Many of the study participants openly told the researchers that they felt increasing pressure to be the perfect mother, wife and career women, meaning that they were left with very little time to relax and do the things that they wanted to do.
Though parents nowadays have the benefits of technological advances which may save them considerable amounts of time, the time saved is now spent in paid employment. Back in the 1950s only 17 per cent of mothers were in paid employment, a figure which has now more than doubled, with any free time outside of work usually devoted to ‘active’ childcare.
Additional findings from the study included the fact that many mothers are now heavily reliant on technology for keeping them in touch with friends and other mothers, with over two thirds of mums having used social networking sites such as Mumsnet and Facebook to keep in contact with other parents.
Mothers nowadays also believe they spend more time with their children than their parents did with them. The study revealed that 48 per cent thought they spent more time with their offspring compared to 19 per cent who felt they spent less time with them.
Kate Fox is Co-Director of the Social Issues Research Centre who were also involved in the study. “With the increasing pressure on mothers to work a ‘double shift’ – to be the perfect mother as well as a wage-earner – support networks are more important than ever. And mothers are using every means of communication available to build the strong communities and networks of family and friends that they need.” She said.