You’re not “just a mom”: Motherhood is like working 2.5 jobs – fact

Motherhood isn't easy. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Motherhood isn't easy. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

There’s nothing quite as demeaning, patronising and just, annoying, than hearing someone label you as “just a mom”.

“What does she do? Oh, she’s just a mom.”
“Decorations for the school dance? She can do it. She’s just a mom.”
“Plan Ellen’s 12 Days of Giveaways? Pick Carol. She’s just a mom.”


Kudos to the nine-to-five women slaying the corporate world, and to the working moms doing all the things, we’re in awe of you. But to the stay-at-home moms out there, currently on the school run, cooking up a storm in the kitchen or dealing with a last-minute homework assignment crisis, you’re miles away from being “just a mom”.

“You are a doctor, a teacher, a nurse, a maid, a cook, a referee, a heroine, a provider, a defender, a protector, a true Superwoman.”
– Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love and a Dash of Sass

Knowing full well that you’re juggling several jobs at once and you're completely and utterly exhausted because of it, makes hearing something so ridiculous even more frustrating – and hurtful. But in case society hasn’t quite caught up, we found a new study that just revealed motherhood is actually equivalent to working 2 and a half jobs.

Earlier this year, The Independent reported that a survey of 2 000 mothers of children aged 5 to 12 revealed just how many hours go into the very many tasks that make up motherhood. The survey conducted by Welch’s, an American juice company, revealed that the average mom’s alarm clock rings at about 6:23 am and her day may end at around 8:31 pm – on a good day.

That’s about 14 hours a day and over 98 hours a week! The overtime and weekend shift actually makes it equivalent to working 2.5 jobs. The study also revealed that in between the never-ending to-do list that 40% of the moms feel they have, they only have about an hour and seven minutes of me-time. 

When asked to list their “lifesavers” – the things they rely on to get them through the day – they listed wet wipes, toys, Netflix and iPads for the kids, and lot and lots of coffee for mom.

Sounds about right.


“The results of the survey highlight just how demanding the role of mom can be and the non-stop barrage of tasks it consists of,” said Casey Lewis, MS, RD and Health & Nutrition Lead at Welch’s, to Yahoo News.

And she’s absolutely right.

Most moms (and many, many dads) get their kids up (a job in itself), feed them, dress them, and drop them off. Then come home to make up their beds and clean the rest of the house, which includes scrubbing ridiculous amounts of toothpaste off the bathroom sink and blow-drying crayon off the walls, do the laundry, and prep lunch. And sometimes, if they’re lucky, mom might be able to fit in a quick shower as well, before picking the kids up from school.

And that’s just before noon.

What have you done today?

And to the moms out there, if anyone’s ignorantly labelled you as “just” anything, passive aggressively share this on Facebook – it’s a study, it's science, you’re doing them a service – because everyone should know you’re so much more than “just a mom”. Every mom is a working mom.

“You’re… a true Superwoman. Wear your cape proudly.”

Do you often get told, or do people imply, that you're just a mom? How do you respond in that situation? Tell us by emailing and we may publish your comments.

Read more:

Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive Parent24 stories directly to your inbox.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What are your thoughts on the possibility of having permanent Stage 2 or 3 load shedding?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I'll take that over constant schedule changes
13% - 632 votes
Why are we normalising Eskom’s mess?
72% - 3436 votes
I've already found alternative ways of powering my home/business
15% - 720 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.