Over half of working mums say they do between 80 and 100% of childcare and household tasks, according to a Workingmums.co.uk poll.
The poll of 330 women shows 52% say they do 80-100% of tasks. Some 20% do all tasks because they are single parents. Only 6% share tasks equally, with just 2% saying they do less than 50% of housework and childcare. Some 20% do 50-80% of tasks.
One woman said: “I have always done most of it as I like it done to my standards.”
But for most there was a feeling that they were doing most of the work and often getting very little appreciation in return. One woman said: “I have been doing everything, including tidying up after my husband, for many years now. I have tried to work on occasion but really not been able to cope with working and coming home to have to do everything else as well. I have been lucky in that I have been there for my children, that is what I wanted, but now as well as not doing anything my husband complains about the standard of the housework and the fact that I am not working.”
Many were dissatisfied with the situation. One woman said: “Even though I work full time, term time – my husband thinks my job is also running the house, bringing up the children etc. My job is intellectually limiting compared to what I used to do pre kids and I earn little – the price for being at home in school holidays – but the family can’t survive without my money and I want to be there for my children. Sadly, there are no decent homeworking jobs that pay a wage in my area (all commission only).”
Another stated: “The nature of my husband’s work means he is not around very much, so I have to do everything. I’m at a stage now where I find it tiresome so I am looking to return to work part-time as I need something else in my life. I need the mental stimulation and rebuilding of my professional confidence.”
Some women felt that the reason women did so much of the domestic work was that men found it more difficult to work flexibly. One said that the fact that her employer allows her to work flexibly and her partner runs his own business means that they can share tasks more or less equally. She says: “We both work – I do four days and he runs his own business full time. I believe that if he didn’t have such flexibility working for himself and my employer didn’t let me reduce my hours to 30 per week and work from home one day a week it would have been extremely hard. At the moment it’s working well. Employers need to be more flexible with BOTH dads and mums.”