Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Doing it all

I was listening to NPR this morning and heard a story about how working moms today are spending the same amount of time with their kids that stay-at-home moms did in the 1970s. How is that possible? Two main reasons: One, moms in the 1970s were more comfortable with letting their kids play independently; they could run down the street, entertain themselves in the backyard or head to the playground without direct parental supervision. Also, these 1970s moms were doing a lot more cooking and cleaning than working moms are doing today. We've outsourced dusting and mopping to cleaning services and cut back on the time spent preparing meals with take-out, convenience foods and simpler dinners.

The good news: today's working mothers are getting in the same amount of quality time they enjoyed from their moms (about 11 hours a week). The bad news: we're doing it by sacrificing our own sleep and leisure time. And we're probably eating way too much fast food. But that's a different story.