Messy families working tired mothers to the bone

Herald Sun (Aust) July 23, 2008

AUSTRALIAN women are being worked to the bone by their messy families, a study has revealed. Almost half the women surveyed spent more than eight hours a week tidying up after others, while 30 per cent said picking up after the husband and kids took them more than 12 hours a week. Only a fifth of the 738 women in an online survey said they devoted three hours or less to picking up after their loved ones. The survey, in Home Beautiful magazine, echoes US findings that suggest getting married means more work for women. According to the University of Michigan, married men create an extra seven hours’ housework a week for their wives, while decreasing their own loads by an hour – and that is before children arrive. The findings – from a survey that has run since 1968 – also showed that although married and single women were doing less housework than their 1975 counterparts, and married men were doing more, domestic chores were still women’s domain.

The Australian Family Association said it was no surprise Aussie women were being worked to the bone – a fact not acknowledged by the Government. Victorian association president Angela Conway said women were picking up the slack because husbands were working longer hours and teenagers were stressed with homework and part-time jobs. “Our public policy fails to acknowledge the huge workload that goes into running a household and keeping the family happy,” said Ms Conway. “Married men are working more than 40 hours a week, time pressures are increasing, our social life is diminishing and we are less connected to our community and family than we have ever been.,21985,24062659-662,00.html