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Working Moms Do More at Home Than Working Dads

Photograph by Twenty20

In couples where both parents work, although dads think they do as much around the house as moms, a new study says that moms disagree—and they struggle more with the juggling act of parenting plus job responsibilities, too.

According to the study from Pew Research, two-parent households with both parents working full-time has increased by 15 percent since 1970 — accounting now for almost half of two-parent households. And although households with two working parents are better off economically than other families, more than half the working parents in the study with children under the age of 18 said they found balancing work and home life to be a challenge, and not everybody agrees that home and parenting responsibilities are distributed equitably between Mom and Dad.

Although two-parent working households say dividing household chores, disciplining the kids and spending time playing or doing activities with their children are all roles pretty equally shared between two parents, there are a few key areas where working moms take on a lot more responsibility than working dads.

RELATED: How Working Moms Make It Work

When it comes to who manages the kids' schedules and who takes care of the kids when they're sick (and by default, having to take time off from work to do so), Mom is usually the one who shoulders most of the burden.

But regardless of whether moms work or not, most mothers in two-parent households were more likely to say they take on more responsibility in the areas asked about in the survey, while dads are more likely to say they shared responsibilities about equally with their partners.

While only 20 percent of working dads say that being a parent has made it harder for them to advance their careers, slightly more than double the moms surveyed say it's been an issue for them. Mothers who work part-time are just as likely as mothers who work full-time to say that being a working mom has made it more challenging to get ahead in their careers.

Full-time working moms were also more likely than part-time working moms or unemployed moms to say they not only don't spend enough time with their kids, but also their spouse—and they have less time to dedicate to personal hobbies or seeing friends, as well. Interestingly, though, when both parents work full-time, most parents say that neither the mom's career nor the dad's career takes priority over the other.

When it comes to working parents across class and race lines, 70 percent of working moms with a college or post-grad degree were more likely to feel difficulty in balancing work and family life than working moms who did not have a college degree. And, white working parents are more likely than non-white working parents to say they struggle to balance work and family responsibilities.

RELATED: The Myth of Finding Balance as a Work-at-Home Mom

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