Mothers have just 26 minutes to themselves each day
Published 08/03/2011 | 09:52
Over half of mothers believe that they have less time to themselves compared with their own mothers, according to a UK survey.
Despite a generation enjoying unparalleled advances in technology, the average mother has just 26 minutes to herself each day, the report suggested.
Many mothers told the researchers that they found the pressure to be a "perfect parent", while also juggling a career, meant they were left with precious little time to relax or carry out activities solely for themselves.
The survey of 1,000 mothers was undertaken for Proctor and Gamble, the household products company, jointly with the Social Issues Research Centre (SIRC). It found that 56pc of mothers felt they had either the same amount of free time as their own mothers or even less. On average, today’s mothers had only 26 minutes per day of "me time".
The time created by labour-saving products is now largely spent in paid employment outside of the home, which has gone from 17pc of mothers in the 1950s to 65pc in 2001. And the amount of time devoted specifically to "active" childcare has also increased substantially – more than cancelling out any time saved by these products, the report suggested.
More mothers thought that they now spent greater amount of time with their children compared with their own mothers, with 48pc saying they spent more time, and just 19pc saying they spent less time.
The survey found that technology, however, especially the internet was a boon at allowing mothers to keep in touch. Over two thirds of mothers said they used social networks such as Mumsnet or Facebook to keep in touch with fellow parents.
Kate Fox, co-Director of SIRC, said: “With the increasing pressure on mothers to work a 'double shift' – to be the perfect mother as well as a wage-earner – support networks are more important than ever. And mothers are using every means of communication available to build the strong communities and networks of family and friends that they need.”