Survey: Modern parenthood not all that modern

Women and men are increasingly feeling stressed about trying to balance work and home functions, a Pew survey out today reports.

The Pew Research Center says 56% of “working moms” and 50% of “working dads” say they find it very or somewhat difficult to balance both responsibilities responsibilities.

But the survey says fathers are much more likely than mothers to want to work full time, and when it comes to working outside the home, fathers put more importance on a high-paying job. Mothers put a higher priority on having flexibility.


However, mothers’ attitudes toward work have changed considerably in recent years. Among mothers with children under age 18, the share saying they would prefer to work full time has increased from 20% in 2007 to 32% in 2012. Tough economic times may have ushered in a new mindset, as women in the most difficult financial circumstances are among the most likely to say working full time is the ideal situation for them.

At the same time, the public remains conflicted about what is best for children. Among all adults, only 16% say the ideal situation for a young child is to have a mother who works full time. A plurality of adults (42%) say mothers working part time is ideal, and one-third say it’s best for young children if their mothers do not work at all outside of the home.

And the survey shows that in households where both parents work, women are spending more hours on household-related work than men. And when you add up the number of total hours spent working in either on home functions or outside-the-home responsibilities, women work about an hour a week more.

Mothers still spend twice as much time with their children as fathers, although the amount of time for fathers has tripled since the ’60s.

Here’s the report.