework and childcare responsibilities fairly equally. In all other types of households, mothers spend substantially more time on domestic responsibilities. 

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