The Modern Family: The truth about who does what around the house. Mumsnet Survey

Cartoon of lots of differnt household chores surrounding a clock

Mumsnet asked 1000 working mothers who does what chores around the home. Has the evolution of the modern family really changed the stereotypes of the woman cooks and cleans, whereas man tackles the DIY? The answer? Women are still coming home to an evening of chores despite a century of social adaptation. We’ve shared some¬†the results at this foot of this blog.

So … what if partners did take on more responsibility? Women feel they’d have more time to pursue other interests. 72% would spend more time enjoying family life or¬†would use the time to pursue other interests. 54% would do more around the house/garden and 75% think they’d have more time for each other and feel more appreciated. Yet, despite these benefits 66% said they didn’t want their partner to do more around the house, despite the unequal distribution of responsibilities! Either because they‚Äôre comfortable with the current balance, because it suits them to do the chores themselves, or because they believe that their partner would not perform them to the requisite standard. Source: Mumsnet¬†Survey. Mumsnet guest blogger, Ingrid Kirkegaard, responded to the survey results disagreeing with the overall consensus that women should be comfortable doing more around the house.

Parents and children having fun cooking together
Parents and children having fun cooking together

Here is her closing statement: ‚ÄúIt’s fascinating to me that 66%¬†of the women Mumsnet asked about chores said they didn’t want their partner to do more around the house, despite the unequal distribution of responsibilities, either because they‚Äôre comfortable with the current balance, or because it suits them to do the chores themselves, or because they believe that their partner would not perform them to the ‘requisite standard’. Could it be the case that we know we’re getting a rough deal, but that the idea that women are ‚Äėbetter suited‚Äô than men to domestic drudgery is still so pervasive that we’d rather not upset the status quo, salving ourselves with: ‚Äėthey‚Äôd do a rubbish job, anyway‚Äô? What’s the solution? Chores need to get done, after all. After years of trying to do it all, I’ve learnt that sharing is crucial. I’ve learnt that chores are in large part self-imposed, turned into an instrument of competition and made much worse by contemporary expectations from schools about ‚Äėparental engagement‚Äô. I’ve also learnt that chores are as demeaning for women as they are for men, and that a bit of hard work doesn’t hurt our children either. After all, they’re part of the team too‚ÄĚ.

So, how could My Life Pack¬ģ help you in your¬†life?

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Sample pages from My Life Pack

Some results from the Mumsnet survey¬†“Chores: the truth about who does what in your household”

The survey reported that women undertake an average of 10 hours of chores a week Рtwice as many as men. Cleaning, cooking and washing mostly falls to mothers. For example:

  • 71% of women are responsible for the weekly clean
  • 77% are responsible for washing

When it comes to household admin, women are doing the lion’s share.

  • 50% of working mums are responsible for managing the family budget (15% of dads; 35% share)
  • 77% are responsible for buying family birthday presents

Mothers do most of the organising for children

  • 82% of working mums are responsible for arranging childcare and/or school applications
  • 88% manage routine health appointments (GP, optician, dentist etc.)
  • 91% are responsible for organising playdates¬†85% are responsible for organising birthday parties
  • 80% are the first person the school calls if there’s a problem; even when both parents work.
  • Men continue to take responsibility for ‘traditionally male’ tasks, including taking the bins out and DIY
  • In 59% of households fathers are responsible for putting the bins out ¬†(compared with 19% of households where the job falls to mothers and 23% where responsibility is shared)
  • 69% of households fathers are responsible for DIY (mums in 11%; 20% share)
  • 41% of households see fathers¬†responsible for pest control¬†(mums in 33%; 25% share)

However, childcare activities are more likely to be shared equally

  • 62% of parents both attend parent‚Äôs evenings
  • 57% attend school plays
  • 52% read bedtime stories

More stats from the survey can be found on Mumsnet here.

Who does what in your household?
We would be interested to read your thoughts and comments on these findings so do share any comments below.