Lockdown Has Exposed What We All Knew Anyway: A Mother’s Work Is Never Done

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A new study has shown that in lockdown – even if both parents are at home and earning – mothers still do the lion’s share of household chores and childcare.

 

As I write this piece, I will put on a load of washing, make my son breakfast, clean the kitchen table on which I’m working, and wash up. My partner and son, sensible people that they are, will be asleep upstairs.

 

Sometimes it takes reading words on a screen to admit what is happening under your own feet. A new paper, “How are Mothers and Fathers Balancing Work and Family under Lockdown?”, has been published this week by The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and University College London (UCL). After interviewing 3,500 families (who were presumably being pelted with lego bricks and lightly smeared with yoghurt at the time), they found that mothers are still doing disproportionately more housework and childcare than fathers. Even in lockdown. When both are in the house. And even if both are paid employees.

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