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Study: Moms Get Less Leisure Time [AUDIO]

Mother’s Day has come and gone, but many moms in New Jersey still may need a break.

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Woman in living room watching television
Catherine Yeulet, TinkStock

According to Pew Research Center, mothers tend to have three fewer hours of leisure time each week than fathers, among parents with children under the age of 18. That adds up to dads getting 20 extra days off a year.

“It’s really hard, particularly for women who usually multitask, to differentiate their time,” said Terri Boyer, executive director at the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University.  “So, if the television is on at the same time you’re also caring for your child or doing other things around the house, it’s really hard to differentiate between the two. Women are also more likely to multitask on these issues than men.”

So, how are fathers spending their time?

Generally, in front of a television or computer screen. Fathers spend an average of 17.5 hours each week watching TV or other media, according to the study. That is 2.8 hours more than women. At the same time, fathers do an average of 17 hours of child care and housework a week, up from just seven hours back in 1965 and 13 hours in 1985. Mothers average 31 hours between child care and work each week.

“Women often feel like they’re being pulled in multiple directions at the same time,” Boyer said. “So, even when they have leisure time, they’re often thinking about other things, like making lunches or what they have to do to get things ready for the next day.”

The good news is, men are taking a stronger role in the household, so when this starts to happen, some of that responsibility is given over to the partner — and when a couple is sitting down watching TV, they can both enjoy some of that leisure time. Making sure their partners are truly partners in the care of the household is one way that can help women shut off their minds during down time.”

When it comes to down time, women tend to spend it socializing, visiting friends and nurturing relationships.

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