Dads Might Be Taking Significantly More 'Me Time' Than Moms, Survey Finds
A new survey has found that dads might be taking a lot more time for themselves than moms in heterosexual households.
Conducted by online retailer Zulily, the survey found that 68 percent of moms only take one to five hours per week of "me time" while, according to Parents, results showed that dads take six hours or more.
Parents also noted that an earlier study from Zulily found that moms were reporting 31 percent less time to themselves since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Often, moms carry the mental load of doing the 'extra' tasks at work and at home," Lindsay C. Malloy, Ph.D., told Parents. "Maybe others rely on you because you always say 'yes,' and now might be a good time to try to change this pattern by putting your foot down."
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Dr. Malloy, an associate professor of psychology at Ontario Tech University and co-founder of the nonprofit Pandemic Parenting, added in her comments to Parents that "mom guilt" is an "all-too-real" challenge, especially during the holiday season.
"As a mother of two with a full-time research and teaching job, I can certainly relate," she said. "It's often hard for me to remember that taking care of myself is not selfish and, in fact, is a really important part of making sure I can 'show up' for my family."
Speaking of the holidays, Zulily Director of Marketing Megan Marshall says in the release that their recent campaign spotlighting the importance of Mrs. Claus was about acknowledging how "she's running the show."
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"When we started thinking about this underappreciation of Mrs. Claus, we realized that she is not just a character or sidekick — she's running the show, holding things together and emblematic of the strength and resiliency of women everywhere," Marshall said. "Just like Mrs. Claus, moms deserve more recognition for everything they do for their families during the holidays and every day, this year especially."
Dr. Malloy advises both moms and dads who are navigating the world of parenting amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis to give themselves some grace, in "focus(ing) on ways that you are helping your children feel loved and secure in your family" and "let(ting) go of the guilt related to more trivial things like screen time."
She also encourages parents to not be afraid to ask for help from "co-workers, friends, neighbors and partners," who "all are likely willing to help take care of what needs to be done—and in some cases, they should share that responsibility."
"By sharing the burden of not just completing the tasks, but also thinking about what needs to be done and managing it all, you can hopefully feel less responsible — and guilty — for remembering that permission slip, doctor's appointment, holiday gift, etc.," Dr. Malloy tells Parents. "Moms too often bear most of the 'cognitive load' for their families."