It's Official: Women Do Everything; All the Work, All the Time, Always

It's Official: Women Do Everything; All the Work, All the Time, Always

"It’s a widespread phenomenon that is affecting women’s psychological well-being," one study says of invisible labor.

By Marianne Garvey

It’s called invisible labor: when women silently take on the majority of chores and childcare in a home.

Russell Brand just got bashed for admitting he’s lazy when it comes to childcare, leaving most of the heavy lifting to his wife. But he's not alone: A new study published in the journal Sex Roles claims it’s a widespread phenomenon that is affecting women’s psychological well-being.

The study “examined how the distribution of the mental and emotional labor inherent in managing the household between spouses may be linked with women’s well-being, including their satisfaction with life, partner satisfaction, feelings of emptiness, and experiencing role overload.”

In a sample of 393 U.S. married/partnered mothers, mostly of upper-middle class backgrounds with dependent children at home, results showed that a majority of women reported "that they alone assumed responsibility for household routines involving organizing schedules for the family and maintaining order in the home.”

Other responsibilities primarily handled by mothers included being vigilant of children’s emotions, organizing schedules, household chores, and picking up all the odds and ends that make a family run smoothly. When it came to school, 78 percent of women asked were the parent who dealt with teachers and knew about school functions.

Being the one in charge of household tasks was associated with "a certain level of misery" and “increased distress for moms.” “There's a strong association between these experiences and maternal distress,” the study reported.

The findings added that in order to balance things out, more conversations about division of labor between partners need to happen. Sure, as soon as I’m done with the laundry.

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