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22nd Jan 2019

The burden of running a home is ‘damaging’ for mums’ mental health

Women reckon that they still do more at home than men.

Anna O'Rourke

The burden of running a home is 'damaging' for women's mental health

In news that you probably already knew…

Women who do the lion’s share of the work at home are more likely to feel unsatisfied in life, according to a new study.

Researchers have found that despite working outside the home more than ever, mums continue to do most of the work at home – and it’s having an impact on their mental wellbeing.

The study looked at 393 mums who were married or in a committed relationship.

Even though 65 per cent of the women had jobs outside the home, the study found that almost 90 per cent of participants were responsible for organising the family schedule.

Seven in ten said they were responsible for maintaining standards and assigning chores while two thirds said that they were the ones who attended to their kids’ emotional needs.

The burden of running a home is 'damaging' for women's mental health

Tellingly, the women who said they were mostly in charge of the household were more likely to be overwhelmed and exhausted.

They were also less satisfied with their lives and their relationships.

“Even though women may be physically doing fewer loads of laundry, they continue to hold the responsibility for making sure the detergent does not run out, all the dirty clothes make it into the wash and that there are always clean towels available,” first author Lucia Ciciolla of Arizona State University told ASU Now.

“Women are beginning to recognize they still hold the mental burden of the household even if others share in the physical work, and that this mental burden can take a toll.”

“There’s no question that constant juggling and multi-tasking at home negatively affects mental health,” added report author Professor Suniya Luthar.

“We need to attend to the well-being of moms if we want children to do well, and also for their own sakes.”