British Survey: Working Moms have 90 Daily Minutes of Free Time

Me In Timephoto © 2009 Vincent van der Pas | more info (via: Wylio)

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Over the past few days I have been feeling breathless. I think this borderline hyperventilation might be due to my perpetual motion machine life, and the fact that it’s finally starting to get to me.

And then I read the results of a recent survey of 3000 working British moms, which breaks down the average day of a working mom as follows:

(reprinted from the Motherlode Blog):
Get up 6:42am
Get ready (shower, dress, coffee) 55 minutes
Get children ready 47 minutes
Commute to work 52 minutes
Working day 7 hours
Pick children up 33 minutes
Makes / eat dinner 46 minutes
Children’s play and bedtime 1 hour 9 minutes
Household chores 1 hour 13 minutes
Work from home 1 hour 12 minutes
Go to bed 10:45pm
Spare time = 1 hour 30 minutes a day

What is it that parents miss most? Here’s what they told pollsters:

1. Spend more time with the children – 48 per cent
2. Read books – 37 per cent
3. Do more exercise – 34 per cent
4. Put feet up in front of the TV – 32 per cent
5. A lie in – 31 per cent
6. Go to the pub – 30 per cent
7. Meet friends – 25 per cent
8. Take a walk in the park with their partner – 22 per cent
9. Go to the cinema – 19 per cent

My first thought after reading this was that I really don’t get how these moms do it. I work only three hours a day, not seven, and I am the one borderline hyperventilating as I type these words.

What do you think of the results of this survey? Do you think the 90 minutes spare time a day sounds realistic? What does your daily schedule look like and what do you miss most from you BC (Before Children) days? I’ll be interested to hear your comments on this…

Don’t forget to read author Liza Mundy’s wonderful response to this poll entitled “The Strands of Time”…

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  1. The ending made me smile. And feel hopeful. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Years ago my husband bought me one of those foot spa machines. You put warm water, aromatic salts and your feet in it and just enjoy. I guess you’re supposed to use it when you are just sitting in front of the TV, or reading or whatever. How many times do you think I’ve used it? Once when I got it, once when there was a snow day, and the whole family used it to defrost our toes after a snow tiyul in the neighborhood. I am never sitting mindlessly…I never have that time….Boy do I identify with your posting!!!!


    that’s so funny, my husband also once got me one of those foot spas. I used it once, and then it gathered dust, and then we finally gave it away one erev pesach.

  4. My best friend bought me a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle for my birthday one year after I commented to her, that sitting down to work on a puzzle seems like the ultimate in luxury and I would finally feel I could relax when I could sit down one evening and really and truly honestly have nothing better to do than work on the puzzle and enjoy it and not feel guilty. Needless to say, it’s still on a top shelf in my basement wrapped in cellophane.

  5. Reading this made me -for the first time- and it will probably not last- feel fulfilled that I made Aliya and that my kids go to school till 1:20pm and not 4pm….this is being said after tryng to have them at a tzaharon- afternoon extended day at their nursery schools till 4pm so that I could get things done and recooperate after giving birth to number 5- I ended up taking them out 6 weeks later because they were having mixed feelings about it and had trouble adjusting…I just feel like after seeing the schedule on paper or on screen- of this lady in England- I am SO greatful that I HAVE to have quality time with my kids…now all I have to do is Realize that this is quality time, and after reading this last week, I have stopped myself during the day on different occasions and i joined my kids during their pretend play or sat and read them 4 stories at once – this isnt easy -bebcause there is SO much to do in so little time…but this small investment of spontanious mothering really buys me more quality getting the house together” time…so its weird but its working aand I had to share it with everyone…

  6. impossible for me

    nutritious supper takes 1 hr prep
    plus 1 hr family time eating it
    plus 1/2 hr cleanup- with kids help
    46 minutes?

    no homework in england?

    how many kids are they referring to?

    how many hours cleaning help?

    how much time spent shmoozing w/ older kids about their day?

    my job has alot more hw as well

    spare time?!

    we carve it into shabbos, here and there – not as many hrs per week as they imagine

    (it took me at least a week to open this email)


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