Being a mum is a full-time job. We have no sick days, no annual leave and we work long hours, in fact, almost all day. I’m sure you’ve heard this many times. But just when you thought that being a mum is a full-time job, research has proven otherwise!
New research suggests that being a mum is almost like having two-and-a-half full-time jobs!
What research shows about being a mum
The latest American study shows that on average, being a mum means that you work a whopping 98 hours a week. Yes, you read that right – 98 hours. That’s more than twice of an average 40 hr work week! This research is based on the schedules of 2000 working mums with children between the ages of 5 and 12.
So typically, mums start their ‘work’ day at 6.23am and end at 8.31pm. In between this mayhem, they have an average of 1 hour and 7 minutes of ‘me time’ that are typically spent in the shower in an attempt to shower unaccompanied.
Even during free time and weekends, mums pack themselves with things to do and errands to run.
40% of mums surveyed claimed that their lives feel like a series of never-ending tasks and 70% of them said they feel pressured to provide their children with a healthy and nutritious diet.
Casey Lewis, Health and Nutrition Lead at Welch’s (the juice company that commissioned the survey) said that the results of the survey make an important point about just how demanding the role of a mum is and how being a mum means that you face a non-stop barrage of tasks to attend to.
Being a mum in Singapore
Now, these statistics are based on American mums. Let’s look at what being a mum is like in Singapore. We spoke to some mums and this is what their day typically looks like.
Being a mum in Singapore is no easy task! | Image source: iStock
1. Janet Ng, 32, stay-at-home mum of 4 kids
My day typically begins at 5.30 in the morning. I wake up to prepare breakfast and get the kids ready in time for school. I finish getting them all to school by around 830. Then I get to breathe for a bit and get around to cooking lunch or on good days, meeting some friends for brunch. Mums need their sanity too!
I pick my first child up from primary school at around 130pm and then the rest by about 3 or 4pm. On most afternoons I have to take them to their enrichment lessons, then get them home, have dinner, do some revision and get them to bed.
That’s typically 16 hours a day! And often after they get to bed I still have to get some things done and only go to bed much later. If I get 5 good hours of sleep, it’s a luxury!
Now that works out to 80 hours without even including the weekends!
2. Alisha, working mum of 3 kids
I don’t even know when my day begins or ends because the lines are so blurred. They never seem to end, they just go by at such an incredible pace that the end of the day merely feels like a pocket of time to rest.
I wake up at around 515 or 530 in the morning to express milk for my baby. Then I get breakfast ready and start getting my older two children ready for school. I send them to school then get to the office by 9. During my lunch hour, I rush to pick them up and send them home, then I return to work and eventually get home around 6 or 7 in the evening.
This mum gets so tired that she naps in her car at times. | Image source: iStock
On some afternoons I choose to leave the office early and I bring work home. I only get around to it later at night because I take the kids to classes in the afternoon.
I get their dinner, studying, bedtime reading and all done and have them in bed. The younger child sleeps by 10, and the baby doesn’t have a fixed time. I work till about 12 or 1am before I hit the sack. I wake up at night to feed my baby, so I really don’t know when my day actually ends. Being a mum is crazy. It’s like working non-stop!
How to cope?
Well, I’m sure you can relate to what these mums go through. Even if your schedules aren’t as crazy, your to-do list is probably just at crazy. And the worst part about being a mum is that you never quite rest your mind.
You sit down to watch a movie with your hubby and while he’s all relaxed and concentrating on the movie, with his arm around you, your mind is anywhere but there. You’re thinking of the Mt. Everest pile of laundry, the cereal that is running out, the cheque you need to write for school fees, that report that your boss has been hounding you for… you know what I mean.
So if being a mum is this tough, then just how do you cope? Here are some coping mechanisms that are tried and tested by mums out there.
- Wine. Yes, wine, lots of it. Mums swear that it helps to keep them same. One mum shared, “It’s not so much the wine as it is that small bit of time that you set aside to not do anything, just sip on wine and have a little bit of breathing space. We all need that.”
Mums need wine. A lot of it. | Image source: iStock
- Coffee. Wine may not be for everyone but being a mum mostly means that you pretty much survive on a caffeine fix. Many mums claim that they cannot get the engine started in the morning without this!
- Grandparents. Yes, the dear old folks, what would we possibly do without them? Whether it’s to lend an extra hand around the house and the kids or to keep a watch over the helper, grandparents are the best life-savers for moms!
- The mom face or angry voice. Yes, this one is important. We all need to establish a certain ‘fear’. When the kids see that face they must know better than to push any more buttons.
- Screen time. I know screen time is bad and all that but you know what, I’m stuck at home with 3 monsters. Thank you, Disney Junior/Netflix, I couldn’t have done it without you. Nothing left to explain there.
Well, mums, you know it all too well, just what it’s like being a mum. It’s tough, it’s insane, it’s almost impossible but somehow we get by because mums are amazing!
Source: Mummy Pages