Today in fun and slightly depressing news, someone decided to figure out how many hours of unpaid labour parents rack up each year – and then they put a number on how much they’d earn if this was a paid job.
Digital wealth manager Moneyfarm looked at all the unpaid household chores parents take on such as taxi driver, cleaner, nanny and personal assistant (to name a few).
They asked how long parents spend on each task, and used hourly averages to calculate how much they should hypothetically be earning for it.
The study found the average parent clocks up over 100 hours a week juggling household tasks and jobs from cooking and cleaning to ferrying children around and helping with homework. Not surprising, really.
If combined into one role and placed on a job site, it would command a total salary of £70,768 a year.
So over the course of 18 years (although let’s face it, the unpaid labour goes on way beyond that) you’d basically be a millionaire – earning £1,273,824.
According to the poll, the most time-consuming task parents face each week is preparing, cooking and serving family meals and drinks – which takes up to 29 hours.
Meanwhile 10 hours in total is spent playing and entertaining the children and a further 10 driving them to school, clubs and playdates.
Nine hours a week are spent giving advice and talking to family members in person or over the phone, while eight hours are taken to clean the house and six hours are spent doing laundry.
Unsurprisingly, one in three (30%) feel that the work they do around the house is more challenging than a paid job, and half (50%) say looking after the family and the house is more stressful than a full-time job.
One in five (21%) said being a parent leaves them with less head space to dedicate to their actual paid jobs, while a further 21% feel like they are not performing as well at work because the amount of unpaid labour they do at home leaves them so tired.
Unsurprisingly, all of this extra work can cause rifts – especially if labour isn’t divided equally enough in households with multiple parents.
A quarter (26%) of parents said they argued with their partner over the amount of work they do, and 26% argued with their kids about it.
One in five (21%) of the parents polled said they never receive a thank you from the rest of their family for the work they do around the house, making them feel unmotivated, frustrated and annoyed.
A third (31%) wish the work they do was recognised more by the whole family, while a quarter (27%) would like their partner to say thanks more often.
Miguel Muruaga, investment advisor at Moneyfarm, said: “It’s incredible to think just how much work in unpaid salary mums and dads take on either as a stay-at-home parent or on top of their actual paid job.
“There’s no doubt that running a family home can be mentally and physically exhausting and as a society we need to value and recognise the enormous amount of unpaid labour that parents – whether stay-at-home or working – are undertaking.”