Daily time use among married mothers

May 08, 2015

On an average day during the 2009–2013 period, married mothers working full time who had children under age 6 spent 2.1 hours caring for and helping household members. Those working part time spent an average of 2.6 hours each day on these activities, and those not employed spent 3.3 hours. Married mothers working full time whose youngest child was ages 6 to 17 spent 0.8 hours helping other household members, less than half the time spent by those with children under age 6.

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Show data for parents with own children, youngest under age 6
Show data for parents with own
children, ages 6-17, none younger
Time spent in primary activities by married mothers and fathers with own household children, average for the combined years 2009–2013
Activity Average hours per day spent in primary activities (1)
Married mothers Married fathers (2)
Employed full time Employed part time Not employed Employed full time Not employed

Own household children under 18

         

Total, all activities

24.0 24.0 24.0 24.0 24.0

Personal care activities

9.0 9.2 9.6 8.7 9.5

Household activities

1.9 2.7 3.5 1.2 2.3

Purchasing goods and services

0.5 0.6 0.7 0.3 0.5

Caring for and helping household members

1.3 1.8 2.5 0.9 1.6

Working and work-related activities (3)

5.3 2.8 0.1 6.1 0.5

Leisure and sports

2.9 3.4 4.1 3.6 6.2

Travel

1.4 1.4 1.1 1.4 1.2

Other activities, not elsewhere classified

1.7 2.1 2.4 1.8 2.3

Own household children, youngest under 6

         

Total, all activities

24.0 24.0 24.0 24.0 24.0

Personal care activities

9.0 9.1 9.6 8.6 9.3

Household activities

1.7 2.4 3.3 1.1 2.0

Purchasing goods and services

0.5 0.6 0.6 0.4 0.6

Caring for and helping household members

2.1 2.6 3.3 1.3 2.4

Working and work-related activities (3)

5.2 2.7 0.1 6.0 0.6

Leisure and sports

2.7 3.2 3.8 3.5 5.7

Travel

1.3 1.3 1.1 1.4 1.1

Other activities, not elsewhere classified

1.7 2.0 2.2 1.8 2.4

Own household children 6-17, none younger

         

Total, all activities

24.0 24.0 24.0 24.0 24.0

Personal care activities

9.0 9.3 9.6 8.7 9.7

Household activities

2.0 2.9 3.8 1.3 2.6

Purchasing goods and services

0.5 0.7 0.7 0.3 0.4

Caring for and helping household members

0.8 1.1 1.5 0.5 1.0

Working and work-related activities (3)

5.4 2.8 0.1 6.1 0.5

Leisure and sports

3.1 3.5 4.5 3.8 6.5

Travel

1.4 1.5 1.3 1.5 1.2

Other activities, not elsewhere classified

1.8 2.2 2.6 1.8 2.2
Footnotes:

(1) A primary activity refers to an individual's main activity. Other activities done simultaneously are not included.

(2) Estimates for part-time workers are not shown because it is uncommon for fathers of household children to work part time.

(3) Estimates include a small amount of work time done by people who do not meet the ATUS definition of employed.

Over the 2009–2013 period, married mothers working full time who had children under age 6 spent, on average, 1.7 hours per day engaged in household activities such as housework and food preparation and cleanup. Those not employed spent 3.3 hours on these activities. Married mothers working full time whose youngest child was ages 6 to 17 spent an average of 2.0 hours on household work, more than that spent by those with children under age 6.

Married mothers employed full time spent less time engaged in leisure and sports on an average day during the 2009–2013 period than married fathers employed full time. Married mothers who were not employed also spent less time engaged in leisure and sports than married fathers who were not employed. These activities include socializing and communicating, watching television, and participating in sports, exercise, and recreation.

These data are from the American Time Use Survey. For more information, see "American Time Use Survey — 2013 Results" (HTML) (PDF). Data refer to people age 15 and older.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Daily time use among married mothers on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/daily-time-use-among-married-mothers.htm (visited May 25, 2017).

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