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Working Parents Sharing Responsibilities More, Balancing Life Less

The Short of It

A new Pew Research survey finds that more moms are working full-time, and more dads are helping out at home, but many are still struggling to strike the right work/life balance.

The Lowdown

The survey of 1,807 parents with kids under age 18 finds that 46 percent of families now have two full-time working parents. So it's no surprise that more than half of them say juggling family and careers is a challenge. Moms are more likely than dads to say balancing a full time job with parenting is very difficult.

That being said, more dads in two-parent income families are sharing the load of household chores and parenting responsibilities versus homes where the mom doesn't work outside the home or works part time. More than half of parents say they're both responsible for the laundry, cleaning and cooking, as well as disciplining the children and enjoying family activities.

But about half of the moms surveyed say they do more than their partners when it comes to caring for the kiddos when they're sick and carpooling them around to every activity known to man!

Interestingly, fathers are more likely to say they share household responsibilities, while mothers are more likely to say they do more. Maybe it's all the things we do that no one notices that account for that difference. My husband still believes in the magic toilet paper roll replacement fairy!

It's refreshing to hear that 62 percent of couples who both work full time say they are equally focused on their careers. But, the survey suggests dads are still earning more than moms.

There's an education gap in how parents view their ability to balance work and family life. College-educated working mothers are more likely to find it difficult, as compared to mothers without college degrees. The same disparity holds true for working dads. There's also a racial gap; white moms and dads say the balance act is more difficult.

The Upshot

Unfortunately, working mothers are twice as likely as working fathers to say advancing in their careers has been more difficult now that they have kids, which once again, underscores the finding that moms take on the brunt of the work when it comes to day-to-day parenting responsibilities.

It's also interesting to note that working parents say they don't spend enough time with their children or their partners; nor do they have sufficient time to do the things they enjoy, proving there just aren't enough hours in the day!

Perhaps the most relatable statistic to come out of this survey for me is that 4 in 10 full-time working moms and 3 in 10 moms who work part time say they always feel rushed. Moms who don't work outside the home are more likely to never feel rushed. Huh? Tell that to a SAHM mom-of-three. And with that, gotta go.

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