Working lives

The average mother works five-and-a-half hours a day at a paid job but also spends 45 minutes preparing meals and 31 minutes shopping for groceries.

Daily household chores account for 42 minutes and running errands for the family takes another 23 minutes.

The school run takes 36 minutes and ferrying children to sports clubs, friends houses and after-school activities accounts for another 22 minutes.

A further two hours and 47 minutes is spent playing with young children to keep them entertained.

But the long working day means that only two hours and 14 minutes is left for mothers to have some time to themselves.

OK, let\’s assume that this is true (it\’s not actually all that far out from real surveys  rather than this one done by a soap manufacturer).

There\’s actually two things we are interested in. This amount of leisure time. Is it rising or falling? What are the comparable numbers for men?

Well, as those real surveys done over time show, leisure hours are increasing, as they have been for at least a century.

Secondly, using slightly different measures of "work", the ONS has found that men and women work, to within a few minutes a day (and it is a few, like 10 or 15), the same number of hours on average.

So while things might not be perfect they\’re better than they were and still getting better. They\’re also gender equal.


But 16 per cent of women have found it so hard to get everything done, they have even ended up paying someone to do their chores for them.

Giggle. You mean some people have cleaners? My, what a surprise!

4 thoughts on “Working lives”

  1. “The average mother…spends 45 minutes preparing meals…”

    It takes that long to heat the kettle for the Pot Noodle, or fry off the Turkey Twizzlers and oven chips…?

  2. And another thing…

    Have they totted up the hours assuming the women only do one thing at once?

    Even though I’m a bloke I don’t put my tea in the oven and then stand idle for the time it takes to cook.

    You can do errands for the family while shopping for grub. You can do some cleaning as your meals cook.

    I’m assuming there are also some answers not printed as they appear to total 13 hours and 50 minutes of ‘work’. If you remove the “two hours and 14 minutes … left for mothers to have some time to themselves” as that clearly isn’t work it’s only 11 hours and 36 minutes.

  3. This just seems to tell us that raising children involves work:

    “A further two hours and 47 minutes is spent playing with young children to keep them entertained.”

    What? You mean I’m meant to interact with them? Why do I pay my TV licence?

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