Mothers still spend most time at home

Parents with young children and professional careers work as much as 75 hours a week, with mothers spending most of the time at home, a study has found.

This content was published on November 27, 2008 - 11:36

The Federal Statistics Office on Thursday released a report that studied nearly one million Swiss families with children to learn how parents divide their time between household chores and paid employment.

It found that the breakdown depends largely on the age of the youngest child, the gender of the parent and whether the mother and father live together.

Mothers assume most of the household chores in 80 per cent of homes. With a child younger than four years old, a mother will spend more than 60 hours a week on family chores and 11 hours a week at a job. Single mothers log the same amount of time at home, but spend 18 hours a week at work.

Fathers tend to spend more time on professional duties than household tasks. With a child less than four years old, a father can expect to work 41 hours a week professionally and then spend another 33 hours a week on family tasks.

Once the youngest child is ten years old, parents spend about a third less time on household chores as mothers return to work.

The study also looked at the costs of childrearing. Depending on the family, the direct monthly costs range between SFr500 and SFr1,100 ($417 and $918), although total expenditures are closer to SFr7,800 a month for all households with children.

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