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Mothers spend 97 hours a week on parenting duties – the equivalent of a six-figure job!

NEW YORK – If moms were asked to create a job posting to, well, be a mom, after the results of a recent survey, it might look like this:

We hire! Work at home! The position requires a strong ability to multi-task. The successful candidate will be able to plan and prepare nutritious meals, while maintaining mountains of clean laundry. She can provide tutoring, nursing, counseling and therapy sessions as needed. Additionally, candidates must be available for various event planning activities, including birthday parties. The position involves keeping up to date with all recommended practices for child development, including but not limited to tantrums and adolescent clumsiness. Sleeping and eating not guaranteed for employees. Applicant must have a valid driver’s license or arrange reliable transportation. Expect to work an average of 97 hours per week for 52 weeks per year. Pay scale: $0 to $0 DOQ. Benefits: Invaluable.

Yes, motherhood involves a list of responsibilities that could go on and on. According to a survey of 2,000 mothers raising school-aged children (ages 5-18), mothers spend nearly 100 hours a week on parenting, even if that means sacrificing sleep and “time for me”. The poll, commissioned by Campbell’s Well Yes! Sipping soups just in time for Mother’s Day found no less than 15 different hats a mom wears, from chef to financial adviser. It’s no wonder the job goes way beyond a 40-hour workweek!

Where do moms reserve the extra time for this huge job? More than half of respondents (53%) said they sacrifice sleep for their children, while 47% regularly forego dates, hobbies and time spent with friends.

Despite the nutritional demands of the job, the survey found that mothers often focus more on their children’s needs than their own. Around 3 in 5 respondents (62%) say they often eat on the go, 53% admit to having difficulty eating nutritious food due to the demands of their schedule.

“It’s amazing how many jobs moms juggle in their daily lives, so it’s no surprise that their personal nutrition isn’t their top priority,” says Diego Palmieri, Marketing Director, Food & Beverage at Campbell Soup Company, in a statement. “Making the time to eat nutritious food is something we all know is important, but for active parents – mums in particular – it can feel impossible.”

While mothers tend to ignore their own needs, the survey found that they always make sure children eat healthy foods. The mothers themselves only eat balanced meals 39% of the time, compared to 52% of the time for their children. Moms also only manage to eat three meals a day 44% of the time; for children, it’s 68 percent. And these women admit to consuming the recommended daily number of fruits and vegetables 34% of the time, while ensuring that their children meet this goal 42% of the time.

Where does the time go? On a typical day, mothers say they spend 46 minutes preparing their children’s meals, 44 minutes doing their laundry, and 29 minutes creating artwork and drawings with the children. Add to that the time spent as a driver, cheerleader, tutor, and therapist, and it doesn’t take long to rack up many more hours than a full-time job.

The researchers found that such a job would bring in a handsome six-figure salary: a whopping $100,460 a year if mothers were paid for their work as parents. And this despite the fact that 70% of the mothers surveyed still work full-time or part-time.

After the immeasurable amount of selflessness exhibited by the typical mother, the survey revealed that she has less than an hour a day of “me time” left. For 88% of mothers surveyed, this time is often stolen from hours of sleep, whether it’s getting up early, going to bed late or both.

“With the amount of time mothers spend caring for their children, it’s no surprise that they spend time on themselves,” says Palmieri.

And yet, despite the number of sacrifices they make, more than two-thirds (69%) of mothers say they want to spend even more time caring for their children.

But it’s an impossible job that mothers somehow remove. After all, how many jobs can claim to have fringe benefits like hugs, cuddles, and the feeling of satisfaction that comes from raising a healthy, happy human being?

The survey was conducted by market research firm OnePoll in March 2019.

This article was first published on May 12, 2019.

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