We all know being a mum is a demanding and tiring job, but now there is a report to prove it. Time spent caring for others jumps from an average of two hours to a whopping 51 hours per week for women when they first become mothers, according to analysis from The Australian Institute of Family Studies.
And here’s another shocker – or maybe not – the data shows when women become mums they also increase the time spent doing housework such as cooking, cleaning and washing from an average of 16 hours to 25 hours per week.
The report drew on 14 years of data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics Study, which surveyed 9,835 Australian households.
But it did not say if all this extra washing and scrubbing results in cleaner houses.
Before motherhood women do an average of 33 hours paid work a week, compared to just nine after giving birth.
The report also found as children grow, mums slowly wind back their “caring responsibilities” to an average of 26 hours a week when their youngest child starts school.
But even when the last child leaves the nest, mums still put in an average of five hours into caring for their children each week.
As for housework, the report points out, there is no winding back there.
“Not surprisingly, many mothers report feeling tired,” the report says, with 40 per cent of women with pre-schoolers indicating they “often feel tired, worn out or exhausted from meeting the needs of their children”.
So if you felt an ounce of guilt putting your feet up and enjoying your burnt toast and lukewarm cuppa on Sunday, maybe cut yourself some slack.