A new survey has revealed that SA moms are stretched thin, take very little time for themselves, and wish they had more time for everyone else. The ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’ survey recently conducted by 1st for Women Insurance on the Mamahood group on Facebook showed how South African mothers are spending their time, and revealed what they wished they could be doing instead. The survey was answered by 346 women.
“They were asked how much time they spent at work, and the largest proportion (28%) said that they worked a fairly regular six- to eight-hour day. 21% work a regular working week with some overtime, while a troubling 5% work more than 50 hours a week,” says Robyn Farrell, executive head of 1st for Women Insurance.
They were then asked how much time they spend with their partners and children, and the results turned up some surprising numbers. “The majority (30%) said that they spend 10 to 20 hours with their children, with 24% saying that their children take up less than ten hours of their week. Fortunately, only 1% said that they didn’t have any time to spend with their children at all,” says Farrell.
On the other hand, 13% said that they had no time for their partners, while over half said that they spend less than 10 hours together with their partners every week.
The survey then asked how women divided their time between friends and family, health and fitness, cooking, cleaning and maintaining their homes, travelling to and from work, and on leisure activities. The things that most women said they had the least time for were health and fitness (52%), leisure activities (38%) and friends and family (16%).
They did however make time for housework – 43% of women spend between three and six hours on housework every week.
“At a glance, these statistics show that women have less time to spend on leisure and fitness, and spend more time working and doing housework than just about anything else. What is clear is that there isn’t a lot of room for ‘me time’ in the average woman’s schedule. However, if there were, the thing that most women (26%) love doing is being pampered at a spa, but that’s followed closely by the number of women (23%) who do not usually take any ‘me time’ at all,” says Farrell.
Unsurprising, then, that when they were asked what they wished they could do more of, “looking after myself” and “spending time with my children or family, husband or children” were the comments that came up most frequently. “And when we asked them what they most wanted, many women answered “to be given a break”, “to have more time”, and “to be appreciated,” says Farrell.
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