Give your ‘maxed out Mum’ some love this Mother’s Day

8 May 2017

New research shows a mother’s work is never done.

The survey of 1,500 parents by lender ME showed that while mothers are increasingly joining the workforce, in the majority of cases they’re continuing to run the household.

The research shows that working mums are spending close to 20% more time on domestic duties than working dads:

  • Full-time working mums spend 42 hours per week doing domestic duties such as childcare, cooking, cleaning compared to 35 hours among full-time working dads.

  • Part-time and casual working mums spend 58 hours per week doing household duties, compared to 46 hours among part-time and casual working dads.

  • Around 77% of full-time working mothers found ‘work/life balance challenging’ compared to 69% of full-time working dads, while 76% said ‘they didn’t spend enough time with their family’, compared to 63% of dads.

  • Mums undervalue their contribution

Additionally, ME’s survey asked mums to value themselves with a hypothetical salary for all the work they do.

Mothers on average would pay themselves about $45,000, while stay-at-home mums would pay themselves about $48,000, both below the average wage of about $61,000.

Mums running the household

The research also found that mums do a majority of the tasks on their own:

  • 50% of mums look after children during 9-5 hours on their own, compared to only 18% of fathers./p>

  • 81% of mums do the grocery shopping while 77% do the cooking for their family, compared to 37% and 29% of fathers respectively.

  • 85% of mums do the laundry and 79% do the cleaning without any help, compared to 28% and 26% of fathers respectively.

  • Mums are also the main taxi drivers in the family, with 66% taking responsibility for transporting their kids compared to 29% of fathers.

  • 65% of mothers say they also manage the household budget on their own − increasing to 75% among working mothers.

  • ME money expert Pat Nolan said ME conducted the research because of its long-term interest in the household economy – a key factor impacting an individual’s ability to get ahead.

    “Mums are really doing it all. They’re working, contributing to the household income, managing the purse strings, as well as doing a majority of the domestic duties and childcare - no wonder they’re feeling maxed out,” said Nolan.

    “Yet despite juggling all their duties, Aussie mums would still only pay themselves a hypothetical wage below what the average Australian is being paid. It’s a testament to the effort mums do for their family without expecting a thing in return.

    “Mums really are at the heart of the household and deserve some appreciation this Mother’s Day.”


    Editor notes:

    ME’s online survey was completed in April 2017 by 1,500 parents across Australia.