Multitasking – More Stressful For Moms Than for Dads

By Emily Murray

Since the beginning of civilization, there have been so called “male roles,” and “female roles.” Traditionally men were expected to provide and women to nurture. Of course throughout the years, more and more of these tasks began to fall somewhere in between and finally today, there is less segregation. But while men and women are starting to share many responsibilities, the way in which they feel about these things is somewhat different. When it come to multitasking in the home, women are taking on more tasks than their partners…and consequently, between work and home life, women are really starting the feel the stress.

The evidence of this was recently released in the December issue of the American Sociological Review.

The Findings
In work situations it appears that both moms and dads report multitasking most frequently T the office (more than at home), both genders seem to equally dislike doing this. When it comes to multitasking in the home however, the study found that women do this more than men when juggling household chores and they report more stress from this than men. The researchers collected data from 368 mothers and 241 fathers in the “dual-earner, middle- to upper-middle-class families” in 1999 and 2000.

On overage, the women in the study reported taking part in an average of nearly48 hours multitasking each week while the fathers reported roughly 39 hours. To break this down further, the mothers of the family reported that housework accounts for 53% of their housework multitasking while fathers said it was about 42%.

When looked at more closely, women are more commonly taking part in the “drudge work,” meaning the routine things which need to be done frequently and multitasking while doing these chores can be taxing to their mental health.

As pointed out in a recent TIME article on the subject, there has been a lot of emphasis put on the belief that the current economy and the need to provide have made the male population feel the pressure more than women. This new study however proves that woman are under a tremendous amount of stress as well. Not only are they also working to provide for their families, but then they must come home and multitask some more. It appears the stress, unfortunately, is pretty evenly distributed.

So why are women continuing to multitask if they report how much it stresses them out? Many women feel like they have so many chores to do that the only way to make a dent in them is to do many at once. Perhaps getting a helping hand more often around the house can help to ease the burden.